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Freiman, Karabinchak & Egan Measures to Streamline Construction Permit Applications, Established Expedited Construction Inspection Program Advances

New System Would Simplify Process for Contractors and Homeowners

To simplify and streamline a process that is often time consuming, complicated and tedious, Assembly members Roy Freiman, Robert Karabinchak and Joseph Egan are sponsors of two bills that bring the permitting and inspection processes into the 21st century, which were approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.

“Getting a building permit can be extremely frustrating because of the time it takes, as well as the steps required, for a submission,” said Freiman (D-Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset). “This bill looks to simplify the process, for the contractors, businesses, and homeowners by utilizing technology and making the process more efficient.”

“It’s time New Jersey has moved into the 21st Century by provide online access for companies and residents,” said Egan (D-Middlesex, Somerset). “We can do more to encourage building in New Jersey. This is a step in the right direction.”

“New Jersey is in the dark ages when it comes to efficiency and expediency of our construction permitting and inspection process,” said Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). “Fix this system and we will move numerous development projects throughout the state caught in a slow application and approval process.”

The first bill (A-4463), sponsored by Assemblymen Freiman and Karabinchak, also known as, the “Electronic Permit Processing Review System,” would create a centralized online system for builders to submit their permitting plans electronically. The review system also would allow applicants to schedule inspections and exchange information with other building professionals, as well as the Department of Community Affairs, during the review process.

The electronic system established by the bill would allow permit applicants to:

  • submit application materials for review;
  • request an on-site inspection of a project; and
  • have continuous, 24-hour access to their submissions.

The Electronic Permit Processing Review System legislation aims to bring 80% of application submissions online. For large, complicated, or any other construction projects, the current process of working with the local building department will remain available.

The second measure (A-4788), sponsored by Karabinchak and Freiman, would establish an alternate expedited inspection process under the State Uniform Construction Code Act.

Under the bill, an applicant for a construction permit could opt to pay a premium fee to have inspections under the permit performed on an expedited basis, within two days of a request for an inspection.  The premium fee would be $200 per inspection.  The applicant would make this option at the time of submitting an application.

A municipality could offer expedited inspections by its construction code enforcing agency.  If a municipality does not offer in-house expedited inspections, a construction permit applicant could retain any properly licensed private inspection agency to perform expedited inspections.

Both bills will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further review.