PA 07-110—SB 1093

Public Safety and Security Committee

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Planning and Development Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATE BUILDING CODE

SUMMARY: This act makes several unrelated changes in the statutes pertaining to the State Building Code.

It increases the fine for violating a building inspector's written order to provide exit facilities or to repair, alter, or remove part of a building and allows courts to impose both a fine and imprisonment for violations. Under prior law, the penalty was a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment for up to six months. Under the act, the penalty is a fine of $200 to $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both.

The act also:

1. modifies the amount of the education fee that (a) the state may levy on building permit applications and (b) towns may withhold for the administrative costs of collecting such fees;

2. establishes a waiver and appeal process for boiler design, construction, installation, repair, use, and operation consistent with waivers for other building code activities;

3. eliminates a provision allowing the mayor, borough warden, or first selectman to serve as a building inspector in a 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) International, an organization that publishes national model building and related codes, with the International Code Council, which has replaced BOCA.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2008 for the fee provisions; October 1, 2007 for the other provisions.

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 providing education and training programs for code officials and other eligible people. Currently, the fee is 16 cents per $1,000 of construction value declared on the permit application. Prior law allowed the officials to increase the fee by up to 4% in any year to reflect actual changes in the cost of the programs. The act 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 Department of Public Safety regulations. Under prior law, this amount could not be less than 1% nor more than 3% of the fee. The act instead sets the amount at one to three cents per $1,000 of the value of the construction declared on the building permit application.

BOILER WAIVER

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

An aggrieved party may appeal the official's decision to the public safety commissioner not later than 30 days after receiving it and may appeal the commissioner or designee's decision to the Superior Court.

OLR Tracking: VR: RC: PF: RO