Jersey City residents’ complaints postpone planning board vote on zoning matter


The Jersey City Planning Board tabled a measure that would require residents to obtain a zoning certificate of compliance before selling properties after public comments poured in against it, calling the plan “redundant” and “flawed.”


The proposed ordinance required property owners to obtain a certificate of compliance in order to perform any kind of property improvements, obtaining building and demolition permits, and simply, the selling of property. The purchase of each certificate is $150. Zoning officers would issue these certificates if they pass all zoning codes.

Many public speakers considered this charge to be an additional tax on property owners. “$150 is a lot of money to a lot of people just to do some paper shuffling” said Esther Wintner.

Although the ordinance was to provide protection for consumers, it caused more frustration and confusion to Jersey City residents.

“What’s the purpose of this? There are systems in place and I have also been a realtor for 10 years, in Jersey City and Hoboken, and I know there is more than a triple redundant system in place to ensure that a property for sale is indeed zoned appropriately” said Van Vorst Park President, Oona Jackson Moore.

“There is no clear cut opinion on what you will be enforcing when you enforce this” said Laura Skolar, Liberty Board of Realtor’s president.

Skolar spoke on behalf of her association and offered services and assistance to help create more accurate building and tax records, at a minimal fee, to help rewrite and create a “Proper Zoning Ordinance.”

The planning board committee agreed to revisit the ordinance on March 10th. Until then, board member Joyce Watterman – also a Jersey City Councilwoman-at-Large – requested that Cotter hold a town hall meeting and get more Jersey City residents’ input before it is once again submitted to the board.

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  1. I lived in a illegal building as a renter, Certificate of Occupancy was two family, greedy landlord converted to 4 family. Housing code inspectors were in and out of there all the time, they knew about it, but no one did anything, after I moved out, there was a fire on top floor, and fire dept. knew this was illegal, yet, nothing is done….every apartment I lived in in Jersey City, had housing code inspectors in and out of them, and they came to inspect and nothing ever got done, so I think the fault is with Jersey Citys agencies, and now homeowners are asked to suffer the consequence????

  2. Zoning is so backed up as it is right now. It would take them years to issue any additional permit.
    Jersey City government is becoming too strong and abusing the public trust. Just recently, the parking authority increased the meter hours restrictions from 9-6 to 9am-9pm on Kennedy between Culver and Audubon. Jersey City government did not consider NJCU students when they approved this sick ordinance that allowed the Parking Authority to rape every penny from students going to school at night. In my opinion, this new permit will be a way for city agencies and politicians to control homeowner as an “do what I say or else”. This new ordinance should be titled “dictatorship is near”.