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 â€œredundantâ€ and â€œflawed.”
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. â€œ$150 is a lot of money to a lot of people just to do some paper shufflingâ€ said Esther Wintner.
Although the ordinance was to provide protection for consumers, it caused more frustration and confusion to Jersey City residents.
â€œWhatâ€™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 appropriatelyâ€ said Van Vorst Park President, Oona Jackson Moore.
â€œThere is no clear cut opinion on what you will be enforcing when you enforce thisâ€ said Laura Skolar, Liberty Board of Realtorâ€™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 â€œProper Zoning Ordinance.â€
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 residentsâ€™ input before it is once again submitted to the board.