Construction Code Enforcement Division

Construction Code Enforcement Division reviews all permit applications and Construction Plans submitted for new construction and alterations in accordance with the State Uniform Construction Code. (UCC) which includes Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Fire, Mechanical and Elevator plans. Inspect all residential and commercial buildings during phases of construction, investigate all structures that have been damaged and if they can be reoccupied safely, if not than how to close up buildings and temporary support such structures.

James DeForte, Construction Official
Telephone: (609) 844-7056

As Construction Official for Lawrence Township some of the duties are as follows conforming with the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code.

Authorize issuance of permits, certificates of occupancy and certificates of approval. Perform plan review for code compliance and perform field inspections. Provide customer service support to the general public and design professionals regarding code compliance. Supervise and organize all clerical staff, inspectors and subcode officials each day for field inspections and plan examination. Review and inspect for unsafe structures and code violations. Interact with Lawrence citizens, contractors, architectural and engineering community. 

Current Distinctions Include:

Licenses and Certification state of NJ and International Code Council (ICC)

Construction Official, Building Subcode Official, HHS Building, HHS Fire Protection, Mechanical Inspector, Fire Subcode Official (pending).

ICC Commercial Building Inspector, ICC Building Plans Examiner, ICC Mechanical Inspector.

Served on many local, state and international code committees. 


The Division of Code Enforcement is located in the municipal complex, 2207 Lawrence Road (Lawrenceville Road for GPS users) in Lawrence Township.

Review all applications and plans submitted for new construction and alterations in accordance with the various codes related to building, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, fire.

Inspect all residential, commercial, and industrial buildings during various phases of construction.

Investigate all buildings and structures which have been damaged to ensure that they could be occupied safely.

Please click on these links for additional information regarding basic instructions for requesting inspections and a brief explanation of our noise ordinance with regards to construction or demolition projects

2024 Construction Code Enforcement Division Budget Presentation

The Construction Code Official was unavailable to deliver the 2024 Construction Code Enforcement Division Budget presentation at the February 6th Town Council meeting. The presentation is available using this link

A Guide to our Permit Process

The Township prepared this booklet, "Working with our Planning and Zoning Boards - A Guide to our Permit Process" to guide individuals and commercial entities through the process of applying for permits and preparing for hearings with our Planning and/or Zoning Boards. Please take some time to review this booklet as it provides some valuable information.

Local Contractor License

All contractors working on commercial projects in Lawrence Township are required to obtain a Lawrence Township Contractor's License on an annual basis. The Contractor's License Application can be filled out online then printed for submission. All State Licensed Contractors are exempt.  All contractors working on residential projects in Lawrence Township must be registered in State of New Jersey.

Current Codes in NJ

Current codes are available at New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards.

Permit Requirements

Ordinary Maintenance - Exterior and interior painting. Installation, repair, or replacement of interior finishes of less than 25 percent of the wall area in a one or two-family dwelling. This shall include plastering and drywall installation. The replacement of any window or door, including garage doors, in the same opening without altering the dimensions or framing of the original opening. This shall include storm windows and storm doors. The repair, replacement, or installation of any interior or exterior trim, decoration, or moldings. The repair, replacement, or installation of any flooring material with new material. The repair or replacement of existing roof covering on detached one or two-family dwellings. The repair or replacement of existing siding on one or two-family dwellings.  The repair, replacement, or installation of screens. Replacement of hose bib valves. Repair of leaks involving the replacement of piping; replacement of faucets or working parts of faucets. Replacement of valves (including shower or combination bath/shower valves). Replacement of traps. Replacement of fixtures with a similar fixture provided that no change in the piping arrangement is made. Replacement of domestic clothes washers and domestic dishwashers. The replacement of any receptacle, switch, or lighting fixture. Repairs to any installed electrically operated equipment such as doorbells, communication systems. Installation of communications wiring.  Replacement of domestic dishwashers. The installation of a burglar alarm, security system, or doorbell. The installation of battery-powered smoke alarms; The installation of battery-powered or plug-in type carbon monoxide alarms. Ordinary heating, ventilation, and air conditioning maintenance shall include: Replacement of motors; Pumps and fans of the same capacity; Repair and replacement of ductwork; Repair of air conditioning equipment and systems; Repair or replacement of control devices for heating and air conditioning equipment; Replacement of domestic stoves and domestic ovens in dwelling units, provided no change in fuel type, pipe size, or location or electrical characteristics is required; The replacement of bathroom exhaust fans.

Emergency Work - For any emergency work to be done in an unsafe area, roof leak, heater repair, etc., applicant must file for a permit within 72 hours.

Minor Work - Is all projects except ordinary maintenance, permits required.

Regular Permits - Construction of new buildings, additions, decks, pools, fences, storage sheds, etc. - permit required.

Plans Required

Residential - Drawings can be done by the homeowner in an owner-occupied one or two-family dwelling to the satisfaction of the Code Official. Two (2) sets of plans are required.

Commercial - Drawings to be completed by a N.J. Licensed Architect or Engineer. Two (2) sets of plans are required.

For occupancies with health or historical requirements, Three (3) sets of plans are required.

Permit Fees

By Lawrence Township Ordinance No. 2014-09, construction permit fees have been set and are effective May 05, 2009. Click for fee details.

Permit Inquiries Only

We are now online! Using the link below, you may search through our permit database by business name, owner name, location, and/or contractor. Click the link below to create an account before making your inquiry.

Common Construction Projects

In our ongoing effort to enhance value of service to our township residents, last April, we launched this new section on the website. Here, we have provided information and guidance for your use to complete your construction projects in a timely and less stressful manner. We have built this section in phases. So far we have provided information for Deck/Patio, Shed, Basement, Pools, Spas & Hot Tubs projects. Now, with the addition of Common Replacement Projects, this section is nearly complete.

General Warning:

As of January 01, 2006, New Jersey Laws require that you use only contractors with valid NJ State Registration for all your construction and home improvement projects. 

You can verify registration for a specific contractor here or by calling NJ Division of Consumer Affairs (973-504-6200 or 800-242-5846)

For the successful completion of your project, in addition to general guidance and information in this section, the Construction Department reserves the right to ask for any specific information or clarification unique to your project.