Tag Archives: IBC Building Code

BOCC on Proposed Building Code May 17, 2017

If There’s a Compelling Reason…You Can
Restrict or Take Away Someone’s Personal Rights”

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-May 17, 2017

WESTCLIFFE, Colo.

by Jackie Bubis

The meeting was held in the Wetmore Community Center despite the ongoing work.  The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. Introductions of the public in attendance followed.

Public comments: One citizen brought a report to the Commissioners of the perceptions out in the public.  While he personally had nothing against them, he did say that the community was in turmoil about the Board insisting that CSU fire Robin Young.  He also stated that there was a firestorm in the blue collar and construction arena about the decision to require insurance for the perc-test techs and suggested that the Board, especially Commissioner Kattnig, would suffer the repercussions at the ballot box.   Commissioner Printz told him that the insurance requirement would be addressed later in the meeting.  All three Commissioners continued their “we didn’t fire her” story and again stated that they didn’t insist on her removal.  Mr. Kattnig also, again stated that they had already talked to Young’s supervisors (a “fact” still in question) before driving to Ft. Collins.

Another citizen commented on the incredible nature of the Board’s claims that they could drive to the CCI conference together and not talk county business.  She told them there was another option aside from driving together or charging the county for mileage for all three of them:  she suggested that they could all drive up separately and pay for their own gas.  Mr. Kattnig jumped to the Board’s defense saying that the attorney had told them it was entirely legal for them to drive up together and that other county commissioners do it all the time.

Commissioner items:Commissioner Hood thanked the American Legion Post 170 for the Memorial Day program.On the topic of the Extension Office, she announced that both Beverly Goertz and Sara Shields had attended 4-H training and had accepted the interim positions.  The 4-H suspension has been lifted.  She will be posting the job opening for the permanent position of CSU 4-H Youth Development Coordinator next week.  The hiring committee will be made up of Commissioner Hood, Sara Shields, Beverly Goertz and HR Officer Dawna Hobby.  The Board stated that Shields is interested in the Extension Agent position.  Mr. Kattnig stated for the record that Shields would have to compete for the job just like anyone else, that she would not be given special consideration because she lives here.  Kattnig talked at great length about the Extension Agent hiring process that CSU will do.

Mrs. Hood went on to say that Darin Redmond would be doing the outside landscaping and working the weigh station and doing miscellaneous maintenance in the county buildings.  (This “hiring” was not advertised and it is unclear how it was done.)  Hood has interviewed three cleaning services for the inside of the building.  None has been selected yet.  She stressed that there has not been a thorough cleaning in the courthouse for six years.Regarding the high-speed internet for the County Building and Sheriff’s Office, Chuck Ippolito is still contacting the three entities (Hillside, CenturyLink, and SECOM).  A list of ten questions has been put together and whether the companies can attend a meeting in person or not, they will be required to answer the questions.

The Tourism board met yesterday to review RFP’s for the website.  Hood asked Attorney Smith if the tourism board could sell advertising on their website to raise revenue.  (Revenue for the Tourism board is limited at this time to the bed tax monies.)  Smith advised that the Tourism board could do that.Sheriff Byerly suggested that someone from the fair board or extension advisory board be included on the hiring committee for the 4-H coordinator.  He also expressed hopes that the evaluation process for the county be similar to the one he is using.

Mr. Printz has been on vacation.  He reported a slight issue with the installation of the fuel pump at the airport that has since been fixed.  He reported meetings with Jackie Hobby of the Planning and Zoning office and reported that there were some personnel issues that would require an executive session.

Silver Cliff Mayor Steve Lasswell has found possible funding for a community center in Westcliffe/Silver Cliff and Printz suggested that the he meet with both towns to further investigate the possibility.Mr. Kattnig apologized for missing the last meeting due to his wife’s surgery.  He reported on the Mountain Connect seminar.  He also met with CDOT and discussed several local traffic issues with them.  CDOT expressed a general unwillingness to take action on these issues so Kattnig will speak with Wilson and Crowder, our state representatives.Under Attorney items, the cattle guard request by Dr. Hamilton is ongoing.  He also met with Jackie Hobby, Vic Barnes and Jim Bradburn to put together a tentative Dark Skies plan to present to the public at a meeting tentatively set for June 22nd at the bowling alley.The board went into executive session so that Smith could give them information regarding security issues.The board resumed the public meeting and approved the vouchers for the month.After meetings he held privately, Mr. Printz brought a proposal to the Board to have Planning Commission explore putting in place a county building code like the towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff have.  He stated that every builder he talked to was in favor of a building code and that ever realtor he talked to said a building code would lead to higher resale values.  He presented a list of pros and cons that came from these private meetings.  He admitted that it meant more government interference and talked about the constitution insuring that people could “own land free and clear and do what they want.”  (It is unclear what provision in the constitution he referred to.)   He went on to say that you have to balance public safety over personal freedom.  “If there’s a compelling reason, not just a good reason, why we should do one versus the other, you can restrict or take away someone’s personal rights.”  Mrs. Hood expressed that she was in favor of a building code.  Mr. Kattnig was not completely on board but the Board approved the proposal going forward to the Planning Commission.The Board renewed the school nurse agreement.Mr. Printz addressed the issue of requiring insurance for the perk techs decided on in a previous meeting.  After Attorney Smith spoke with County Surveyor Kit Shy, the suggestion was made to rescind that requirement (which the Board did) and to have Smith write a resolution requiring all future septic systems be engineer designed.  That resolution will be on the agenda for the meeting on June 8th.  That requirement will add $800 to $1000 to the cost of a septic system in the county.Sheriff Byerly reported that one of the inmates at the jail had to be flown out on Flight for Life when the ambulance was on a call and no second crew could be raised.  Since the inmate is housed for Alamosa County, the costs will likely be paid by them.  But he raised the concern, both as Sheriff and as a citizen that the county passed a mill levy for the ambulance and where was the money going.  There is a continuing and frequent problem with getting an ambulance when the first ambulance is out on a call.Sheriff Byerly also discussed that there is no health service or mental health service at the jail and there is a need to explore options in the upcoming budget.

The board went into executive session again to deal with a personnel issue at the Sheriff’s Office.The executive session was followed by the quarterly staff meeting.The meeting was adjourned.

(Editor/GG: Regulation, by the libs and the RINO’s is one of main reasons the economy has tanked. We seem to have gotten by fine here for centuries without a draconian building code that will dramatically drive up cost not only for houses, but for additions, garages, barns, etc. Commissioner Printz, you can cherry pick people to find those that want it (like asking building contractors and real estate agents, I mean really, duh) but THE PEOPLE want less regulation, not more. This will dramatically hurt the poorer people in the county and especially the middle class. It will make it much harder for middle income people to move here (which might be one the reasons why this is being proposed). Plus, the current IBC code is a NIGHTMARE. It will virtually eliminate any regular person from building his own dream cabin or even a garage. And based on nightmares we have heard in Huerfano and Fremont Counties, the building inspector can be difficult to “work” with. In the extreme. I thought we elected “Republicans”? What we apparently have here is very well-off Commissioners who would not feel the impact of the cost of a building code, and that want to DICTATE how we run our lives. RINO’s come to mind but it might be a lot worse. Most of us don’t have the wealth that these Commissioners have. A couple of thousand bucks added to a simple garage project because of an onerous building code will KILL the project. $20k or $30k more added on to a new home would kill the dream for many middle-class people. But maybe not for our Commissioners.It seems all three Commissioners are out-of-touch with THE PEOPLE. Very similar to the RINO establishment and coastal lib elites at the national level. Commissioners Printz and Hood both are wealthy newcomers to the valley and seem hell bent on bringing coastal lib control, regulation and rule, to a place, in middle America, that DOESN’T WANT IT. “Control Freaks” comes to mind. And Commissioner Kattnig: I am surprised if you support this. You grew up here and understand individual liberty and freedom. Hopefully your long sojourn away hasn’t destroyed what you saw here in the old days: rugged, free, individualism and LIMITED government. And Commissioner Printz: Fully understand what “compelling” means before you apply that faulty test to our INDIVIDUAL, GOD GIVEN, LIBERTY to enjoy our lives free of government tyranny. The “Compelling” test is what liberals have used for the last 60 years to destroy our Constitutionally granted freedoms. You using this word is very troublesome as it is exactly the rationale that socialists have used since Lenin to enslave the people and rule over them like peasants. Yes, as Zman so fondly writes about, the Cloud People love to rule the Dirt People. And enjoy making the Dirt People’s lives more miserable because they know better, and “care”. How nice. How Alinsky.Most of us non-natives have moved to the Valley because we like the way it is. You folks want to turn this into Boulder. Next step it will be mandatory lawn maintenance and no plastic shopping bags. We know how this goes. This is a conservative county, Commissioners. We don’t want to be Boulder. Leave us alone! Any true “Republican” would be repelled by what you folks are proposing. Don’t bring liberal, control insanity here. Leave it back where you came from. Or better yet, move to Boulder to be with your homies. Live Free or Die, my brothers and sisters. We’ve lost our Freedom inch by inch over the last hundred years. We don’t need our own Commissioners adding another inch. The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming! Might now be, The Commissioners Are Coming! The Commissioners Are Coming! Time for Tea Party, Dirt People.)

T

June 26th: a Meeting on Building Code Folks Need to BE THERE

June 26th: a Meeting on Building Code
Folks Need to BE THERE

To the Editor;

On Monday, the 26th of June, the County Planning and Zoning Advisory Board, not the Planning Commission nor the Board of Zoning Adjustment, will hold a meeting so that they can recommend adoption of a building code to the County Commissioners. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Courtroom. It is possible, though unlikely, that opposition to adopting a building code will be heard.I have included the Letter to the Editor I wrote regarding the Pro’sand Con’s document submitted by Commissioner Jay Printz and his cabal. It doesn’t address the building code as much as debunk their assertions. It is unknown if the push will be for International Residential Code or if Printz’s push includes the commercial code. Given that Printz wants the proposed county inspector to also cover the town’s inspections, we can assume he will push for adoption of the commercial code disregarding the fact that there is not a commercial zone in the county. Unless they designate AG as commercial as they have done elsewhere. Show up before you lose another right.  Here’s my LTE, in case you missed it a few weeks ago:

Weighing in on the Push for a Building Code

Liberals in Custer County have been pushing a building code for a long, long time.  And now we have the latest iteration, a la Progressive Printz.Apparently the Printz has been holding secret meetings to implement a building code for the County. And as usual he shows a complete contempt for both the law and his subjects. Rather than discuss this major character flaw, I’d like to discuss his proposal. He starts with the unanimous consent of those secret conspirators and states that they are requesting, in their capacity as surrogates for the Board of County Commissioners, that the Planning and Zoning Committee, apparently another new group, write some building and fire codes that mirror the codes of the towns. It is unknown what building code has been adopted by the Town of Westcliffe. It might be the Uniform Building Code (UBC) or the International Building Code (IBC). It is also unknown when the building code was adopted. The reason that it is unknown is that there doesn’t seem to be a record of this adoption.Regardless, the secret cabal allegedly identified the pros and cons of adopting a building code. Obviously the pros outnumber the cons. That would be a foregone conclusion of such a secret meeting. Let’s go through the pros and see if they are valid conclusions.

First is “Better product produced”. Of course, there isn’t any evidence cited but the truth is that this claim is false on its face. The reality is that all the good builders in the county build better than code and that a building code protects bad builders and fly-by-night builders. That is the main purpose of the code, to provide cover for builders from lawsuits. They can claim that the structure was “built to code” so they aren’t responsible.

Second “Reduce/eliminate inappropriate or dangerous shortcuts and cost saving activities”. This is just a ridiculous statement. Who is supposedly doing this? Hired builders or homeowners? And what are these alleged shortcuts? Building with straw bale or tires? As though any responsible individual is actually going to take dangerous shortcuts. But even if a builder did, responsible homeowners and lenders inspect the work being performed.

Third “Higher resale value”. A completely specious claim.  What causes the higher resale value is the higher cost to build because of all the regulations and inspections. It also isn’t a function of government to increase the monetary gain of select groups.

Fourth “Easier mortgage (lower debt/equity ratio)”. See above but also when someone builds their own house they either have sweat equity and don’t need a mortgage or they manage costs so that their mortgage requirements are much lower.I haven’t even gotten to the really stupid pros yet.

Fifth “Lower insurance costs”. Can’t imagine where they pulled this from. Insurance is based on the value of the property. Perhaps what they mean is lower fire insurance but this is also not true. That insurance would be based on the likelihood of a fire destroying the structure and as we have seen from fires like Black Forest experienced, the insurance companies required all trees and brush within 100 feet of a structure be removed.

Sixth “Health and safety of occupants” (including fire/construction) safety (sic). Stop laughing. We all know that where there is a building code, construction workers never get hurt and homeowners always are protected against the ravages of nature. When there is a building code, winds never drive debris through walls, trees never fall on homes, snow never crushes a structure, carbon monoxide never builds up.  Well you get the picture.

Seventh “Equitable – Level field – One code for everyone”. So does that mean Kommissar Printz wants to regulate the minimum size of structures in the County and Silver Cliff like he has done in Westcliffe? Then it isn’t about safety at all is it? And exactly which code has Westcliffe adopted? And when? And does the Town of Westcliffe follow the same regulations as Silver Cliff with regard to modular homes? And will alternative building materials be disallowed?

Eighth “Eliminate property tax evasion schemes”. I guess the assessor’s office doesn’t do their job and never check out structures. But a different government agency will do better than the existing one. Are there any County employees doing their job?Ninth “Protect buyers not familiar with proper building standards and adherence thereto”. Another way to say this is remove personal responsibility from people and protect them from being STUPID.  Maybe that’s too harsh.  Still, if you don’t know what you’re doing, hire someone who does. There are lots of building inspection firms that guarantee their findings and warn of problems where a bureaucrat just stamps “built to the lowest common denominator”.

And the final pro, and my all-time favorite, “Reasonable flood insurance availability”. Flood insurance has nothing to do with adopting some arbitrary building code. It has to do with becoming a FEMA participating county and producing flood maps. The HUD flood maps are not only half a century old, their scale is pathetic. The smallest amount of homework would have revealed this. And I personally know of residents that have flood insurance for about $100 per year. And that’s through Lloyd’s of London.

My favorite con is “3. Restricting Class of people (tent dwellers, makeshift housing, etc)”. Notice the wording – class of people. We certainly don’t want the riff-raff living here. How can we make this Vail or Aspen if those kind of people are allowed to live here?The closing statements say that the 2006 International Building Code is “Not over restrictive.  But that code is over 650 pages. How could that NOT be overly restrictive?But government is here to protect us from our own decisions – right or wrong.  And these current commissioners are the “class of people” who think they know what’s best for us.

Dan Bubis
Rural Custer County