Maricopa County Supervisor Denny Barney: Statement regarding the Vote on 2012 ICC Codes

For the record, Gilbert Watch supported Supervisor Barney's vote and appreciates this letter.  It is very disappointing that so many other elected officials care so little about the free market and are quick to mandate 955 new regulations to destroy it.  

Dear constituent,

Knowing your concern over the adoption of the 2012 series of building codes, I wanted to let you know of some recent developments.

Yesterday, August 7, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the full ICC Series of codes, but made the International Green Construction and the International Energy Conservation Codes voluntary.  Although I supported the move to make the Green and Energy Conservation Codes voluntary, I voted against final adoption of the codes for many of the same reasons that you cited in your prior messages.

I want to make it clear that I do not oppose building codes.  It is important to provide minimum construction and material standards to protect public health and safety.  However, I do not believe it is necessary to change codes every three years, or to compel consumers to accept lifestyle or efficiency mandates against their will. 

Within each new set of building codes are numerous requirements that have nothing whatsoever to do with life or safety issues.  These requirements add thousands of dollars to the price of homes or commercial structures and add a new layer of complexity and government red tape.  Rather than providing consistency in building standards across a region, the frequency of ICC Code updates often simply increases the already inconsistent application of code-based requirements that exist today.  Further, the rapid cycling of new building codes leads to unintended consequences which, ironically, must be addressed through the adoption of subsequent codes.

In my opinion, both the consumer and the building industry would have been better served by sticking with the existing codes a bit longer.  Any life safety or other deficiency in those codes could have easily been addressed through a simple amendment or addendum.  Such an approach would have provided the needed protection for the public, without the unnecessary expense of an entirely new set of codes.

I hope this information is of use to you, and that you will continue to contact me on matters of importance to you and our community.

Sincerely,

Denny Barney
Maricopa County Supervisor, District 1