1998 Regular Session
To: County Affairs; Municipalities
By: Senator(s) Carter
Senate Bill 2945
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT IN THE ADOPTION OF BUILDING CODES THE COUNTY BOARDS OF SUPERVISORS AND THE GOVERNING AUTHORITIES OF MUNICIPALITIES MAY ONLY ADOPT BUILDING CODES KNOWN AS THE STANDARD OR SOUTHERN BUILDING CODES; TO PRESCRIBE THE MANNER AND PROCEDURE FOR THE ADOPTION OF SUCH CODES; TO AUTHORIZE COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES TO ADOPT AND ENFORCE REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING SUCH CODES; TO REPEAL SECTIONS 19-5-9 AND 21-19-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH AUTHORIZE AND PRESCRIBE THE MANNER AND PROCEDURE BY WHICH COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES MAY ADOPT BUILDING CODES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The governing authorities of all municipalities and counties in the State of Mississippi, when in the course of adopting any building codes for development, shall specify the adoption of the Standard or Southern Building codes as their means of regulating development for the safety and well-being of the citizens of the State of Mississippi. These codes shall reflect the building energy, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, gas and fire codes, referred to as building codes in this act, relating to the construction, livability, sanitation, erection, energy efficiency, installation of equipment, alteration, repair, occupancy or removal of structures located within their jurisdictions. Counties and municipalities may promulgate regulations to implement the enforcement of such codes; however, counties and municipalities may adopt only the national, regional or model codes provided for in Section 2 of this act.
With the exception of structures used primarily for offices, storage, warehouses or shop areas, nothing in the building codes or regulations applies to electric cooperatives, the Public Service Commission, or to a public utility corporation subject to regulation by the authorities of the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
To the extent that federal regulations preempt state and local laws, nothing in this act shall conflict with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations regarding manufactured housing construction and installation.
SECTION 2. (1) Municipalities and counties shall adopt by reference only those provisions of the latest editions of the following nationally known codes and the standards referenced in the codes for regulation of construction which directly relate to building and safety standards within their respective jurisdictions: Standard Building Code, Standard Gas Code, Standard Plumbing Code, Standard Mechanical Code, the Standard Fire Prevention Code, as published by the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., the Model Energy Code, as published by the Council of American Building Officials, and the National Electrical Code, as published by the National Fire Protection Association. The appendixes of the codes provided in this section may be adopted as needed by a municipality or county, but this fact must be referenced by name or letter designation in the adoption ordinance.
(2) The governing body of a county may enforce that portion of a nationally recognized fire prevention code it has adopted which may regulate outdoor burning for forestry, wildlife and agricultural purposes as regulated by the Mississippi Forestry Commission.
SECTION 3. (1) For purposes of this section, "farm structure" means a structure which is constructed on a farm, other than a residence or a structure attached to it, for use on the farm including, but not limited to, barns, sheds and poultry houses, but not public livestock areas. For purposes of this section, "farm structure" does not include a structure originally qualifying as a "farm structure" but later converted to another use.
(2) The governing body of a county or municipality may not enforce that portion of a nationally recognized building code it has adopted which regulates the construction or improvement of a farm structure. The standards published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the National Flood Insurance Program shall apply.
(3) The provisions of this section do not apply unless before constructing a farm structure the person owning the property on which the structure is to be constructed files an affidavit with the county or municipal official responsible for enforcing the building code stating that the structure is being constructed as a farm structure. The affidavit must include a statement of purpose or intended use of the proposed structure or addition.
(4) This section does not affect the authority of the governing body of a county or municipality to issue building permits before the construction or improvement of a farm structure.
SECTION 4. A person found to be in violation of the building codes or regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this act must be fined, by civil fine, in an amount not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00). Each day the violation continues is a separate offense. However, this provision does not prevent a county or municipality from exercising its authority to impose by ordinance criminal sanctions of a fine of not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) or imprisonment for not more than thirty (30) days in lieu of the civil penalties required by this provision.
Before being charged with a second violation, an individual must be given seven (7) calendar days to remedy the violation if in the opinion of the inspector or official it does not place the public in imminent danger or create an emergency situation. Each day a violation continues is a separate offense if the inspector or official determines the situation places the public in imminent danger or creates an emergency situation. In a situation which does not place the public in imminent danger or create an emergency situation, if in the opinion of the inspector or official no substantial progress is made toward correcting the violation by the end of the seventh calendar day, each day the violation continues thereafter is considered a separate offense.
SECTION 5. For a violation of the building codes or regulations adopted pursuant to this act, the local building officials, municipal or county attorneys, or other appropriate authorities of a political subdivision, or an adjacent or neighboring property owner who would be damaged by the violation, in addition to other remedies, may apply for injunctive relief, mandamus, or other appropriate proceeding.
SECTION 6. The provisions of this act are cumulative to other local ordinances and do not limit the authority of counties or municipalities.
SECTION 7. (1) A county, municipal or other local ordinance or regulation which requires the purchase or acquisition of a permit, license, or other device utilized to enforce any building standard does not apply to a:
(a) State department, institution or agency permanent improvement project, construction project, renovation project or property; or
(b) School district facility, permanent improvement project, construction project, renovation project or property which is reviewed and approved by the State Department of Education; except in that the State Department of Education or a local school district may direct that the local ordinance or regulation apply to a particular facility, project or property.
(2) After successful completion of all requirements, the State Fire Marshal shall certify personnel. The certified personnel and State Fire Marshal have exclusive jurisdiction over state buildings, including schools, in the exercise of the powers and jurisdictional authority of the State Fire Marshal.
SECTION 8. Nothing in this act affects water or sewer systems in this state.
SECTION 9. Buildings must be inspected according to the codes in effect for the locality on the date of the issuance of the building permit.
SECTION 10. Sections 19-5-9 and 21-19-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, which authorize and prescribe the manner and procedure by which counties and municipalities may adopt building codes, are repealed.
SECTION 11. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998, but shall not affect the validity or enforcement of building codes in effect on July 1, 1998.