Author Topic: Real-estate agents criticize City's new plan to crack down on code violators  (Read 2095 times)

Offline speaknj

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Speak NJ is a public access cable program that airs in Jersey City and Bayonne.  Mondays, Jersey City 10:30 PM and Tuesdays 9:00 PM, Channel 51. In Bayonne, channel 19, Tuesdays @ 9:00 PM

Offline MA

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Jersey City Planning Board delays vote on controversial measure
By Patrick McGovern | The Jersey Journal
on January 21, 2015 at 8:08 AM

A large crowd turned out at the meeting of the Jersey City Planning Board to speak their mind about a new plan requiring property owners to obtain a zoning certificate of compliance before they can sell their properties.

The measure was up for initial approval at last night's meeting, and after listening to speaker after speaker denounce the proposal, the planning board decided to table a decision on the measure.

Robert Cotter, director of city planning, told the board that the purpose of bringing the proposal before the board was to get the public's input on the measure, which he indicated still needed some major changes before it was ready to pass.

"It seems like you weren't very prepared for this," board member Orlando Gonzalez said to Cotter after the public input portion of the evening was over.
Gonzalez also addressed the sometimes hostile audience.

"We're not against you," he said. "We are here for you."

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Offline MA

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At tonight's meeting the Planning Board voted 9-0 to table the measure. Sorry, Chico.

Offline MA

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Real-estate agents criticize Jersey City's new plan to crack down on code violators
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on January 20, 2015 at 7:44 AM

Jersey City officials are looking to embark on an aggressive new plan to ensure homes are compliant with local zoning rules.

But the measure, up for initial approval at tonight's Planning Board meeting, would be a "disaster" if implemented, according to critics who say it would bring the city's real-estate market to a standstill.

The plan would require most property owners to obtain a zoning certificate of compliance before they can sell their properties, obtain building or demolition permits or perform any kind of site improvements. The certificate would be issued by a zoning officer who certifies that the property complies with city zoning codes.

Ward B City Councilman Khemraj "Chico" Ramchal is pushing for the measure, saying it would help the city to locate illegal apartments and other code violations, as well as offer protection for home buyers.

Ramchal said the plan would halt what he says is a widespread practice of home owners duping buyers into purchasing homes without telling them about code violations like illegal parking spots or rental units.

Each certificate would cost $150. Ramchal estimates the added revenue would exceed $250,000 annually.

Ramchal said not all homes would have to be inspected the city's chief zoning officer would know if a certain house has violations or not, he said and that one or two more zoning officers would be needed to carry out the extra inspections.

Real-estate agents say it would create an unacceptable "lag" during a house sale.

"It would reduce the number of sales in Jersey City by maybe 25, 30 percent," said Joe Hottendorf, executive director of the Liberty Board of Realtors, a group representing agents countywide.

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