Here is one way to lose a case if you are ever in front of a review board. I sat on a Board of Appeals last week. The AHJ failed the job because the receptacle was 26" away from the kitchen sink. So when the town started to makes it's case the Construction Code (CO) official stood up and introduced himself. The board asked, "Where is your sub code official?" (AHJ)The CO said that he wasn't there. So the board asked if the job was new or Rehab. We found out that this is a rehab kitchen and in NJ sec. 210.52 does not apply. However the town didn't bring in their expert witness. (AHJ) so we couldn't ask him any questions. Long story short, the town lost. They were unprepared and a perfect example of "How to lose your case!"
Seems to me that justice was done. Failing a rehab job for two inches, does not promote electrical safety. Maybe the plumber is at fault for having the sink two inches too far away from the receptacle.
This is bad for the building department on several levels. First, if they are going to fight this, fight it effectively. The loss sets a bad precedent. The overriding question is how this was allowed to go this far. Couldn't saner heads intervene and achieve a settlement?
A quick side note on this... A situation like this should have been settled long before the BOA. The CO, as 'chief administrator', should have settled this in his office. In the event the CO does not have a electrical technical license (to overrule the Elec SC) purely reading the Rehab (5:23-6) would have ended the situation.
I also think the inspector might have had an ax to grind, and I agree with everyone else that this situation shouldn't have come before the board. The homeowner should have asked the CO for his opinion, the sub code, should have enforced the rules by the right code, and the CO should never come in front of the board without the proper paperwork and proper expert witnesses. This was a botched job right from the get go. This just goes to show how towns, inspectors, and applicants must be prepared before they even show up before any board or judge if they want to win a case.
Per the NJ UCC regs, this is a 'plain english' rendition of how the BOA works:
Inspector must issue a Notice of Violation to contractor, in writing, stating the nature of the code violation with article number(s).
Said notice informs contractor of his/her right to proceed before the Board of Appeals, along with the legal time frame and the cost of the appeal.
THe fee is payable by the contractor/HO (or other person) who is requesting the Appeal. The fee range is $100-$150, depending on the county. 'Lead time' can be 2-3 months, depending on number of appeals; most BOA are in one monthly session.
Sole proprieter contractors, and homeowners may appear 'pro-se' (self represented), but any corp, partnership, LLC, etc must have an attorney.
As to the Board members being $$$ compensated, I can't say for sure, but I think there is no 'salary'; but...tax dollars may pay the utility bills, etc.