The Building Inspector is hereby given the duty, power and authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter. He shall examine all applications for permits, issue permits for the construction, alteration, enlargement and occupancy of all uses which are in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and all nonconforming uses existing at the time of passage of this chapter. The Building Inspector shall also record and file all applications for permits with accompanying plans and documents and make such reports to the Board of Adjustment, Planning Board and governing body as may be required.
Purpose. To ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter, no person shall erect, alter or convert any structure or building or part thereof, nor alter the use of any land, subsequent to the adoption of this chapter, until a building permit has been issued by the Building Inspector.
Application for permits. All such applications shall be made in a manner prescribed in the Building Code of the Borough and shall be accompanied by plans in duplicate drawn to scale showing the location, shape and dimensions of the lot to be built upon, the size and location of existing and proposed buildings, the lines within which the proposed buildings are to be erected or altered and the existing and intended use of each building or part thereof, the height thereof, the number of dwelling units and square feet of space, the amount and location of off-street parking and loading and other data as may be required by ordinance. The applicant shall also give such other pertinent information respecting the proposed use of property and any other information as may be necessary to determine the propriety of the issuance of a building permit or certificate of occupancy.
Issuance of permits.
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to issue a building permit, provided he is satisfied that the structure, building sign, parking area and the proposed use conforms with all requirements of this chapter and that all other reviews and actions, if any, called for in this chapter and other municipal, county and state requirements have been complied with and all necessary approvals secured therefore.
All building permits shall be issued in duplicate and one copy shall be kept conspicuously on the premises affected and protected from the weather whenever construction work is being performed thereon. No owner, contractor, workman or other person shall perform any building operations of any kind unless a building permit covering such operation has been displayed as required by this chapter, nor shall they perform building operations of any kind after notification of the revocation of said building permit.
Denial of permits. When the Building Inspector is not satisfied that the applicant's proposed development will meet the requirements of this chapter, he shall issue a letter of denial and shall refuse to issue a building permit and the applicant may appeal to the Board of Adjustment for a reversal of the Inspector's decision.
Revocation of permits. If it shall appear, at any time, to the Building Inspector that the application or accompanying plan is in any respect false or misleading or that work is being done upon the premises differing from that called for in the applications filed with him under existing laws or ordinances, he may forthwith revoke the building permit, whereupon it shall be the duty of the person holding the same to surrender it and all copies thereof to the Building Inspector. After the building permit has been revoked, the Building Inspector may, in his discretion, before issuing the new building permit, require the applicant to file an indemnity bond in favor of the Borough of Fort Lee with sufficient surety conditioned for compliance with this chapter and all laws and ordinances then in force and in a sum sufficient to cover the cost of removing the building or structure if it does not so comply.
For new uses.
Compliance with zoning ordinance. It shall be unlawful to use or permit the use of any building or part thereof hereafter created, erected, changed, converted, altered or enlarged, wholly or in part until a certificate of occupancy shall have been applied for and issued by the Inspector. An application for a certificate of occupancy shall be made in duplicate upon forms provided by the Inspector. In case the Inspector shall decline to issue a certificate of occupancy, his reasons for so doing shall be stated in one copy of the application and that copy returned to the applicant.
Compliance with other ordinances. A certificate of occupancy shall not be issued until the Building Inspector receives written confirmation that all applicable codes and ordinances administered and enforced by the Borough have been complied with.
Affidavit of owner. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any premises until there has been filed with the Building Inspector a duly authorized affidavit executed by the owner or an officer of any corporate owner and stating as follows:
For existing uses.
Upon written request from the owner, tenant, occupant or purchaser under contract, the Building Inspector, after inspection, shall issue an occupancy permit for a use legally existing at the time this chapter is made effective, certifying the extent and kind of use and whether any such existing use conforms with the provisions of this chapter.
No change or extension of use and no alterations shall be made in a nonconforming use or premises without an occupancy permit having first been issued by the Building Inspector stating that such change, extension or alteration is in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
Change of use. No owner, tenant or other person shall use or occupy any building or structure thereafter erected or altered, the use of which shall be changed after the passage of this chapter, without first procuring an occupancy permit, provided that an occupancy permit once granted shall continue in effect so long as there is no change of use or other conditions regardless of change in tenancy or occupancy.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon final passage and publication as required by law; provided, however, that there shall be exempted from the provisions of this chapter any building or structure which, prior to December 4, 1974, received the granting of one or more variances by the Board of Adjustment of the Borough and any proposed building or structure for which, prior to December 4, 1974, site plan application was made to and escrow moneys deposited with the Planning Board of the Borough pursuant to Ordinance No. 73-22.
Complaints of violations. Any person may file a complaint if there is any reason to believe a violation of this chapter exists. All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Building Inspector who shall properly record such complaint and immediately investigate.
Procedures for abatement of violations. In case any building or structure is erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, repaired, converted or maintained or any building, structure or land is used in violation of this chapter or any ordinance or regulation made under authority conferred hereby, the governing body or, with its approval, the Building Inspector or other proper official, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate legal action of proceedings to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, maintenance or use, to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of said building, structure or land or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use about such premises.
Penalties. Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $200 for each offense. Each day that a violation occurs or is committed shall constitute a separate offense.
Building inspection fees shall be paid at the office of the Tax Collector upon the filing of an application.
In the interpretation and the application of the provisions of this chapter, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the promotion of the health, safety, morals and general welfare. Except as herein provided, it is not intended to interfere with, abrogate, repeal or annul other rules, regulations or ordinances; provided, however, that where this chapter imposes greater restrictions upon the use of buildings or premises or upon the height or bulk of a building or requires larger open spaces, the provisions of this chapter shall apply.
All prior zoning ordinances of the Borough of Fort Lee, including but not limited to Ordinances Nos. 443 and 1069, together with all amendments and supplements thereto, are hereby superseded and repealed.