Operating a Business in Town
The borough is run by codes known as ordinances. The Borough’s ordinances are split into four sections; Administrative Legislation, General Legislation, Land Use Legislation and Board of Health Legislation. The Administration Legislation ordinances address the day-to-day operation of the Borough’s Government. General Legislation deals with the rules and regulations affecting residents and businesses in the community. Some examples include alarm systems, fees and licenses, garbage, peddling and soliciting, property maintenance, and vehicles. Land Use Legislation ordinances are used to maintain property and land in the borough. Some examples of Land Use Legislation ordinances are affordable housing, soil removal, and storm water control. The Board of Health ordinances look to maintain public health awareness and environmental conditions.
All new businesses should check the list of ordinances on the borough’s website.
One of the most important things to consider is fire prevention and safety. Businesses are required to fill out an application for registration of the business with the fire department. All businesses are required to maintain certain standards and are subject to inspection at least annually. The building’s fire codes need to conform to the New Jersey State Fire Code and are reviewed by a building and fire inspector. The business gets a certificate from the fire department documenting continued conformance to the fire codes.
All business will have some requirement for fire extinguishers. Some businesses will have to pay the borough or the state annually if there are life hazards such as ovens or gasoline pumps. The rules will vary depending on the nature of the business and the equipment it uses.
Top Ten Violations
- Exit lights out
- Emergency lights out
- Fire extinguishers missing/not tested
- Alarm system, smoke detectors not tested
- Ceiling tiles damaged or missing
- Extension cords
- Egress 44” and 36”
- Utilities not labeled
- No records on premises
Probably the best practice for safety is to ask the fire department for advice. Some of the more practical and important tips follow:
- Get a lock box in case of an emergency.
- Put up holiday displays properly and according to their enclosed instructions.
Contact: Fire Inspector. Drew Vignali 908-665-8248
The Borough Police department has the duty to protect life and property; preserve the public peace; prevent and detect crime; detect and arrest offenders; enforce the laws, including the statutes of the United States and the state and all ordinances of the Borough; regulate and control traffic; and perform such other duties or functions as may be considered proper.
On a day-to-day basis the police deal with numerous issues. For a new business they offer the following tips and suggestions:
- If you need a dumpster on public land, file for a dumpster permit. Call 665-1400. The police department approves or disapproves the permit.
- If building a new structure, contact the police for input on the design of a parking lot to ensure that it can accommodate the size of ambulances and fire trucks.
- Register for alarms and update contact numbers.
Contact: Police Department: Chief Anthony D. Buccelli, Jr. 908-665-1111
Emergency Communications Network (Code Red System)
The code red system is a reverse 911 system. The system has been in operation for several years. The police record messages which are sent to all of the phone numbers that are registered in the database. The police send messages in case of gas leaks, missing children or other incidents. To sign up for the code red system you go to the borough website and click Subscribe on the top of the homepage, then select Code Red and complete the registration form. Code Red alerts are also posted on the borough’s television stations, FIOS Channel 37 and Comcast channel 35.
Contact: Police Department: Deputy Chief Scott Torre 908-665-1111
Board of Health
The New Providence Board of Health is responsible for assessing the state of public health in the community, developing policies to address public health needs and assuring that these needs are met. To fulfill these responsibilities, the board is bound by State mandates that are part of the Sanitary Standards Code adopted by the Board. The Board is focused on the health and the welfare of the citizens. Some of the businesses under the jurisdiction of the Board of Health are dry cleaners, laundromats, pet shops, beauty salons, and any business that serves food, such as restaurants or businesses that have a cafeteria. New businesses need to talk to the health inspector. When a business submits a site plan, the board of health reviews the plan to see if it conforms to sanitary code standards. The health inspector has a non published schedule and they inspect businesses twice a year.
Contact: Board of Health Secretary Linda Fitzpatrick 908-665-1400
Businesses must take care of their own recycling and garbage pickup. The pickup schedule depends on the type of business. According to borough ordinances, commercial enterprises should recycle clean corrugated paper products, office paper, newspaper, mixed paper, glass containers, aluminum and steel cans, PET and HDPE bottles, vehicle batteries, used motor oil, and uncontaminated roofing material. Facilities serving 500 or more meals per day have additional requirements.
Contact: Public Works Manager Jim Johnson 908-665-1076
All business signs must conform to zoning codes. These are enforced by the construction board but the applications go through the planning board. The sign ordinance addresses the size, location and sign information.
Contact: Planning Board Secretary Nancy Pasquale 908-665-1400