Skip to main content
10th Annual Women Business Leaders Forum Register Today!

NJBIA testified on Monday in support of a bill to streamline construction permits by allowing architects and engineers to self-certify that applications and plans comply with the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). Local code enforcement offices would be required to issue permits within one to five days. 

Ray Cantor, NJBIA’s deputy chief government affairs officer, told the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee that the legislation, S-3402, sponsored by Sen. Nick Scutari (D-22), would expedite the construction permit process without compromising health or safety. 

“It makes the process quicker … saving both time and money, which is good for the economy and good for the construction of projects such as low-income housing that we need to facilitate,” Cantor said. 

The bill would direct the Department of Community Affairs to establish a program to certify architects and engineers as “certified design professionals” who are able to self-certify that construction permit applications, plans and specifications submitted to local code enforcement officials comply with the UCC and other applicable laws. 

The bill requires the local enforcement agency to accept a self-certified permit application, conduct a supervisory check acknowledging receipt of all materials required under the UCC, and issue a permit within one to five calendar days following receipt of the submission, depending on the type of project. 

Certain types of projects could be excluded from the self-certification process, such as those that include new commercial kitchens, major structural alterations, or projects that include new electrical service exceeding 400 amps, according to the bill. Amendments adopted Monday allow the Commissioner of Community Affairs, by regulation, to extend authorization for one or more of those types of project or submittals to participate in the self-certification program. 

The legislation is part of a package of reforms that NJBIA, the State Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Builders Association, the New Jersey Chapter of NAIOP (the Commercial Real Estate Development Association), and the Alliance for Action worked together on with legislative leaders and the Murphy administration.  

The committee voted unanimously to advance the bill to the full Senate.