OLR Bill Analysis

SB 1093 (File 614, as amended by Senate “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE BUILDING CODE.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes several unrelated changes in the statutes pertaining to the state building code.

It increases the penalty for violating a building inspector's written order. Under current law, the penalty is a fine up to $ 500 or imprisonment for up to six months. Under the bill, the fine is $ 200 to $ 1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both.

The bill also:

1. modifies the amount of the education fee that the state may levy on building permit applications and that towns may withhold for their administrative costs;

2. establishes a waiver and appeal process for boiler use and operation consistent with waiver provisions for other building code activities;

3. eliminates a provision allowing the mayor, borough warden, or first selectman to serve as a building inspector in any jurisdiction that does not have a building inspector and makes conforming changes; and

4. makes a technical change, replacing references to the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) with the International Code Council, which replaced BOCA.

*Senate Amendment “A” clarifies that the amount of the building code education fee withheld by towns for administrative costs must be based on the value declared in the building permit application.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007, except for the fee provisions, which take effect July 1, 2008.

BUILDING CODE EDUCATION FEES

By law, the state building inspector and local building officials must levy an education fee on state and local building permit applications for code training and educational purposes. Currently, the fee is 16 cents per $ 1,000 of construction value declared on the permit application. Thus, the fee on a $ 100,000 project is $ 160. Under current law, the officials may increase the fee by up to 4% in any year (i. e. , by 0. 64 cents per $ 1,000) to reflect actual changes in the cost of the training education programs. The bill instead allows the fee to be adjusted by up to four cents per year. Its apparent intent is to allow an adjustment of up to four cents per $ 1,000 of construction value.

By law, local officials may retain part of the education fee for their administrative costs, in accordance with DPS regulations. Under current law, this amount cannot be less than 1% or more than 3% of the fee (between $ 1. 60 and $ 4. 80 for a $ 100,000 project). The bill instead sets the amount retained at one to three cents per $ 1,000 of the value of the construction declared in the building permit application.

BOILER WAIVER

The bill allows people to apply to the state building inspector to grant variations or exemptions from, or approve equivalent or alternate compliance with regulatory boiler standards. The state building inspector or a designee may approve such applications where strict compliance would cause practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship.

Anyone aggrieved by the official's decision may appeal to the public safety commissioner not later than 30 days after receiving the decision. If aggrieved by the commissioner's or designee's decision, the person may appeal to Superior Court.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Safety and Security Committee

Joint Favorable Change of Reference

Yea

21

Nay

0

(02/27/2007)

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

53

Nay

0

(04/17/2007)

Planning and Development Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

16

Nay

0

(05/14/2007)