Green River Star -

By Olivia Kennah
Staff Writer 

Building code revisions pass first reading


New building codes for Green River passed their first reading July 5 during a Green River City Council meeting.

The codes in consideration are mandated by the State of Wyoming. Wyoming State Statute says towns with local jurisdiction must adopt the same codes the state adopts. Councilman Gary Killpack asked why the state is making Green River adopt these codes. Community Development Director Laura Profaizer and Senior Building Inspector David Allred explained that if the city does not adopt the codes, Green River will lose home rule.

Anyone who wants to build has to get inspections prior to building. Right now, the city has authority over electrical inspections, but if home rule is lost, the city will no longer be able to do inspections, but the state would have to do them. The state needs 30 days notice prior to the inspection whereas the city can work on 24 hours notice.

“We can be on the job immediately,” Allred said.

However, the state does fire inspections regardless of home rule.

The codes needing adoption include the 2015 International Building Code, 2015 International Existing Building Code, 2015 International Mechanical Code, 2015 International Fuel Gas Code, 2015 International Fire Code and the 2014 National Electrical Code.

Also included in the ordinance are updates to the 2015 International Residential Code, 2015 International Plumbing Code and the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code.

Though the codes are mandated by the State, they can be adjusted to fit Green River’s needs.

“We’re making changes to the international residential code. We can adjust that to the city,” Allred said.

One of the ways the codes were changed was in reference to the requirement of fire sprinkler systems being installed in residential dwellings.

“The new codes require residential sprinkler systems, but we don’t feel that’s appropriate for Green River,” Profaizer said.

Community Development made a change to this amendment so it now says an automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall not be installed in detached one and two family dwellings and townhouses that are built in agreement with the International Residential Code and have a floor area of less than 5,000 square feet. Profaizer said even the new houses being built do not exceed 5,000 square feet.

An anonymous letter was sent to community development and the council by a resident expressing concerns about the sprinkler systems and the difficulty in renovating existing buildings. This letter prompted Councilman Brett Stokes to suggest tabling this consideration on a first reading. He also wanted to know who wrote the letter so they could discuss the concerns further.

However, the codes were supposed to be adopted by July 1, but the state gave the city an extension to adopt the codes by Aug. 30. The ordinance needs three readings, so tabling it would cause issues with meeting the deadline. Mayor Pete Rust urged the council to approve the consideration in order to fit the three readings in and also have time to amend the ordinance.

“Tonight just allows further discussion later,” Mayor Rust said. “We need input from the public.”

The council voted to approve the consideration on a first reading.


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