Building Department

The Building Department includes administration and enforcement of zoning, building and other codes as well as the maintenance of Borough Hall. Within the Building Department, the Tenafly Construction Agency enforces the New Jersey State Uniform Construction Code (UCC).

Land Development & Construction

Land development and construction in Tenafly are regulated by various state, county and local laws (codes), chief among these are the State of New Jersey UCC and the Borough of Tenafly Revised General Ordinances (the Borough Code). Relative to land use and construction, the Borough Code regulates;

  • Historic preservation
  • Property maintenance
  • Soil movement
  • Stormwater control
  • Tree removals
  • Various aspects of construction operations, including noise, pollution and when work may be performed
  • Zoning


Based on the intended use, the UCC regulates how structures must be constructed to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the public. It provides the means for state-licensed code officials to review plans, issue permits and inspect construction to ensure that minimum code standards are met and appropriate building materials are used, thereby reducing potential hazards due to unsafe construction.


The type, location, and extent of the work to be performed for any given project will determine what type(s) of permit(s) will be required to perform the intended work, including any or all of the following: 

  • Sign permit
  • Soil movement permit
  • Tree removal permit
  • UCC demolition and/or construction permits
  • Zoning permit

Certain projects and types of work may also require the prior approval of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment or Historic Preservation Commission before any permit applications can be made.

Potential Projects / Work

If you are contemplating doing any of the following work, please call or visit the Building Department at Borough Hall:

  • Above or below ground pools
  • Ancillary residential and commercial construction such as tennis courts, decks, patios, walks, driveways, etc.
  • Boiler or furnace work
  • Demolitions
  • Door or window replacement when changing the size or type
  • Electrical or plumbing work
  • Fences
  • HVAC or air conditioning work
  • New building/additions/renovations
  • Oil tank removal
  • Sheds
  • Signs

Zoning Permit

If you are a business owner that intends to occupy an existing building or tenant space, regardless of whether construction work will be performed, a Zoning Permit is required for all new tenancies before occupying the building or tenant space. Planning Board approval may also be required. Please inquire with the Building Department and/or Planning Board office.

Questions / Concerns

There is certain construction work that you may be allowed to do without first obtaining permits such as installing floor (not wall) tiles, painting, replacing the same size windows and doors, but if you are in doubt, a call to the Building Department is recommended.

Permits must be obtained before that start of work except for that emergency replacement of furnaces, boilers and water heaters will be allowed as long as the Building Department is notified of the replacement at the time of installation and permits are obtained within five days thereafter.

Contact Information

Contact any of the Building Department’s full-time staff via email. Once your message has been received, the person you have contacted will respond, in most instances, within one business day.