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Building Permit Fees to Rise in Brick After Month of Amnesty

Some fees will double over two years

Homes being rebuilt on Ocean Terrace in Brick's Normandy Beach section, May 2014. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Homes being rebuilt on Ocean Terrace in Brick's Normandy Beach section, May 2014. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Some of the township's building permit fees will more than double over the course of two years under an ordinance introduced by the township council this week.

But before the new rates begin to be phased in, the township will offer a month of amnesty for those who previously undertook building projects without permits. All of the fees will begin increasing July 1.

"A number of homes have been renovated, pre and post Sandy, without getting the proper permits from the building department," said Mayor John Ducey, leading to the introduction of an amnesty program.

"As long as you come in and apply for your permit, you’re still safe from the fines and the penalties," he said. "We want to make sure it’s safe so there’s not a fire, water damage, or a whole number of things that can happen if the work wasn’t done properly. There are no fines, no penalties, we’re not going to hold it against you."

The amnesty program will apply to any residents who voluntarily visit the Building Department, between June 1 and June 30 and apply for permits, pay the required permit fee, and successfully receive all required inspections for any and all renovations, or construction undertaken without proper permitting. Residents will be required to complete all necessary paperwork, and provide a full disclosure of all work completed. 

Normally, a resident could be fined up to $2,000 per violation, township officials said.

The amnesty does not extend to commercial properties, owners who have permitted occupancy in properties without a Certificate of Occupancy, applicants who are already the subject of an investigation, or with violations discovered by the Building Department. Potential fines and penalties will not be waived for anyone who applies, and does construction work while waiting for a permit to be issued.

Increased Fees Coming

The township council, separate from the amnesty program, introduced an ordinance outlining a new fee structure for building permits, aimed at closing the budget gap in the money-losing Building Department.

Councilman Jim Fozman said he led a subcommittee of the council that looked into building fees statewide and brought Brick's in line with other municipalities.

"The building department [is] losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and the last time the fees were reviewed was 2005," said Fozman.

The fee hikes will be phased in from July 1 through January 2016.

For example, demolition permits will rise from $100 to $200 between the passage of the ordinance and Jan. 1, 2016. The abandonment of a septic tank will rise from $75 to $150 by the same date, and pool permits for above ground pools will rise from $100 to $200. Similarly, many per-foot building fees will rise, such as a hike from 4 cents per foot to 5 cents per foot for new construction for certain usage groups.

"Permits are good for two years, so if you’re thinking of working on your house three months from now, go now because it’s at the lower cost," said Ducey.

Fozman said the time to raise fees was now.

"The council responded to the needs of the people by not charging people for months after the storm," he said. "It’s been a year and a half of rebuilding and it’s time to keep moving ahead."
J.JONES May 09, 2014 at 11:27 AM
People are hurting in Brick and now your going to hit them with more increases ..Maybe there trying to fix there homes to sell them and move out of town ..Maybe the town is trying to get money to cover the loss of the income from traffic lights ,and to cover pay increases for part time jobs and full time pay and benefits ..Sell the Real Estate properties Brick owns use that money to cover tax increases..
Rock.n.Roll May 09, 2014 at 09:05 PM
Excellent point JJ ! I forgot all about the properties the town owns. In particular there is one on Cherryquay Road, that now they allow the police to use as a "training ground". That is next on my list at a council meeting! The cops have ruined the ranch there, and they should be made to take whatever it takes to repair that place out of their own budget! A perfect example of the waste that goes on in this town. The town should sell the property. The town has no business owning property, especially when they abuse it. We need more taxables, as well as a reducing of taxes. Plus, I see other vehicles parked there. Who is responsible if someone falls or hurts themselves there? Right, they will sue the town. I am building new because i loss mine in the storm, and i know it will only be a short time that i will have to sell because of taxes. I really thought i would get buried in my back yard, but cannot afford any more.
Jeremy May 09, 2014 at 09:14 PM
Just in time for the thousands of us who r being forced to raise r homes. Wonder how many permits I will need? Building, fire, plumbing, electrical. Thanx a lot.
Brandy the Dog May 09, 2014 at 09:23 PM
Ever wonder why the Government shouldn't be in the mortgage business? How 'bout they suck at it. Shaun Donovan can kiss my Fannie!
Rock.n.Roll May 11, 2014 at 09:26 AM
I just got my permits to build a modest 3 BR home...2000 square feet, they took over 2 months to get through the mire, and cost me $1900 bucks! Also, how about $900 bucks for a "silt fence" that goes around the properly, and that is just the fee, and not the labor and costs for putting up. I see lots of other building going on in town in which people did not do. If you can get away with, do it! If anything is a waste, it is that! Thanks Bricktucky for helping me out..Oh and don't forget $300 bucks for affordable housing? I am having a hard time building again, will be out of my home for 2 years at least, having a tough time with monies, and I still have to give more to affordable housing? What a bout the people who go through this, the town just takes advantage of our situation. Oh, and the pot at the end of the rainbow....is a hefty tax increase awaiting you when you complete.

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