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Update on the Florida Building Code Hearing

The House Commerce Committee hearing on the Building Code met and no bill was considered.

It was noted that Florida has the strongest Building Code of any state.  After an overview of the Code by Colton Madil, Legislative Affairs Director, DBPR, there was a panel discussion. Most of the panelists were folks who work on one side or the other in the arena. One panelist from NAIOP, but most represented builders and cities.  Much of the comments were complaints about:

1. A shortage of trained inspectors
2. Often delays in getting inspectors to job sites
3. Changes in decisions - inconsistency; lack of clarity
4. Process to appeal code decisions
5. Building Code interpretation Committee
6. Code changes need to be announced more quickly
7. Some decisions arbitrary and frequent changes
8. Lack of a fire plan review
9. Need for permit expeditors
10. Lack of uniformity in interpretations
11. Private "providers" vs. municipal employees
12. Municipal impositions, i.e. energy "star"
13. Costs of impact fees can impact cost of low income residential homes
14. Finality of Commission Decisions
15. Informal interpretations
16. Building Code appeal process
17. Insurance implications

The above were just some of the topics discussed.  No one seemed to object to the Building Code, mostly it was complaints about delays, lack of promptness, inconsistencies, and shortage of qualified inspectors.  All agreed because of hurricanes, Florida needs to preserve a strong Building Code.

No mention of changing membership of Building Commission.

The hearing can be viewed on the Florida Channel for those who want to watch the 2 hour hearing. (thefloridachannel.org).

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