Law keeps tabs on commercial uses

MILLSTONE — The Township Committee has adopted an ordinance requiring continued certificates of occupancy for commercial sites, in hopes that it will be able to better keep track of business activities as properties change hands.

Without discussion, the committee adopted the ordinance at its March 15 meeting. It requires a new certificate of occupancy to be obtained each time the occupancy of commercial building changes. The certificates verify properties are fit for habitation and are in compliance with all codes.

Applications for the continued certificates will be accepted or denied within 10 days of their submission, the ordinance states. Applications are to be reviewed by the township construction official. Any alterations to properties once they have been purchased by a new owner require zoning permits.

The charge for an application for a continued certificate is $200. A first reinspection if the application is initially denied is free of charge, but all subsequent inspections will cost $60 each.

The ordinance defines a commercial building as "a non-residential building which is visited by members of the public for the transaction of business."

The new ordinance also adopts the Building Officials Code Administration (BOCA) National Property Maintenance Code of 1999 as a standard governing the maintenance of premises within Millstone. The ordinance states that if the BOCA codes and Millstone’s existing codes are inconsistent, the stricter codes apply.

The ordinance has no impact on residential properties.

— Louis C. Hochman