Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions related to building.

 Do I need a permit for a shed?

All sheds require a zoning review application ($40) regardless of size and must be accompanied by the property survey.  For sheds measuring 100 sq. ft. or less, a zoning permit will be issued ($60).  Sheds over 100 sq. ft. require a building permit; sheds 200 sq. ft. or more require footings.  The maximum height depends on the size of the shed.  Applications are available on our forms page.

 Do I need a permit to put a fence on my property?

Zoning approval is required for all fences, including the replacement of existing fences.  The review fee is $40 and must be accompanied by a property survey.  Upon approval, a zoning permit is $40 for privacy fences under 50 feet in length.  The zoning permit fee for privacy fences over 50 feet  in length is $60. A fence for enclosing a pool requires a building permit and must comply with the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC).

 Do I need a permit to resurface or widen my driveway?

Driveways require a zoning review and must be accompanied by the property survey.  If approved, a zoning permit will be issued.  The ordinance allows a maximum width of twenty-two (22) feet, which includes the apron.  Note:  If the curb is to be cut for widening the apron, the DPW must be notified prior to pouring concrete.

 Do I need to trim or remove a tree on my property?

There is no permit required to remove or trim a tree on your property.  However, you must make certain the tree does not fall within the 10-foot easement considered borough property.  If the tree poses a threat of personal injury or damage to property, and you are unsure as to its location, please contact the DPW to make that determination.  If the tree is located on the borough easement, appropriate action will be taken.

 How long does it take to get a permit?

The State of New Jersey Division of Community Affairs allows twenty (20) business days for the review of permit applications.  However, permits are normally issued in a matter of days for roofing, siding, electrical upgrades, water heaters, oil tank removals/installations, bath or kitchen direct replacements, and minor interior alterations.  For more complex projects involving new construction, plan review begins only after prior approvals have been secured.  Prior approvals typicall involve soil movement, drainage calculations, and require a topographical survey.  Other prior approvals may involve the Bergen County Utility Authority, Bergen County Soil Conservation District, tree management, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and COAH.  It is recommended that a complete permit application be submitted as early as possible to avoid undue delays in the plan review process.  The Building Department has prepared a check list to aid in the preparation of a permit application.  Please call or visit us for more information.

 Must I hire a professional contractor, or may I do the work myself?

There are two options.  In most cases, homeowners may act as their own general contractor by putting their name on the permit.  However, depending on the scope of the project, there is some risk when you absorb liability.  We strongly recommend that you consider hiring a professional contractor, as they are responsible for resolving any problems that may arise as it relates to the work being performed.  Home improvement contractors must be licensed by the State of New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs.  Note:  If the homeowner is not doing his/her own electrical or plumbing work, the hired contractor must be licensed by the State of New Jersey. 

 What are the requirements for installing a pool?

All pools require initial zoning approval to ensure compliance with setbacks and lot coverage requirements.  Once approved, a permit is required for the installation, electrical and plumbing work.  For in-ground pools, the application process involves prior approvals from the borough engineer for soil and drainage calculations, and requires a topographical survey.  Three sets of sealed construction plans must accompany the application.  A complete list of requirements is available by calling the Building Department.  Visit our forms page for copies of permit applications.

 What is required to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for the sale of my home?

We recommend that the homeowner (or agent) visit the Building Department 2-3 weeks before the closing date to apply for a CCO.  The fee covers the inspection of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and sump pumps where applicable.  A portable fire extinguisher is required within 10 feet of the kitchen (specifications are available in the Building Department).  Inspections are by appointment only:  Any open permits on file must be closed out with final inspections prior to issuing a CCO.  This may delay the process, so we recommend that you plan ahead.

 What type of work may I do in my home without a permit?

Certain types of home improvements, such as painting, tiling work, flooring and carpeting do not require a permit, as it is considered minor work and does not fall under the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.  If you are not sure if a permit is required, please don't hesitate to call the Building Department.