ASSEMBLY, No. 4458

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 3, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  SHAVONDA E. SUMTER

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  WILLIAM B. SAMPSON, IV

District 31 (Hudson)

Senator  LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Senator  PAUL A. SARLO

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Speight

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes exemptions and revises implementation timeline for requirement that newly constructed townhouses be installed with automatic fire sprinkler system.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the installation of certain fire sprinkler systems for newly constructed townhouses and amending P.L.2023, c.265.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.2023, c.265 (C.52:27D-123.20) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  [A] Except as provided in subsection b. of this section, a newly constructed townhouse subject to the one-and two-family dwelling subcode, adopted by the Commissioner of Community Affairs pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-123), adopted as N.J.A.C.5:23-3.21, or succeeding subcode, for which an application for a construction permit has not been declared complete by the enforcing agency before the first day of the [seventh] 13th month next following the date of enactment of P.L.2023, c.265 (C.52:27D-123.20), shall be installed with an automatic fire sprinkler system. 

     b.    A newly constructed townhouse subject to the one-and two-family dwelling subcode, adopted by the Commissioner of Community Affairs pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-123), adopted as N.J.A.C.5:23-3.21, or succeeding subcode, shall not be subject to the requirement of subsection a. of this section if an application for a construction permit or an application for development has been submitted to a State, county, or municipal agency prior to the date of enactment of P.L.    c.    (C.      ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     c.     On or before the first day of the [fifth] 12th month next following the date of enactment of P.L.2023, c.265 (C.52:27D-123.20), the Commissioner of Community Affairs shall adopt, pursuant to section 5 of the "State Uniform Construction Code Act," P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-123) and the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), rules and regulations to amend and supplement, as necessary, the one- and two-family dwelling subcode, and any other necessary components of the State Uniform Construction Code, to establish standards for the design and construction of townhouses to comply with P.L.2023, c.265 (C.52:27D-123.20).  The rules and regulations shall incorporate the provisions of the 2021 International Residential Code, Section R313.1, or any successor model code, for the installation of an automatic fire sprinkler systems.

     [c.] d.   As used in this section:

     "Automatic fire sprinkler system" means an integrated system of underground and overhead piping designed in accordance with fire protection engineering standards and shall include a suitable water supply.  The portion of the system above the ground is a network of specially sized or hydraulically designed piping installed in a structure or area, generally overhead, and to which automatic sprinklers are connected in a systematic pattern.  The system is generally activated by heat from a fire and discharges water over the fire area.

     "Townhouse" means a single-family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more attached units in which each unit extends from foundation to roof and with a yard or public way on not less than two sides.

(cf: P.L.2023, c.265, s.1)

    

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Enacted in January 2024, P.L.2023, c.265 (C.52:27D-123.20) requires the installation of an automatic fire sprinkler system in new townhouses for which a construction permit application has not been declared complete prior to August 1, 2024, the first day of the seventh month following the statute’s enactment.  This bill establishes exemptions to that law, and modifies this requirement so that a development plan with a construction permit application that has not been declared complete prior to the first day of the 13th month following the enactment of that statute would be required to be installed with an automatic fire sprinkler system.

     Under the bill, a newly constructed townhouse subject to the one-and two-family dwelling subcode, adopted by the Commissioner of Community Affairs pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-123), adopted as N.J.A.C.5:23-3.21, or succeeding subcode, is not subject to the provisions of P.L.2023, c.265 (C.52:27D-123.20) if an application for a construction permit or an application for development has been submitted to a State, county, or municipal agency prior to the date of enactment of this bill.

     The statute also requires the Commissioner of Community Affairs to adopt rules and regulations incorporating International Residential Code guidance pertaining to such installations by June 1, 2024, the first day of the fifth month following the date of that statute’s enactment.  The bill would modify this requirement to allow the commissioner until the first day of the 12th month following the enactment of the statute to adopt these rules and regulations.