On December 16, 2019, Senate Bill 3252, entitled the “New Townhouse Fire Safety Act,” passed the Assembly. The bill, sponsored by District 14 Senator Linda R. Greenstein, will require automatic fire suppression systems to be installed in new single family townhouses built in New Jersey. The bill directs the Commissioner of Community Affairs to modify the building subcode to require the installation of fire suppression systems in all new townhouses. The bill defines “new townhouse” as a single family dwelling unit constructed in a group of three or more units with open space on at least two sides.
The bill will become effective immediately if signed by the Governor. The bill, however, was amended on the floor to except developments that submit a site plan or subdivision application within 2 years after the enactment of the bill. For purposes of the bill, a site plan or subdivision application includes, but is not limited to, preliminary or final municipal planning or zoning board approval, a developer’s agreement, a redevelopment agreement, a payment of lieu of tax agreement, an affordable housing settlement agreement or a building permit.
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