Building Department FAQs

How much will my permit cost?


Depending on the type of permit there is a fee schedule for each type of work. The fee schedule is schedule can be found on the Borough website under the Borough Code Book chapter entitled “fees”.


Borough of South River NJ Fees


 What times of day can I do construction?


South River City Ordinance 288-4Restricted uses and activities.

The following standards shall apply to the activities or sources of sound set forth below:


  1. Noncommercial or nonindustrial power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment shall not be operated between the hours of 8:00 A.M. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler.


  1. Commercial or industrial power tools, landscaping, and yard maintenance equipment, excluding emergency work, shall not be operated on a residential property or within 250 feet of a residential property line when operated on commercial or industrial property between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. on weekdays, or between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 9:00 A.M on weekends or Federal Holidays.


  1. All motorized equipment used in these activities shall be operated with a muffler.


  1. Construction and demolition activity, excluding emergency work, shall not be performed between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M on weekdays, or between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 9:00 A.M. on weekends and federal holidays. All motorized equipment used in construction and demolition activity shall be operated with a muffler.



What if I do not get a permit?

Work that requires a permit that is denied can be appealed to the Construction Board of Appeals.


When is a construction permit required? When is a construction permit not required?

Under the UCC see minor work and ordinary repairs.



How can I pay for my permit?

You can pay by check or money order to the Building Department.


Who is responsible for obtaining a permit? The homeowner or the contractor?

It depends on who wants to take the responsibility for the application. Only a homeowner who occupies the address can take the responsibility as the contractor.


What information is required to be provided with my construction permit application?

Besides the permit application a clear description of the work being performed either in writing or by drawn plans with any equipment cut sheets that are necessary.


Can an owner or contractor prepare construction plans?

If the owner occupies, they can draw the plans otherwise only a New Jersey Architect can submit Two Signed and Sealed Sets of Plans.


Can an owner do their own work?

An owner can do their own work as long as they occupy the address, and it is a One- or Two-Family Home.

What type of licenses will my contractor need?

The State of New Jersey regulates the construction trades.  If any work proposed is from a regulated trade, documentation of a license or registration from the appropriate licensing board will be required.  Regulated trades in the State of NJ include, but are not limited to:

  • Home Improvement Contractors
  • Master Plumbers
  • Electrical Contractor/Business Permit
  • Home Elevation Contractors
  • Architects/Engineers
  • Burglar Alarm Installer
  • Irrigation Contractor
  • HVAC-R Contractor


How can I check if my contractor is licensed?

Please visit

General contractors and builders are required to have a Home Improvement Contractors Registration, while electricians and plumbers must have their own licenses.


What is an Energy Code Compliance Report, and how do I get one?

The energy report is usually prepared by a licensed professional.


Does the Township have a copy of my survey?

Not all the time. If work was performed that required zoning approval there may be one on file. You may also a copy of a survey may have been included with your closing paperwork when your home or property was last sold or maybe with your insurance or mortgage documents.


Does the permit expire? How much time do I have to perform the work?

A permit may expire if under the UCC inspections have not been called for.


What do I need for a Certificate of Occupancy?

All inspections to be completed and passed and compliance with any prior approvals and if it is not owner occupied a Homeowner Warranty Certificate for Residential.


Can the Township inspectors recommend a contractor? How do I find a good contractor?

Inspectors are not allowed to recommend anyone; it is a conflict of interest.


Can the inspector tell me if the work is quality work?

Please submit the question to the Technical Assistant to the Construction Official from an answer from the appropriate code official.


have code questions and I am having trouble getting in touch with an inspector. What should I do?

Refer the problem to the appropriate Sub Code or Construction Official to handle.

What do I do if I am having a problem with a contractor?

Floor plane areas are designated on the Flood Plan map, have the Brough Flood Plane Manager answer the question.

The State of New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs regulates contractors.  Their website is:

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs 

Is my property is a flood zone?

You may check your flood zone on the FEMA website:

FEMA R2 Coastal Zone

However, the website is only an estimate of the flood zone, the actual flood zone determination must be confirmed by the Township Engineer.



Do I need a Certificate of Occupancy to sell my home?

The Township of South River does require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) for the resale of a property.  



I have an underground oil tank on my property. What are my options to decommission the tank? Do I have to remove it when I sell the home?

You do not have to remove the Oil Tank, there are methods such as abandoning in place, etc. that are specified in the UCC.


I'm selling my house and the buyer's home inspector said some items are not "up to code". Do I have to bring it up to current code?

You do not have to bring it up to the present code. It was deemed in compliance with the Code in effect at the time of CO. Ask the inspector to name chapter and verse of the non-compliant issues.


Can I request a specific time for my inspection?

No.  Unfortunately, due to the volume of inspections, and not being able to predict the complexity of each inspection, we cannot guarantee a specific time.


My water heater broke on Friday night! Do I need to wait until Monday and get a permit before I have it replaced?

No just a notification via message, email et. That an emergency exists allow it to be fixed and the contractor to come in during working hours to file.


Can I use forms from another town?

Yes. As long as they are the standard New Jersey State forms.  The links for the forms can be found through the Division of Codes and Standards website.