Environmental and Land Use Alert: Department of Community Affairs Relaxes Rules Related to Construction Inspections During COVID-19 State of Emergency
Pursuant to Executive Order 103 (EO 103), the Department of Community Affairs announced the relaxation of rules related to inspections for minor work, such as that conducted by Local Officials for installations of things such as the replacement of air conditioners and residential heaters. These inspections are normally required within three days of installation. EO 103 extends the time period for inspections to 30 days from the termination EO 103. In addition, the announcement provides that N.J.S.A. 5:23-2.18, which requires construction officials to perform a preliminary inspection, inspections during the progress of the work, and a final inspection of construction to issue certificates of occupancy, within strict timeframes is also being relaxed. If a local office is required to close, a construction official shall perform a Certificate of Continued Occupancy (CCO) inspection upon the office reopening. In issuing the CCO, there are specific documentation requirements that must be prepared. Although the preliminary, progress of work, and final inspections are usually required within a three-day period, that period is being extended to 90 days from the termination of the EO 103.