FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 26, 2015

 Trenton, NJ – In response to recent municipal resolutions passed about new Coastal A zone construction regulations, which take effect March 21, 2016, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles Richman today issued the following statement:

"The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code’s new requirements for Coastal A zones, which are a very small portion of the overall A zone, are focused entirely on public safety and are designed to protect buildings, including homes, in the event of flooding and wave action from coastal storms. The new code requirements are based on a model code developed by the International Code Council (ICC) through a consensus process that allows builders, architects, engineers, construction code officials, manufacturers and others from across the country to comment and contribute their expertise. ICC codes have been adopted in all 50 states in this country and in jurisdictions throughout the world. Contrary to a misperception in some communities, these new requirements do not impact flood insurance premiums at all."

"The Uniform Construction Code is a performance code. The requirements for construction in Coastal A zones, like all code requirements, establish standards for performance. It is up to the design professional, in consultation with the homeowner, to determine the most appropriate way to elevate the structure. And as has always been the case, any design that meets the performance standards of the code would be approved by the local construction official. The assertions that pilings are the only permissible way to elevate in Coastal A zones and that block construction is prohibited are incorrect. While the default elevation method in Coastal A zones is pilings, a masonry foundation can be used provided the design professional has analyzed and accounted for all of the loads in the design."

"Design professionals must take into consideration all anticipated loads, including the forces of wind and wave action and the ability of the soil to support a foundation. Design professionals have always had to design foundations to resist anticipated loads and to reflect local environmental conditions and the properties of the soil at the site. This is not a new concept."

Tammori Petty,
Lisa Ryan
or Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055