Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is introducing a measure to mandate structural and facade inspections for local high-rise buildings that the city council will consider next week.
“Following the tragic collapse of the Champlain Tower in Surfside, Florida, we’ve been re-examining the local policies that exist in both Jersey City and New Jersey to protect our residents that live in older high-rise structures, as we certainly have the most in the State,” Fulop said in a statement.
As of this morning, 36 people died in the Champlain Tower collapse and 117 people remain unaccounted for, according to The New York Times.
“Since the sad news from Florida, we’ve had Jersey City residents in several buildings reach out with the knowledge that their condo boards are delaying work because of the potential cost to residents. There aren’t many policies in the State to protect in this area, so we’ll be introducing some locally at the next City Council meeting.”
If approved, the local legislation would require all concrete residential and commercial buildings above six stories to perform a visual structural inspection by a licensed third-party engineer at least every ten years.
The inspection shall include, but not be limited to, structural foundations, balconies, any appurtenant structures, all structural members, and waterproofing conditions.
A licensed architect or engineer must subsequently prepare a structural report and provide it to the City’s Division of Construction Code Official.
Additionally, owners of buildings above six stories or with masonry facades of four stories or more must have exterior walls and appurtenances inspected every five years.
Furthermore, a technical facade report must be submitted to the Division of the Construction Code.
Failure to comply with these requirements will subject the building owners to fines and penalties.
“Jersey City has the most high-rise buildings than any other municipality in New Jersey, with various building structures and ages, and so our goal is to strengthen our policies in order to provide the best protection for our residents and the community at large,” Fulop concluded.
The Jersey City Council will convene via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday, July 14th, at 6 p.m.