A letter from the Township of Montclair added insult to injury for Montclair business owners who have had to get creative to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The above letter was sent to a number of businesses in Montclair utilizing tents. The letter states that the tents will not be permitted as of November 30 unless the business has a Building Permit and Certificate of Occupancy for the structure.
According to Mayor Sean Spiller, the Township Council and the new COVID-19 Task Force were not aware of the reminder that the Building Department sent out, dated November 18.
“That said, they are now, and are seeing if there are any creative ways to offer assistance to meet the state requirements,” says Spiller.
We asked Jason Gleason, Montclair BID director, if heard from his members about the letter.
“Yes. And we’re working on it,” Gleason said.
Gleason is encouraging businesses to contact the Montclair Building office as soon as possible and is also communicating with the Township, the county, as well as Montclair’s COVID-19 Task Force and the other Montclair business districts to help Montclair businesses navigate this process.
Katya Wowk, Township Communications Director said permits for tents and other structures go through the Montclair Building Office; permits are required by State law and regulated under the NJ Administrative Code and Uniform Construction Code.
“These are long-standing requirements, including the November 30 start date. They were put in place to ensure the safety of the businesses and their patrons,” adds Wowk.
“The township does not have the authority to provide special dispensation to exempt businesses from the permit requirements. That would be illegal,” Wowk says.
“The township’s Building Office employees are sensitive to the conditions our business are facing and they are there to assist applicants in any way appropriate to help them through the permitting process,” Wowk says.
According to the state, any tent that has been in place for more than 180 days, is no longer considered a temporary structure.