Tagged: DCA

New Jersey Adopts Private Construction Inspection Bill

On January 5, 2023, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Assembly Bill 573, which authorizes private inspections under the State Uniform Construction Code (UCC) Act, upon the satisfaction of certain conditions (the “Act”). The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) now has six months to propose rules to effectuate the provisions of the Act and three months thereafter to adopt those rules. The Act is a result of efforts throughout the commercial real estate industry to address the growing shortage of available municipal code inspectors and recent increased demand for inspections due to the high frequency of construction activity throughout the state, as well as an ongoing backlog due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. There is consensus within the industry that the processes codified within the Act will minimize project disruptions and delays and create a more streamlined construction inspection process, in order to expedite the timely construction and occupancy of inclusionary housing and non-residential development alike. The Act creates a new process by which private inspectors can perform required construction inspections under the UCC. Once work undertaken pursuant to a construction permit is ready for any required inspection under the UCC, the owner, agent, or other person in charge of the work (collectively, the “Owner”) shall notify the enforcing agency (presumably the...

New Jersey Adopts 2021 International Building Code and Grace Period for Permit Applications

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has recently amended the Building Subcode of the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) to incorporate the 2021 Edition of the International Building Code (IBC). Builders, developers, and others currently applying for construction permits should be aware of the provision within the UCC that provides for a grace period from application of the newly adopted regulations until March 6, 2023. On April 18, 2022, DCA posted in the New Jersey Register proposed amendments to the Building Subcode, located within the New Jersey Administrative Code at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.14, to incorporate the 2021 Edition of the IBC. The model codes for buildings, which include residential and commercial structures, energy, fire protection, mechanical, and fuel gas, are published by the International Code Council, and DCA proposes and adopts the model codes as part of the UCC. Since 1996, DCA has undertaken a review of each subsequent model code edition and has proposed and adopted the new edition of the national model codes. The most recently adopted amendments to the UCC’s Building Subcode incorporate the 2021 edition of the IBC. The Building Subcode amendments were adopted on September 6, 2022. Of particular importance to builders and developers, the UCC contains a grace period provision at N.J.A.C. 5:23-1.6, which provides that for a period...

New Jersey Issues Regulations Governing the Conduct of Remote Public Meetings, Effective Immediately

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services (“DCA”), has issued emergency regulations which, according to a recently issued notice, “establish standard protocols for remote public meetings held by a ‘local public body’ during a Governor-declared emergency, including minimum procedures to be followed to provide reasonable public notice and allowance for public input.” The DCA advises that the emergency regulations are presently in effect and have been concurrently proposed for permanent adoption in the upcoming October 19, 2020 New Jersey Register. Comments will be accepted through November 18, 2020. As we reported previously, soon after the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the issuance of Executive Order 107, which restricted public gatherings, most governing bodies, planning boards, zoning boards of adjustment, and other public bodies in New Jersey initially canceled their meetings. Then, gradually, many began meeting remotely, relying on both existing statutory authority and emergency legislation to facilitate the conduct of electronic meetings, enacted as P.L. 2020, ch. 11 and codified in the Open Public Meetings Act at N.J.S.A. 10:4-9.3, which provides that during a declared emergency, a local public body may, using communication or other electronic equipment, conduct a meeting and any public business to be conducted thereat; cause a meeting to be open to the public;...

“Housing is Health Care”: New Jersey HMFA Launches Program for Supportive Housing Partnership with Hospitals

The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), in collaboration with the New Jersey Hospital Association, has announced a pilot subsidy program to promote investment by hospitals throughout New Jersey in affordable and supportive housing. The program was previously endorsed by the New Jersey Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees. Following a number of recent studies highlighting the interconnection between stable, safe, and affordable housing and maintaining a higher quality of life, HMFA created a partnership program for New Jersey’s hospitals and affordable housing developers to try and fill a notable void in supportive housing. Hospitals are encouraged to work with developers to target housing for special needs residents or users of frequent emergency room services. HMFA anticipates the projects would consist of 60-70 units and can include mixed-use space for doctors’ offices, clinics, or other community uses. Approximately ten of the units would be set aside for low-income households (50 percent of gross median income), and the remainder would be restricted to households of moderate income (80 percent of gross median income). The program, currently funded with $12 million, seeks to match funding contributions from hospitals up to $4 million to fund three or four projects in New Jersey. The program will include the four percent low-income housing tax credit as well. HMFA is seeking...

COAH Fees – Some Certainty in an Uncertain World

While much of the uncertainty regarding affordable housing requirements in NJ remains, the questions involving the applicability and future of the 2.5% nonresidential development fee were answered yesterday. Acting Governor Kim Guadagno signed into law legislation that reestablishes the exemption from the fee for eligible projects. Perhaps the most broadly applicable exemption provides that projects which obtain preliminary or final site plan approval prior to July 1, 2013 are not subject to the development fee provided that building permits are issued by December 31, 2015.

NJ Senate Considering Whether to Limit Power of DEP, DCA Commissioners

On February 17, 2011, the Assembly unanimously adopted bill A 2722. The bill, which is intended to implement some of the findings of the Red Tape Review Group, would amend the Administrative Procedures Act and provide administrative law judges (“ALJs”) with more tools to streamline contested administrative law cases. Interestingly, however, the bill would also strip the Commissioners of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) and Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”), as well as some others, of their power to review, modify, or reject ALJs’ decisions in contested cases.

Due Diligence in Acquiring Distressed Debt — Part One

There is no shortage of buyers anxious to buy distressed mortgages. The simple reason is the possibility of substantial profit if a loan can be purchased at a significant discount and there is a realistic possibility that the borrower or, if it forecloses, the lender, will be able to salvage the property. This is the first of two articles about counseling clients in acquiring distressed commercial mortgage loans. Bankruptcy, special assets such as condominium properties and UCC foreclosures are beyond the scope of these articles.

Want to Expedite Your Real Estate Development Approvals in New Jersey? Want to Get Your Building Permit as Soon as Possible? Did You Know About This Regulation?

In New Jersey, it is very typical for a municipality’s building department to refuse to accept a developer’s construction drawings until the developer has received all of its local, county, state, and other applicable agency approvals (e.g. site plan approval, an NJDEP permit; or an NJDOT permit). This should not be happening.

Governor Christie’s Affordable Housing Plan

In an announcement made on May 13, 2010, Governor Chris Christie outlined a plan for affordable housing that will abolish the 25 year old Council on Affordable Housing and transfer control for housing plans to local authorities, with review by the Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”). According to Acting DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa, “Unfortunately, the Council on Affordable Housing has often times been more burden than benefit to the point that New Jersey as a whole has fallen far short of its affordable housing goals … The Governor’s new affordable housing plan is a fresh approach that gives more control and flexibility to local governments while limiting state involvement. Ultimately, this plan will result in more affordable housing units being built in communities across the state.”