On October 22, S-2636 and A-3731 will be considered by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee, respectively. The League opposes this legislation, which would allow counties to establish a construction code office with authority to issue constructions permits for county-owned buildings and structures and enter into shared service agreements with municipalities for broader code enforcement responsibilities.
Currently, construction code enforcement is performed either by a municipality or if a municipality declines to act as the enforcement agency, by the Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”). A-3731/S-2636 would authorize the creation of a county construction code office as a third possible option. However, unlike the current scheme for code enforcement, if created, a county construction office would operate in addition to the municipal code office or the DCA, whichever is applicable. This additional level of bureaucracy is redundant and unnecessary.
Municipalities are currently able to enter into shared service agreements or joint meetings with one another for construction code enforcement purposes, and many of them do. Any municipal savings that would be anticipated through a county-wide construction code enforcement office can and is already being realized through the use of shared services and joint meetings.
We are encouraging our members to reach out to their state representatives to oppose this legislation. In addition to your own representatives, you are encouraged to reach out to the members of both the Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees to voice your opposition to these bills. Your representative’s contact information, broken down by municipality, can be found on the State Legislature webpage. Contact information for members of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee can be found on their respective webpages.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., League Staff Attorney, FMarshall@njslom.org, 609-695-3481, ext. 137.