Department of Code Enforcement

OVERVIEW
This Department administers all construction within the Township. It issues building permits for residential, commercial and industrial construction within the Township.
After plans have been reviewed and accepted and the appropriate permits have been issued, inspections are performed to insure that all construction is in accordance with the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) of New Jersey and its adopted codes. It is also the responsibility of this Department to issue violations and fines when warranted and Certificates of Approval and Occupancy upon final inspections and approval of all projects. All these activities are recorded, tabulated and reported to the State on a monthly basis.

The Construction Official, Stephen Rodzinak, may be reached at (908) 725-6300 ext. 5565 or by email at bwtcode@bridgewaternj.gov

PERMIT APPLICATIONS

The following applications require four copies


WHAT IS A PERMIT?
A construction permit represents legal permission to begin a construction project. The issuance of a permit indicates that plans for a project have been released by Bridgewater Township officials and have complied with the UCC and Township ordinances.

WHEN IS A PERMIT REQUIRED?
A permit is generally required if an individual wishes to construct, enlarge, alter or demolish a structure. Included in this category are those projects, which change any existing structure or add to the structure, such as the following:

-    Deck
-    Pool
-    Addition
-    Shed (over 100 sq. ft.) – (Sheds under  100 sq. ft. require a Zoning permit)
-    Garage
-    Privacy Fence

A construction permit is also required to do the following:

-    Siding
-    Roofing
-    New or replacement of electric service, water heater, furnace, boiler, air conditioning or fireplace
-    Rearrange plumbing system
-    Finish basement
-    Install new electrical receptacles or outlets
-    Repair or replace any structural member, such as increasing or decreasing the size of a window
-
    Installation or removal of a fuel tank

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A PERMIT?
The required documentation for a construction permit includes:

-    Permit application
-    Construction plans
-    Plot plan

An application for permit is available from the Code Enforcement Department located in the Municipal Building. The office hours are Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.

Along with the completed application, the applicant must submit two (2) copies of the construction plans. These drawings may be done by the applicant for his own single-family dwelling or by a New Jersey licensed architect or engineer.

A building contractor is not permitted to do the drawings unless he is licensed by the State as an architect or engineer.

An applicant must also submit a plot plan for new construction, an addition, deck, fence, shed, garage, and pool. The plot plan should indicate:

-    All existing and proposed structures on the property
-    The distances to all lot lines
-    The location of any easements

THE PERMIT PROCESS
All permit applications are brought to the Code Enforcement Department. Code Enforcement will forward any application to the Zoning Officer if required. After zoning approval, if necessary, the documents are reviewed by the building, electric, plumbing and fire subcode officials for completeness and code conformance. This process may take up to 20 working days. Minor work, such as roofing and siding, require minimal plan review. Usually, the permit for minor work is issued within 10 working days. If the documents do not comply with the UCC, the applicant will be notified of the violations and will be required to correct and resubmit the documents for further review.

The permit is issued indicating that legal approval has been given to begin the construction project.

State law mandates that the Construction Official issue a fine of up to $2000 per violation and penalty to any person who performs work without a permit.

INSPECTIONS DURING CONSTRUCTION
Building Subcode Inspections

Note: No building inspection will be made prior to any required electric or plumbing inspection approval.

-    Bottom of footing prior to placement of concrete
-    Reinforcement prior to placement of concrete
-    Foundations and all walls prior to backfilling – new single family construction must have foundation elevation compliance from the Engineering Department before this inspection is scheduled
-    Floor slab(s) prior to placement of concrete
-    Frame inspection which includes all structural walls, floors and roofs prior to covering with finish or infill materials. Rated assemblies. This inspection shall be called for after rough electric and plumbing approvals have been obtained
-    Insulation inspection prior to installation of finished materials
-    Final inspection which includes equipment, final connections and all finish materials

Electric Subcode Inspections

-    Rough electric under concrete slab prior to backfill and placement of concrete
-    Rough electric which includes outlet spacing, type of box and size, wire size and grounding prior to covering with finish or infill materials
-    Service which includes panel(s) wire size, grounding and over current protection
-    Final inspection which includes devices, fixtures, appliances, GFI requirements after installation of finish materials and utilization equipment

Plumbing Subcode Inspections

-    Rough plumbing under concrete slab prior to backfill and placement of concrete
-    Rough plumbing which includes sanitary piping, water piping, storm drains and radon piping
-    Water service from building to property line or curb line
-    Sewer service from building to property line or curb line
-    Final plumbing which includes piping, trim, fixtures, cross connections, backflow preventors, radon, condensate lines and water meters
-    Rough gas piping – requires gas test
-    Final gas piping to all appliances requiring gas
-    Final on hydronic heating systems and hot water heaters
-    Final air conditioning on all units manufactured for domestic and commercial cooling

Fire Subcode Inspections

-    Final inspection which includes a performance test to demonstrate its efficiency of operation and alarms

For renovations and projects other than new construction, contact the Code Enforcement Department for inspection requirements.

OBLIGATION DURING CONSTRUCTION
Code inspections can be scheduled on an am/pm basis. The applicant may request the day and time window (8 am – 12 noon, or 1 pm – 5 pm). In some cases, due to the nature of the inspections, those scheduled for morning might need to be performed in the afternoon. Also, if there is no access for the inspector to conduct his/her inspections, a sticker will be left notifying applicants to reschedule their inspection.

Inspectors must have a minimum of 24 hours advance notice and must be able to see the part of construction required to be inspected.

Any work that does not conform to the approved plans will require re-inspection. If the work continues without resolving the problem, the applicant will be fined and the job stopped.

Applicants are required to post the permit prominently on the site and to keep a copy of the approved plans at the site.

When the project is completed, the applicant must call for final building, electric, plumbing and fire inspections. The applicant must also apply for a Certificate of Occupancy. If the work is approved, a Certificate will be issued indicating permission to use the area for the intended purpose.

Property must be properly identified – House number conspicuously displayed for viewing from the street and construction placard conspicuously displayed on the building.


DEMOLITIONS
The demolishing and removal of a building or structure and the removal of all the debris from the parcel of land require a permit from the Township Department of Code Enforcement.

The following documents must be completed and submitted in order to file an application for the demolition of any structure:

 A copy of the property survey showing the location of the structure(s) to be removed.

  • Certificate stating the structure has been properly baited.

  • Letter from Utility Company stating electric and gas has been disconnected.

  • Letter from Telephone Company stating service has been disconnected.

  • Construction Permit Application.

  • Building Subcode Form.

  • Plumbing Subcode Form (Signed and Sealed by a Licensed Plumber for the capping of the sewer and water lines.)

  • If a septic tank is utilized, it must be located and abandoned in accordance with N.J.D.E.P. regulations.

  • If there is a well, a letter from a Licensed Well Contractor is required stating the well has been capped.

  • Debris Disposal Form.

  • Compliance with U.C.C. Subchapter 8, Asbestos Abatement, if applicable.

  • Compliance with N.J.A.C. 5:17, Lead Hazard Abatement, if applicable.

 When the Permit is ready to be issued, you will be notified by phone. You will be told the amount of the permit fee, which you will pay when the Permit is picked up.

 For building inspections, a separate inspection is required after the basement has been excavated and removed prior to backfill. All debris must be removed from the excavated site and properly disposed of prior to the first inspection. The final inspection will be performed after area is fine graded and stabilized.

 For plumbing inspections, the final inspection for capping of sewer and water lines must be completed prior to building demolition.