Construction Code Enforcement

Important Topics

Construction Code Enforcement

The citizens of the community have access to all aspects of Code Enforcement provided by The Town of Kearny.

The Construction Code Office enforces the following


  • Land Use Regulations Ordinance
  • Chapter 36 & 38
  • Uniform Construction Code
  • N.J.A.C 5:23
  • Property Maintenance Ordinance
  • Chapter 17

Sub-Code Officials are available for consultations:

  • 8:00 a.m.— 10:00 a.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.— 2:00 p.m.

Office Hours

  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday thru Friday



Michael J. Martello (201) 955-7882 Construction / Zoning Official
Anthony Chisari (201) 955-7882
Assistant Construction Official /Building Subcode
Brian Mulligan (201) 955-7880 ext 3008 Fire Subcode Official
Richard Fagan (201) 955-7880
ext. 3009
Plumbing Subcode Official
DCA Codes & Standards
Joseph G. Vazquez Sr.
(609) 984-7833 Elevator Subcode Official
Susan A. Evanchick (201) 955-7881 Zoning and Planning Board Secretary
Christine Nee (201) 955-7880 ext.3002 Construction Board of Appeals Secretary
Michael Wallace (201) 955-7884 Electrical Subcode Official
Bobby Charles (201) 955-7880
ext. 3007
Building Inspector/Code Official

 What is the purpose of zoning?

The purpose is to ensure that any proposed use, construction, or alteration is allowed in the zone and will be located within the required setbacks from the property lines.  In almost all cases, a Zoning Permit will be required before a Building Permit can be issued.  Always check with the building department to determine whether a permit is necessary.  If you cannot meet zoning requirements, it may be possible to obtain a variance.

Some instances of when permits are required are follows:

  • Zoning approval and Building Permits are required for most home improvement projects, including additions, decks, sheds, fireplaces, and swimming pools.
  • A Zoning Permit is required for a new and replacement sidewalk, driveway, apron, patio, fences, or service walks.
  • A Building Permit & Zoning permit, is also required for roofing and siding.
  • An Electrical Permit is required for most electrical work.
  • A Fire Protection Permit is required for smoke and heat detectors and fire suppression work.
  • A Plumbing Permit is required for replacement or installation of a furnace, boiler, water service, hot water heater or sewer or gas lines.  Electrical and Fire Permits are also required for HVAC furnace and boiler replacement or new units.

How long does it take to obtain a permit and what is the cost?

Practically speaking, any use of your property will require a Zoning Permit $25.00.  We are fortunate in Kearny to have a moderately priced permit:  twenty dollars ($20.00) per thousand dollars ($1000.00) worth of work, with a minimum fee of $50.00.  Depending on the complexity of your job, it will take five to seven business days to process your permit.  You will be called when your permit is ready to be picked up. The Building Department has 20 working days to issue a permit, but for small jobs, in most cases a permit can be issued in 7 business days.

What information is needed to obtain a permit?

A survey plan indicating the location of proposed construction on your property and conformity to the applicable setbacks is required to obtain zoning approvals.  The survey plan must be prepared based upon a survey performed by a licensed land surveyor.  A survey of your property is required. Plans must be submitted in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code:  Two sets of plans and supporting documentation reflecting the manner in which the improvement is to be constructed or installed are required to obtain a Building Permit. All drawings must be to scale. Plans must be prepared by either a New Jersey licensed architect, engineer, or single-family homeowner who has prepared his or her own plans for construction, alteration, or repair of a structure used or intended to be used exclusively as his or her private residence and to be constructed by him or herself. 

How do I know to prepare the plans?

  • Building Plans must comply with the IBC (International Building Code NJ Edition), 2009 Edition.
  • Plumbing plans must comply with the National Standard Plumbing Code, 2012 Edition.
  • Fire plans and mechanical plans must comply with the IBC Fire and Mechanical Codes, 2009 Edition.
  • Electrical plans must comply with the NEC (National Electric Code), 2009 Edition

Additions or alterations must necessitate upgrading of the existing building to comply with current requirements, including, but not limited to, light, air, egress, and smoke detectors, as part of the construction.  The Building Department has general guidelines available to assist residents for most home improvement projects. All permits require an inspection, and many permits require more than one inspection.  Ask our staff about the details on scheduling an inspection.