On Thursday, Governor Murphy signed A-573, which makes several changes to the Uniform Construction Code Act (UCC). The bill codifies the three-day construction inspection turnaround and allows for developers to contract with private on-site inspection agencies if local officials cannot complete the inspection within the three-day period. A-573 also provides municipalities with several avenues meant to improve the ability to conduct inspections in a timely manner, including a more streamlined bidding process to contract with private inspectors and eased access to enter into shared service agreements. The bill also allows inspections to be scheduled outside of normal business hours if both the enforcing agency and developer agree.
While the League has a favorable view of the additional tools A-573 provides to municipalities to complete timely inspections, we remained opposed to the bill because of the issues presented by opening up inspection to private third-party agencies. It is our belief the quality and integrity of inspections are best maintained when kept within the neutral auspices of the municipal government rather than performed by profit-seeking third parties. Unfortunately, these concerns remained unaddressed.
Sections 1 through 3 of A-573 dealing with a developer’s ability to have inspections done by a third-party agency become effective immediately upon the adoption of rules and regulations by the Department of Community Affairs. Section 4 of A-573 which deals with a municipality’s ability to enter into a shared service agreement and contract with a third-party took effect immediately.
We suggest you review this new law with your municipal construction officials and attorney for additional information.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481, x137.