There is a meeting of the Town Council on July 30 in which the issue of the 2012 International Code Council (ICC) building code adoption will be discussed. This is a public meeting. You are strongly encouraged to attend. It will be held in the Council Chambers of the Gilbert Municipal Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive, beginning at 4:00 pm. The agenda should be published in the next few days.
The Gilbert Town Council will soon be making a decision about what, if any, International Codes they will adopt. The last time they adopted a set of codes from the ICC was in 2006. Normally, the ICC issues a new set of code updates every 3 years. However, because of the recession of 2009, the builders in Arizona lobbied the state legislature to pass a law (A.R.S. 9-805) that did not allow municipalities to adopt any newer building code.
Without that law, Gilbert likely would have passed it, forcing many builders, contractors, and future home buyers out of Gilbert.
That didn’t stop the ICC from dreaming up about 940 code “updates,” which appear in a stack of several code books in their 2012 version.
The question is not: “Are these codes sound”? The question is: “Should they be made law”?
Codes, when “adopted” by a town or city council become law. They aren’t optional. They affect everyone who must abide by them. This includes the builders, architects, draftsmen, plumbers, electricians….all kinds of tradesmen. They also affect the end consumer. Code updates increase the cost of a new home or building.
The myriad of codes that have been imposed on Gilbert citizens affect and create work for every Town employee who is involved with interpreting and enforcing every code, from initial plan design and approval, building inspections, compliance, fire safety. The adoption of new codes will add hundreds of new regulations. Many builders will profit by the additional work and pass the cost on to citizens. The citizens will eventually bear the cost of all the expensive fees, inspections, and hours it takes to design, review, and inspect. This will cost families millions of additional dollars very quickly.
The Hidden Cost to All Gilbert Homeowners in your Homeowners Insurance Policy
The ICC has been in existence since 2000. About 5 years ago, an additional coverage started showing up on homeowner policies. It’s listed as “Ordinance.” This is the cost to “bring a home up to code” in the event of a loss. It’s usually 10% of the dwelling replacement. Thus, if the dwelling is covered for $245,000. Ordinance is an additional $24,500.
The ICC has a captive consumer all across the U.S.A. Cha-Ching!
Since the “experts” within the ICC have figured out how to plug themselves in to the raw force of legislation—codes have proliferated. Check the wording of this statement on the ICC’s Federal, State, and Local Activities page.
“The Government Relations Plan is the advocacy program affecting the interests of ICC and its members in relation to Federal, State and Local governments and private sector organizations.”
The ICC has a pecuniary interest in seeing their members’ new products being forced on a captive consumer. With a Council majority vote, one perfectly good product vanishes from the shelves at Home Depot. A new, usually much more expensive product, takes its place. The difference between the two products is miniscule. Imagine if Toyota could force you to buy a new car whenever the new “model” comes on the market.
See the Code Proliferation chart below. These are only the International Residential Codes!
The ICC likes to stress “building safety” as the reason for these codes. See President Declares May 2013 as Building Safety Month. Most codes have nothing to do with safety. In cases where they do, the new product merely gilds the lily or in some cases is counter-productive.
The Vacuum Breaker Required For No Apparent Reason: "It’s code."
Here is just one example of many irrelevant codes that are on the books. Like many others, it has never been removed by the ICC, or anybody else, even when tradesmen have repeatedly advised Town employees that it is absolutely not necessary. The bureaucrats in the Town keep requiring it, saying “it’s code.” No one in the Town bureacracy appears to have the ability to remove it. It is required in Gilbert, even though there has never been an instance in which water in a residential home was sucked out of the home through the water meter, due to the lack of a vacuum breaker.
See the email below from the Customer Service Department.
From: Leslie Nieves [mailto:Leslie.Nieves@gilbertaz.gov]
Sent: Monday, July 15, 2013 3:01 PM
Subject: RE: Utility Comment Form
Thank you for your inquiry. The Meter Services Department is not aware of this ever occurring. Due to the constant water pressure in the line, it is not feasible for the water to flow back from the house into the meter.
Please feel free to contact me if you need additional clarification.
Customer Service Manager
Town of Gilbert customer service hours are 7am – 6pm Monday through Thursday.
For more ludicrous examples and to find out The Solution, go to http://www.nonewcodes.com/.