Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5486

Public Act No. 04-150

AN ACT CONCERNING BUILDING OFFICIALS AND INSPECTORS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of section 29-262 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(a) The State Building Inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee acting jointly, with the approval of the Commissioner of Public Safety, shall require passage of a written examination and successful completion of a suitable educational program of training as proof of qualification pursuant to section 29-261, as amended, to be eligible to be a building official. No person shall act as a building official for any municipality until the State Building Inspector, upon a determination of qualification, issues a license to such person except that a license shall not be required (1) in the case of a person certified prior to January 1, 1984, or (2) in the case of a provisional appointment, for a period not to exceed ninety days in order to complete such training program and licensure classes, made in accordance with standards established in regulations adopted by the State Building Inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. The State Building Inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee, with the approval of the Commissioner of Public Safety, shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to (A) establish classes of licensure that will recognize the varying complexities of code enforcement in the municipalities within the state, and (B) require continuing educational programs for each such class that shall include basic requirements for each such program and a system of control and reporting. Any licensed or certified building official or inspector who wishes to retire his or her license or certificate may apply to the office of the State Building Inspector to have such license or certificate retired and be issued a certificate of emeritus. Such retired official or inspector may no longer hold himself or herself out as a licensed or certified official or inspector.

(b) The State Building Inspector shall prepare and conduct or approve continuing educational programs designed to train and assist building officials in carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their office. Such educational programs shall be in addition to the program specified under subsection (a) of this section and shall consist of not less than ninety hours of training over consecutive three-year periods. Each building official shall attend such training programs and present proof of successful completion to the State Building Inspector. The State Building Inspector may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, revoke any license issued under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or any certificate issued prior to January 1, 1984, for failure on the part of [a] any building official to present such proof.

(c) [Each municipality shall be responsible for the full payment of the] The fees for the educational programs of training required in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and the cost of textbooks for such programs shall be paid from the education fee assessed pursuant to section 29-263, as amended by this act. Any person may participate in the educational programs specified under subsection (b) of this section at his own expense where space is available.

Sec. 2. Subsection (b) of section 29-263 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(b) On and after July 1, 1999, the building official shall assess an education fee on each building permit application. During the fiscal year commencing July 1, 1999, the amount of such fee shall be sixteen cents per one thousand dollars of construction value as declared on the building permit application and the building official shall remit such fees quarterly to the Department of Public Safety, for deposit in the General Fund. Upon deposit in the General Fund, the amount of such fees shall be credited to the appropriation to the Department of Public Safety and shall be used for the code training and educational programs established pursuant to section 29-251c, as amended by this act, and the educational programs required in subsections (a) and (b) of section 29-262, as amended by this act. On and after July 1, 2000, the assessment shall be made in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-251c, as amended by this act. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection shall be maintained in a separate account by the local building department. During the fiscal year commencing July 1, 1999, the local building department may retain two per cent of such fees for administrative costs incurred in collecting such fees and maintaining such account. On and after July 1, 2000, the percentage of such fees which may be retained by a local building department shall be determined in accordance with regulations adopted pursuant to subsection (d) of section 29-251c, as amended by this act.

Sec. 3. Subsection (d) of section 29-251c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(d) The Commissioner of Public Safety may apply for any federal or private funds or contributions available for training and education of code officials or other persons eligible to receive training under subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of this section. Not later than July 1, 2000, the Commissioner of Public Safety, with the approval of the Building Code Training Council and the Fire Marshal Training Council, shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to establish an administrative process to adjust as necessary (1) the amount of the education fee to be assessed by the State Building Inspector pursuant to section 29-252a, as amended by this act, and each municipal building official pursuant to section 29-263, as amended by this act, and (2) the percentage of the fees collected which may be retained by each municipal building department for administrative costs. The education fee shall be adjusted downward or upward, as the case may be, when necessary, but not more than annually to reflect the actual cost of the training and educational programs and the continuing educational programs established in subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of this section and the educational programs required in subsections (a) and (b) of section 29-262, as amended by this act, except that no such fee may be increased by more than four per cent in any one year. The percentage of fees which may be retained for administrative costs shall be adjusted downward or upward, as the case may be, when necessary, but not more than annually, to reflect the actual costs incurred in collecting such fees except that no such percentage of fees to be retained for administrative costs may be less than one per cent or greater than three per cent.

Sec. 4. Subsection (e) of section 29-252a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(e) The State Building Inspector or [his] the designee [shall] of the inspector shall inspect or cause to be inspected any construction of buildings or alteration of existing buildings by state agencies. The State Building Inspector may order any state agency to comply with the State Building Code.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 29-266 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(b) When the building official rejects or refuses to approve the mode or manner of construction proposed to be followed or the materials to be used in the erection or alteration of a building or structure, or when it is claimed that the provisions of the code do not apply or that an equally good or more desirable form of construction can be employed in a specific case, or when it is claimed that the true intent and meaning of the code and regulations have been misconstrued or wrongly interpreted, [the permit, in whole or in part, having been refused by the building official,] or when the building official issues a written order under subsection (c) of section 29-261, the owner of such building or structure, whether already erected or to be erected, or his authorized agent may appeal in writing from the decision of the building official to the board of appeals. When a person other than such owner claims to be aggrieved by any decision of the building official, such person or his authorized agent may appeal, in writing, from the decision of the building official to the board of appeals, and before determining the merits of such appeal the board of appeals shall first determine whether such person has a right to appeal. Upon receipt of an appeal from an owner or his representative or approval of an appeal by a person other than the owner, the chairman of the board of appeals shall appoint a panel of not less than three members of such board to hear such appeal. Such appeal shall be heard in the municipality for which the building official serves within five days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, after the date of receipt of such appeal. Such panel shall render a decision upon the appeal and file the same with the building official from whom such appeal has been taken not later than five days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays, following the day of the hearing thereon. A copy of such decision shall be mailed, prior to such filing, to the party taking such appeal. Any person aggrieved by the decision of a panel may appeal to the Codes and Standards Committee within fourteen days after the filing of the decision with the building official. Any determination made by the local panel shall be subject to review de novo by said committee.

Sec. 6. Subsection (c) of section 29-402 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) a person who is engaged in the disassembling, transportation and reconstruction of historic buildings for historical purposes or in the demolition of farm buildings or in the renovation, alteration or reconstruction of a single-family residence, [or] (2) the removal of underground petroleum storage tanks, (3) the burning of a building or structure as part of an organized fire department training exercise, or (4) the demolition of a single-family residence or out building by an owner of such structure if it does not exceed a height of thirty feet, provided the owner shall be present on site while such demolition work is in progress, shall be held personally liable for any injury to individuals or damage to public or private property caused by such demolition, and provided further such demolition shall be permitted only with respect to buildings which have clearance from other structures, roads or highways equal to or greater than the height of the structure subject to demolition. The local building official may require additional clearance when deemed necessary for safety.

Approved May 21, 2004