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NJBIA supported a bill passed by the Senate on Thursday that would establish a more expeditious process for obtaining construction inspections so that certificates of occupancy are not unnecessarily delayed, holding up home sales, business openings and payment to contractors for completed work.

The bill, A-4850, sponsored by Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak (D-18), would enable a property owner to hire a private agency to perform required Uniform Construction Code inspections whenever the municipal code enforcement agency is unable to complete an inspection within three days of a request.

“Building a home or development in New Jersey can be expensive and time consuming,” said NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor. “Delays caused by the inability to obtain local inspections only drive up the cost of development.”

The bill would eliminate unnecessary delays by giving property owners the option, when they apply for a construction permit, to hire a private agency to perform an inspection if the municipal enforcement agency cannot perform an expeditious inspection.

The Department of Community Affairs would license and authorize the private companies involved, similar to how the Department of Environmental Protection reduces backlogs through the licensing of private site remediation professionals for the cleanup process at hazardous waste sites.

“This bill would help eliminate some of these delays by establishing an expedited inspection program to ensure inspections are done within two business days,” Cantor said. “The bill implements this process by leveraging the private sector, similar to the way the successful Licensed Site Remediation Professionals program operates to help effectuate timely cleanups of contaminated sites in New Jersey.

“We encourage the Legislature to pass more laws like this, ones that lower the cost of doing business in the state while still being protective of public health and safety,” Cantor said.

The Senate voted 36-0 to give the bill final approval and sent it to the Governor’s desk.

*This story was updated Thursday evening to provide the Senate vote, which occurred after press time.