Monday, August 11, 2014

Building Code Changes and Enforcement Requirements

The Louisville Board of Aldermen recently made some changes in building code requirements inside the City. After discussion,input and some concerns expressed by property owners, the Board revised the 2012 International Building Codes back to the 2006 International Codes. This action removes the fire sprinkler requirement on all new construction. Fire sprinklers are still required for homes over 5000 ft. Also changed were the arc fault circuit interrupter requirements which are now only required in sleeping areas of the home.

The 2006 Code did also add some additional requirements, including a fire extinguisher to be within 10 feet of a fireplace and in the kitchen and added the requirement of a carbon monoxide detector along with smoke detectors if you have gas appliances in your home. These codes are for new construction only.

Richard Barrett, the city’s inspector wants to inform the public that permits are issued from 8 to 11 in the mornings and inspections are completed from 1 PM til 3:30 PM in the afternoons – Monday through Friday. He also advised builders to call a day ahead before pouring new concrete slabs or footers to allow for early morning inspections. This includes roof felting as well.

Barrett indicated that as of Monday, August 11, 109 permits have been issued of which approximately ¼ of those are for actual new constructions.

Jodi Fulton, the City’s Code Enforcement Officer reminds the public that there are some issues with debris removal , dilapidated properties and non-operable vehicles that the city will begin to address as early as September 1. Said Fulton, “Code enforcement will begin to issue fines for debris on the side of the road and will begin sending warning letters out on dilapidated properties and non-operable vehicles.”

Owners will have 10 days to remove a non-operable vehicle and will have 30 days to correct code violations on dilapidated properties or have them removed. Those properties that do not meet these requirements will be subject to a public hearing after which the city will do the cleanup and assess costs and much as a $1500 fine to the property owner.

This is an attempt by the City to give the public a” heads up” on the situation and move the recovery process forward after the April 28 tornado. At this point, FEMA reimbursed debris removal has ended and cost of removal is the responsibility of the property owner. As the city is no longer reimbursed by FEMA for debris removal, it can no longer incur costs associated with removing debris from the right-of-way. Fulton indicated that if you are not living in a property and that property has no utilities you cannot put anything on the right-of-way. There is no cart pickup without utilities.

Property owners and contractors with questions are encouraged to come by Louisville City Hall for more information.