Fire and building safety issues.

Authors: Representative Heath VanNatter

Co-authors: Representative Mark Messmer, Representative Justin Moed, Representative Philip GiaQuinta

Sponsors: Senator Carlin Yoder, Senator James Arnold


Repeals the statute requiring the division of fire and building safety (division) to employ a state building law compliance officer. Creates the office of state building commissioner, who is appointed by the governor to serve: (1) at the pleasure of the governor; and (2) full time. Provides that the state building commissioner has the duties and responsibilities of the state building law compliance officer. Requires the state building commissioner to issue a written interpretation of a building law or fire safety law not later than 10 business days after the date of receiving a request. Provides that a design release may be issued without a plan review if: (1) the application for a design release is complete; and (2) the application for a design release is not selected for a plan review by the division. Establishes deadlines for the division to conduct plan reviews and provide notices. Provides that, with certain exceptions, if the division fails to provide notice or complete plan review within the time required by statute, a design release must be issued without further review. Provides that if a plan review reveals one or more state building or fire code violations determined by the division to pose a substantial threat to the public health, safety, or welfare: (1) the division is required to notify: (A) the preparer of the plans; (B) the licensing agency of the preparer for possible disciplinary sanctions; and (C) the project owner or general contractor; and (2) the time limitations for plan review do not apply. Requires the division to maintain a single electronic file regarding each project for which a design release application is filed. Requires the fire prevention and building safety to established objective criteria for certifying the competency of a city, town, or county (unit) to perform plan reviews. Provides that a townhouse is a Class 2 structure (instead of a Class 1 structure) for purposes of the state fire, building, and equipment laws. Provides that a plan review may be limited to the corrections required by the division. Allows for an administrative hearing to be conducted to determine if action is appropriate when the results of a plan review reveal that an engineer or architect knowingly or recklessly submitted plans or specifications that are determined to pose a wanton and willful disregard for the public health, safety, or welfare. Prohibits a political subdivision from adopting an ordinance or other requirement after February 28, 2013, that would require a builder or remodeler to be licensed, certified, permitted, registered, or listed by the political subdivision as a condition to the builder or remodeler constructing or remodeling a residential dwelling. Provides that a political subdivision is not prohibited from licensing, permitting, or registering specific trades or issuing permits and approvals that regulate the use, planning, and development of property. Establishes deadlines for local units to conduct local plan reviews and provide notices. Repeals a noncode provision that prohibits the regulation of builders and remodelers by political subdivisions. (This provision is currently set to expire July 1, 2015.)