Restrictions on Issuance of Building Permits
The House Professional Registration and Licensing Committee held a hearing on HB 2451 (Rep. Cross) on Wednesday, March 28. HB 2451 requires municipalities to review, inspect and either approve or deny an application for a residential building permit within five days of submission. Building permits are deemed approved if not acted upon within the mandated five-day time period. Occupancy permits must be acted upon one day after submission of an application.
HB 2451 also allows an applicant for building and occupancy permits to hire an engineer or architect to conduct the required inspections of a residential structure. A municipality must accept the finding of the applicant’s engineer or architect.
The Professional Registration and Licensing Committee members were very receptive to the sponsor and his witnesses in support of the bill. In turn, the committee was hostile toward witnesses in opposition to HB 2451.
Contact your representative to inform them that this bill is pending in the Professional Registration and Licensing Committee and urge them to oppose HB 2451 and any similar amendment to other bills.
- Inform your representative about the importance of your municipality’s building inspection program;
- Highlight how your municipality works with builders to streamline and expedite issuance of building permits;
- Diplomatically, tell your representatives of problems your municipality has had with builders and developers;
- Stress the safety elements of residential building and occupancy codes and inspections;
- Not all engineers and architects are familiar with the provisions of residential building codes;
- A third-party inspector works for the builder, not the citizens of the municipality and may be inclined to misinterpret the provisions of the building code;
- Mention that the municipal employee who signs and issues building permits could be held personally liable if a third-party inspector hired by a builder did not correctly or adequately inspect the residential structure. When issuing the permit, the municipal employee is certifying that the structure meets all building code requirements.