2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Chaney, Kirby
AN ACT TO ENACT THE "BUILDING A SAFER AND STRONGER MISSISSIPPI ACT"; TO STATE PUBLIC POLICY FOR BUILDING CODES; TO REQUIRE MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES TO ENFORCE THE BUILDING CODES PROVIDED IN THIS ACT; TO AUTHORIZE AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES TO PROVIDE SERVICES REQUIRED BY THIS ACT; TO REQUIRE THE APPOINTMENT OF A COUNCIL CERTIFIED BUILDING OFFICIAL; TO REQUIRE MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES TO ADOPT AND ENFORCE EMERGENCY WIND AND FLOOD MITIGATION REQUIREMENTS; TO REQUIRE THE MISSISSIPPI BUILDING CODES COUNCIL TO ADOPT CERTAIN NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED CODES AND STANDARDS; TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI BUILDING CODES COUNCIL AND PROVIDE FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP; TO EXEMPT FARM STRUCTURES FROM BUILDING CODE REGULATION; TO PROVIDE INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AND CIVIL PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF BUILDING CODES OR REGULATIONS; TO REPEAL SECTION 19-5-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE ADOPTION OF BUILDING CODES BY COUNTIES; TO REPEAL SECTION 21-19-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES FOR THE ADOPTION OF BUILDING CODES BY MUNICIPALITIES; TO REPEAL SECTIONS 45-11-101 THROUGH 45-11-111, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH AUTHORIZE THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL TO PROMULGATE THE MISSISSIPPI FIRE PREVENTION CODE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the “Building a Safer and Stronger Mississippi Act".
SECTION 2. (1) The public policy of the State of Mississippi is to maintain reasonable standards of construction in buildings and other structures consistent with the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens.
(2) This act is enacted to enable the State of Mississippi to establish a state building code to govern the construction, reconstruction, alteration and repair of buildings and other structures and the installation of mechanical devices and equipment therein, and to require the correction of unsafe conditions in existing buildings. The state building codes shall establish uniform performance standards providing reasonable safeguards for health, safety, welfare, comfort and security of the residents of this state who are occupants and users of buildings, and will provide for the use of modern methods, devices, materials, and techniques.
(3) To clarify the intent of the Legislature and address questions that might arise or have arisen with respect to provisions of the nationally known codes that have been or are in place, only those portions or provisions of the nationally known building and safety codes or emergency requirements that relate to building standards and safety are binding upon a state or local governmental entity or agency that adopts the building and safety codes authorized or required by this chapter.
(4) To further clarify the intent of the Legislature, except as otherwise provided in Section 6 of this act concerning emergency wind and flood mitigation requirements, this act continues to apply to a person who may act under authority of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, except that the allocation of inspection duties among local officials is not dictated by this act but remains a matter for the local authority.
(5) To secure these purposes, the Mississippi Building Codes Council (council) must certify a person performing building codes enforcement (building official, plan review and inspectors), and this act is necessary to provide for certification.
SECTION 3. (1) All municipalities and counties in this state shall enforce building, residential, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire and fuel gas codes, hereafter referred to as state building codes in this act, relating to the construction, livability, sanitation, erection, installation of equipment, alteration, repair, occupancy, classification or removal of structures located within their jurisdictions and promulgate regulations to implement their enforcement. The municipality and county shall enforce only codes and guidelines provided in this act.
(2) To the extent that federal regulations preempt state and local laws, nothing in this chapter conflicts with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations regarding manufactured housing construction.
SECTION 4. Municipalities and counties may establish agreements with other governmental entities of the state to issue permits and enforce state building codes in order to provide the services required by this act. The council may assist in arranging for municipalities, counties or consultants to provide the services required by this act to other municipalities or counties if a written request from the governing body of the municipality is submitted to the council.
SECTION 5. Each county shall appoint a council certified building official or contract with other political subdivisions as authorized in Section 4 of this act so that the unincorporated area of the counties is under the jurisdiction of a council certified building official. Each municipality shall appoint a council certified building official or contract for a council certified building official within the municipal limits. Based on the needs established by each municipality or county, the council certified building official may appoint and employ other council certified personnel and assistants necessary to perform the required inspections and technical duties and may prescribe fees for construction permits and inspections.
SECTION 6. (1) All municipalities and counties shall enforce, on an emergency basis, all the wind and flood mitigation requirements prescribed by:
(a) The 2003 International Residential Code, as modified in Section 8(1)(b) of this act, and the 2003 International Building Code, and as supplemented by,
(b) The Guidelines for Hurricane Resistant Construction as published by the Institute for Business & Home Safety, 2005, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Coastal Construction Guidelines for Flooding.
(2) Emergency wind and flood building requirements adopted in this section shall remain in force until the Mississippi Building Codes Council adopts the latest editions of both the International Building Code and the International Residential Code, as modified by this act, as minimum mandatory statewide codes.
(3) Except as otherwise provided herein, the emergency wind and flood mitigation requirements adopted by this section shall be enforced pursuant to Section 3 of this act. If municipalities and counties are unable to enforce the emergency wind and flood mitigation requirements prescribed in this section within thirty (30) days of enactment of this act, the Mississippi State Fire Marshal’s Office shall enforce them as long as they remain in effect.
SECTION 7. (1) The council shall, adopt, modify and promulgate the building codes referenced in Section 8 of this act, provided that:
(a) A notice of intention to adopt a code or a new edition of a code must be published in the administrative bulletin as a Notice of General Interest, on web sites published by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and must be provided to each local building department with instructions for its prominent display.
(b) The notice must include:
(i) The address to which interested persons may submit written comments; and
(ii) A period of not less than one hundred eighty days (180) during which comments may be received;
(c) Comments must be assigned to a subcommittee of the council, which shall publish Notice of General Interest in the same manner as provided in paragraph (a) setting out the subcommittee’s scope of review. The notice must give instructions for filing an intention to appear before or provide evidence or comments to the committee, or both. The subcommittee must be comprised of at least three (3) council members;
(d) The subcommittee shall hold at least one (1) public meeting, accept evidence and comments and make a written recommendation to the council. Within one hundred eighty (180) days from the end of the comment period, the council shall adopt, modify or deny the recommendations from the committee. The council may modify or amend the code after a finding on the record that the modifications provide a reasonable degree of public health, safety and welfare;
(e) The council shall promulgate modifications to the building codes referenced in Section 8 of this act using the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act; and
(f) The promulgated code becomes effective on the first day of January or July that is more than six (6) months from the effective day of the regulation.
(g) The Mississippi State Building Codes shall be updated every three (3) years.
SECTION 8. (1) The council shall adopt by reference and amend only the latest editions of the following:
(a) International Building Code and the standards referenced in that code for regulation of construction within this State. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption.
(b) International Residential Code (IRC) and the standards referenced in that code are included for regulation of construction within this State. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption, with the exception of Appendix J, Existing Buildings and Structures, which is hereby adopted by this reference. For the purposes of this act, IRC R301.2.1.1 (Design Criteria) shall be amended as follows:
(i) Item 2, the Southern Building Code Congress International, Standard for Hurricane Resistant Residential Construction (SSTD 10),” shall be replaced by the Institute for Business & Home Safety, Guidelines for Hurricane Resistant Construction, 2005.
(ii) Item 6, the American Concrete Institute, Guide to Concrete Masonry Residential Construction in High Wind Areas, shall be added.
(iii) Item 7, Institute for Business & Home Safety, Optional Code-plus Fortified for Safer Living ©, shall be added.
(iv) Item 8, Federal Alliance for Same Homes, Optional Code-plus Blueprint for Safety TM shall be added.
(c) International Existing Building Code and the standards referenced in that code for regulation of construction within this state. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption.
(d) International Mechanical Code and the standards referenced in that code for regulation of construction within this State. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption.
(e) International Plumbing Code and the standards referenced in that code for regulation of construction within this State. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption.
(f) International Fuel Gas Code and the standards referenced in that code for regulation of construction within this state. The appendices of that code may be adopted as needed, but the specific appendix or appendices must be referenced by name or letter designation at the time of adoption.
(g) National Electric Code.
(2) Within six (6) months of the effective date of this act, the council shall adopt the latest versions of the codes referenced in this section.
SECTION 9. (1) There is hereby created the Mississippi Building Codes Council. Each member of the council must be appointed by the Governor for a term of three (3) years and until a successor is appointed and qualifies. The council shall consist of the following sixteen (16) members:
(a) A representative of the American Institute of Architects of Mississippi;
(b) A representative of the Mississippi Section of ASCE;
(c) A representative of the Home Builders Association of Mississippi;
(d) A representative of the Mississippi Associated General Contractors;
(e) A representative of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Mississippi;
(f) A representative of the Building Officials Association of Mississippi;
(g) A representative of the Mississippi State Fire Marshal;
(h) A representative of the Mississippi Municipal League;
(i) A representative of the Mississippi County Managers Association;
(j) A representative of the Mississippi Manufactured Housing Association;
(k) A representative of the general public who is not in the practice of home or commercial safety inspection, construction or building, and who does not have any financial interest in these professions, and who does not have any immediate family member in these professions to serve as an at-large consumer representative;
(l) A disabled person;
(m) A representative of the property, casualty insurance industry;
(n) A representative of the electrical industry who is a master electrician;
(o) A representative of the mechanical or gas industry who is a master mechanic; and
(p) A representative of the plumbing industry who is a master plumber;
(q) A representative of the Mississippi Economic Council.
(2) A vacancy must be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term.
(3) The primary function of the council is to review and adopt the state building codes, provide requirements for training, education and certification of code officials and accept all requests for amendments of the code to determine which amendments, if any, are justified by local conditions and can be enacted after a finding on the record that the modification does not minimize public health, safety and welfare.
(4) Each member of the council shall receive mileage, subsistence and per diem as provided for other state boards, committees or commissions for attendance at board meetings called by the chairman.
(5) The council shall elect from its members a chairman and vice chairman. The council shall adopt regulations consistent with this chapter. A meeting may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and must be called by him at the request of three (3) or more members of the council. Each member must be notified by the chairman in writing of the time and place of the meeting at least seven (7) days before the meeting. Twelve (12) members constitute a quorum. Each meeting is open to the public. An official decision of the council may be made only by a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of those members in attendance at the meeting.
SECTION 10. (1) For purposes of this section, “farm structure” means a structure that 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 that regulates the construction or improvement of a farm structure.
(3) For residential construction, the standards published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the National Flood Insurance Program shall apply.
(4) 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.
(5) 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 11. (1) 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, in addition to other remedies, may apply for injunctive relief, mandamus or other appropriate proceeding. A court may grant temporary injunctive relief upon receipt of a verified complaint of an imminent danger or emergency situation.
(2) A person found to be in violation of a building code or regulation adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter must be cited and fined, by civil fine, in an amount not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00). Before being charged with a second violation, the person must be given seven (7) calendar days to remedy the violation or submit a plan for correcting the violation.
(3) A person who fails to correct a violation or submit a plan for correcting a violation within seven (7) calendar days after citation or written notice must be cited and fined, by civil fine, in an amount not to exceed two thousand dollars. Each day a violation continues is a separate offense.
SECTION 12. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body of a county or municipality may impose fees necessary to implement and continue the programs required by this act upon a vote of a simple majority of the governing body unless a super majority vote is required by local ordinance.
SECTION 13. The provisions of this act are cumulative to other local ordinances and do not limit the authority of counties or municipalities as long as they do not diminish the requirements established in this act.
SECTION 14. Buildings must be inspected in accordance with the codes in effect for the locality on the date of the issuance of the original building permit, except that:
(a) If no date of issuance of original building permit can be found, the date of submission of the completed application to the local authority must be used.
(b) If no date of application for, or date of issuance of, building permit is available, the director of the applicable county planning and development service (or similar agency) shall determine the nearest possible date by using available documents, such as transfer of property records, mortgage records, tax records or rent recordss.
SECTION 15. Section 19-5-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides for the adoption of building codes by counties, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 16. Section 21-19-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides for the adoption of building codes by municipalities, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 17. Sections 45-11-101, 45-11-103, 45-11-105, 45-11-107, 45-11-109 and 45-11-111, Mississippi Code of 1972, which authorize the State Fire Marshal to promulgate the Mississippi Fire Prevention Code, are hereby repealed.
SECTION 18. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.