Stop Work!

Stop Work orders disrupt commerce in Hoboken NJ

For as long as anyone can remember, the phrase “I need to get a permit before I start…” has been deeply impregnated into the minds of property owners all over the world. And if you apparently don’t follow the “rules” put in place by various government entities – you’ll receive a nice Stop Work order embarrassingly plastered on your home or business for everyone to see. This happened to Hoboken Wine House last week.

Hoboken Wine House Stop Work or face arrest

Do we even need a construction code office?

“Construction Code.”

Of course there are common sense rules to abide by when building a structure for people to use. It should be safe and sound. Should not be a fire hazard. And it shouldn’t threaten the integrity of neighboring structures.

Any property owner would be stupid NOT to build it right the first time, because it would avoid future hassle, costs and even devastating liability.

  • Has any kind of construction code office ever saved any lives? I haven’t heard of any instances.
  • And has construction code “enforcement” eliminated all accidents or mishaps? Not by a longshot.

So why do we have an “official” third-party entity to “enforce” said codes, when there are already built-in consequences for cutting corners?

As a revenue stream for the “corporation” known as the city of Hoboken.

There are thousands of pages of rules and regulations. Door widths. Specs. Emergency signs. What kind of screws to use. And they all have a fee associated with them in some shape or form (from permits to violations). What a waste!

If anything – if you feel this “enforcement” of common sense is still necessary (because buildings would be burning down left and right otherwise), perhaps we can cut the middle man out (the city) and leave this task up to insurance companies. If they feel that there is some kind of liability due to shoddy work – they can refuse to insure said businesses until the (potential) problem is rectified. But then again, insurance companies are an entirely different racket in and of themselves…

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I must disagree.

Almost 20 years ago now, there was a fire at First Garden Kitchen, the best Chinese in town. They began renovations themselves without proper permits.

I heard the building collapse from over a block away. Thankfully no one was hurt as the apartments above were vacant due to the fire, but the people in the next two buildings had to be evacuated and lost their homes and 3 buildings wound up being demolished (as the first, brought down the second that weakened the third).


The construction code protects workers, residents and neighbors. Stop Work Orders prevent contractors from working without permits and disrupting the rest of the neighborhood. Example, they prevent businesses from performing construction outside of permitted hours.

Suppose someone dies because of construction violations…would that be no big deal?