Uniform Construction Code Board of Appeals
(S.C. Department of Engineering & Planning)
The establishment and maintenance of the Uniform Construction Code Board of Appeals by all Counties is required by State Law. For thirty years, Sussex County has operated such an entity with the County Engineer as Administrative Agent and Coordinator to service all twenty-four municipalities.
The Board operates with ten members, five regular members and five alternate members. Members of this Board volunteer their services. The Board consists of a licensed architect/ engineer/building official, a license electrician, a licensed plumber, a certified fire official, and a certified fire protection official. Each one of these positions has an alternate member of the same stature. The County Engineer, a licensed engineer, serves as the County Coordinator to the Board and must participate if the architect/engineer/ building official does not. The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Second Vice-Chairperson are appointed by vote of the membership. When appeals involve fire, the fire official and the fire protection official must be present; likewise for the trades in their specialty areas and the architect and/or engineer in building or structural areas. When the appeal involves handicap accessibility, someone involved in the County's Office for the Disabled is required to attend.
Two special members are required to hear issues involving appeals from municipal review fees and escrow accounts. One special member must be a builder and the other a Professional Engineer with development review experience. The Assistant County Engineer serves in the Professional Engineer position and the regular member in the licensed architect/ engineer/ building official position, who is also a builder, serves as the special builder member. The County has the option to appoint alternates for these members as well. Alternates do not seem appropriate at this time for the special members. To date (from 1997), we have heard two of these cases.
The Board receives an appeal when a violation has been issued by a municipality in the areas of construction or fire. The person who received the violation has the right to file an appeal with this Board, within fifteen calendar days of their receipt of the violation notice. An application form must accompany the violation notice(s), pertinent documentation as well as a fee of $100. County Counsel and the Board Secretary review the applications. If all information is received and verified for timeliness of filing, the Board is then assembled and convenes to hear testimony of both the municipality and the appellant. Those testifying in the matter are sworn in as in a court and the hearing is also tape recorded. The Board renders a decision based on the current codes and testimony provided by both parties at the hearing.
If either party disagrees with the ruling of the Board they have the right to take their case to Superior Court for further action.
Meetings of the Board are held on a monthly basis, unless there are no appeals pending.
Further information on the Board can be obtained by calling the secretary at 973-579-0430 extension 1310. Meetings are open to the public and are advertised in the New Jersey Herald.