Home Mullica Hill News Township to reconsider how, when a certificate of occupancy is re-done

Township to reconsider how, when a certificate of occupancy is re-done

As more and more people become house flippers, the construction office requested for the committee to look over an existing law on housing


The Sun

At the Feb. 4 committee meeting, Mayor Louis Manzo said, with house flipping becoming more popular in and around the area, the construction office has asked the committee reconsider the laws in place regarding when a Certificate of Occupancy should be re-done.

Currently, Manzo said they needed to only be obtained on new builds and commercial properties. He circled back to roughly 10 years ago when people would be required to obtain the certificate whenever a change in ownership occurred, which had the impact of halting real estate transactions because inspections came out with structure’s, plumbing, etc., not being up to code in the same week as the projected closing date.

“It was real estate agents who lobbied us hard, back then, and there was enough influence where we changed our ordinance that said people didn’t have to get a CO when they sell it,” said Manzo.

Manzo said now buyers are in a home and they’re looking to obtain permits to make interior changes, but they’re stopped due to a previous owner not letting the township know changes were made to the interior through past permits.

“A lot of this has to do with flippers that do major things like take out walls or rework utilities — nothing that can be seen from the outside really,” said Deputy Township Administrator and Public Works Supervisor Dennis Chambers.

Chambers later clarified the hopes of a change would be that the seller or real estate agent would make a record of all of the changes made to a home at resale, and provide those documents to the construction office.

“It could slow down the selling process, and they could run into hardship with their buyers where they’re in a situation where they go back to a realtor, and ask ‘how come we’re trying to do something and are getting hit with all of this extra stuff, and we didn’t know any of this?” he said.

Committeewoman Julie DeLaurentis questioned the frequency and severity of the complaints within the past year. Chambers said he was unsure.

Manzo also suggested establishing a way for residents to informally meet with members of the committee to discuss what they witness happening around town. The idea, he clarified, came after visiting a former neighbor’s house. Several other people were present at the dinner, and they discussed things they notice happening.

“What would you think about instituting some kind of thing with the community where, on a rotating basis, we serve ourselves up to the community?” he asked. “We talked about it last year in the election, and we did it every year when we campaigned, and people thought it was cool.”

He acknowledged they could run into people who do not like them or their policies, but it could be resolved over “a shared meal, cup of coffee, or a beer and change the perspective on the committee.”

Deputy Mayor Don Heim added people may not attend committee meetings for whatever reason, and this would give families a chance to still have their concerns be heard. No formal action was taken on this, and the committee agreed to further discussions.

In other news:

  • The committee decided to not cover volunteering in paid time off due to the state’s financial situation with pensions and the economy.
  • Chambers informed the committee he is aware of roads in town that either need to be completely re-paved or could be temporarily resolved with patching. He added he’s figuring out the cost of the road projects and how it would work in the budget.
  • Resident Lawrence Bulk, during public comment, informed Chambers about a crack in the road where Dogwood and Park drives meet, and where Earlington Avenue, Route 45 and Park Drive meet.
  • A resolution was adopted to relax deed restrictions on homeowners in the Remington Estates development to build swing sets, sheds, pools and other miscellaneous backyard structures past 15 feet from their homes. Previously, they were unable to build because of Raccoon Creek and historical district surrounding the development despite having another roughly 135 feet until the property line. The creek and the district are still protected under this resolution.

The next committee meeting is scheduled to occur on Feb. 19 starting at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Court Room.

Exit mobile version