Township of Morris, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Construction Official is hereby given the duty, power and authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter. He shall be responsible for the examination of all applications for permits and the issuance of 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 Construction Official shall also be responsible for recording and filing all applications for permits with accompanying plans and documents and shall make such reports to the Board of Adjustment, the Planning Board and the Township Committee as may be required.
A. 
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, until a proper permit has been issued by the Construction Official.
B. 
Application for permits. All such applications shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the State Building Code.
C. 
Issuance of permits. It shall be the duty of the Construction Official to issue the proper permit, provided that he is satisfied that the structure, building, sign, parking area, proposed use and other requirements are in compliance with this chapter and all other applicable codes and ordinances of the Township of Morris or other governmental units having jurisdiction over the subject matter, and that all other reviews and actions, if any, called for in said codes or in this chapter have been complied with and all necessary approvals secured therefor. All construction permits shall be issued in duplicate, and one copy shall be kept conspicuously on the premises affected and shall be 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, including site preparation of any kind, including clearing of trees and excavation, unless a construction permit covering such operation has been displayed as required by this chapter, nor shall construction operations of any kind be performed after notification of the revocation of said permit.
D. 
Denial of permits. When the Construction Official is not satisfied that the applicant's proposed development will meet the requirements of this chapter or other codes and ordinances, he shall refuse to issue a construction permit and shall so notify the applicant, in writing, giving the reasons for denial.
E. 
Revocation of permits. If it shall appear, at any time, to the Construction Official 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 application filed with him under existing laws or ordinances, he may forthwith revoke the construction permit, whereupon it shall be the duty of the person holding the same to surrender it and all copies thereof to said Construction Official. After the construction permit has been revoked, the Construction Official may, in his discretion, before issuing the new construction permit, require the applicant to file an indemnity bond in favor of the Township of Morris 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.
F. 
Expiration of permits. Except as provided elsewhere, if a permit has not been acted upon by the commencement of construction within two years from the date of issuance, said permit and all rights created thereby shall expire.
A. 
For new uses.
(1) 
No building, structure or land shall be occupied or used until such time as a certificate of occupancy is issued by the Construction Official, and no building hereafter enlarged, extended or altered, wholly or in part, so as to change its use classification shall be occupied or used in whole or in part until such time as a certificate of occupancy is issued by the Construction Official.
(2) 
Such certificate shall be issued upon application by the owner, prospective occupant or purchaser only after the Construction Official determines that the facts represented on the application are correct and that the building, structure or use is in conformance with all of the provisions of this chapter and other codes and ordinances affecting construction and occupancy.
(3) 
Said certificate shall be issued by the Construction Official to the owner or his agent within 10 days after written application if all conditions under this section are complied with.
(4) 
A certificate of occupancy shall not be issued until the Construction Official receives written confirmation from any or all of the following that all applicable codes and ordinances administered and enforced by the following have been complied with:
(a) 
The Health Department.
(b) 
The Fire Department.
(c) 
The Township Engineer.
(d) 
The Planning Board.
(e) 
The Board of Adjustment.
(f) 
Any other applicable department, board or agency.
B. 
For existing uses.[1]
(1) 
Upon written request from the owner, tenant, occupant or purchaser under contract, the Construction Official, after inspection, shall issue any certificate of occupancy 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 to the provisions of this chapter.
(2) 
No change or extension of use and no alterations shall be made in a nonconforming use or premises without a certificate of occupancy having first been issued by the Construction Official stating that such change, extension or alteration is in conformity with the provisions of this chapter or that same has been permitted by action of the Board of Adjustment or the Township Committee.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
Change of use. No owner, tenant or other person shall use or occupy any building or structure, the use of which shall be changed after the passage of this chapter, without first procuring a certificate of occupancy, provided that a certificate of occupancy, once granted, shall continue in effect as long as there is no change of use or change of occupancy in a nonconforming use.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
D. 
Temporary certificate of occupancy. A temporary certificate of occupancy may be issued for any structure or use for which site plan approval has been secured but for which all conditions have not been complied with. The Construction Official shall approve the issuance and terms of any temporary certificate of occupancy, including the right to revoke any certificate of occupancy where all conditions are not met.
E. 
Certificate of occupancy records. A record of all certificates shall be kept on file in the office of the Construction Official.
A. 
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 Construction Official or Zoning Officer, who shall properly record such complaint and immediately investigate.
B. 
Procedures for abatement of violations.
(1) 
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 of any ordinance or regulation made under authority conferred hereby, the Township Committee of the Township of Morris or, with its approval, the Construction Official or other proper official, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate legal action or proceedings to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, 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.
(2) 
A violation of any of the terms of this chapter shall be abated within a reasonable time as may be determined by the Construction Official or Zoning Officer, after written notice has been served either by mail or personal service.
C. 
Penalties. Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter, where no other penalty is provided, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the Municipal Court. Each day that a violation occurs or is committed shall constitute a separate offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
The following fees are required for application, inspection and administration and shall be paid in cash, certified check or money order payable to the Township of Morris as follows:
A. 
Construction Official fees. Construction Official fees shall be paid at the office of the Construction Official upon filing of an application for a construction permit or a certificate of occupancy in accordance with the provisions of the State Uniform Construction Code.
B. 
Board of Adjustment application fees. Board of Adjustment application fees shall be used in accordance with Part 2 of Chapter 57, Land Development.
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. It is not intended to interfere with or abrogate or annual other rules, regulations or ordinances, provided 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 or imposes higher performance standards, the provisions of this chapter shall apply.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter or the location of any zone boundary shown on the Zoning Map that forms a part hereof is for any reason held by a court of competent jurisdiction to he invalid, such a decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this chapter or Zoning Map.
All ordinances and parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon publication and final passage thereof as provided for by law.
[Added 4-17-2002 by Ord. No. 7-02]
A. 
Variance in connection with site plan or subdivision approval.
(1) 
Any variance granted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70c or d in connection with a site plan or subdivision approval shall expire when the protections afforded to the site plan or subdivision approval expire under the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., unless:
(a) 
Prior to such expiration, construction of the approved building, structure, addition or alteration has substantially commenced pursuant to a validly issued building permit; and
(b) 
A certificate of occupancy issues and the approved use commences within 18 months after the date on which the building permit issued.
(2) 
If no building, structure, addition or alteration is proposed, the variance shall expire if the approved use has not commenced by the date that the protections afforded to the site plan or subdivision approval expire under the Municipal Land Use Law.
(3) 
Protections under the Municipal Land Use Law shall not be deemed to expire if they are validly extended pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law.
B. 
Variances for one- or two-family dwellings.
(1) 
Any variance granted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70c or d for a one- or two-family dwelling shall expire 18 months after the date of adoption of the resolution approving the variance unless:
(a) 
Prior to the end of the eighteen-month period, construction of the approved building, structure, addition, or alteration has substantially commenced pursuant to a validly issued building permit; and
(b) 
A certificate of occupancy issues and the approved use commences within 18 months after the date on which the building permit issued.
(2) 
If no building, structure, addition or alteration is proposed, the variance shall expire if the approved use has not been commenced within 18 months after the date of adoption of the resolution approving the variance.
C. 
Determination of substantial commencement of construction. In the event of a dispute as to whether any construction has substantially commenced under this section, the Zoning Officer or Construction Official may refer the matter to the board that granted the underlying approval for a determination.
D. 
Extension of time periods. The board that approved any variance may extend the time periods under this section for good cause shown.