Assembly Begins Switch Back to 2012 Building Code

logo-w-sunburstKayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough may return to the 2012 building code in the near future.

This summer, the assembly caused tension with the Kodiak City Council when it decided to roll back to the 1997 uniform building code. Assemblyman Kyle Crow led the change in an attempt to relax restrictions for home owner-builders in the borough.

It turned out to be a more complex process than the assembly expected. The city and the borough share one building department through a memorandum of agreement, and the code change triggered a ripple effect that touched everything from insurance to emergency services.

The city council declared its intentions of cancelling the memorandum of agreement if the borough did not reconsider.

Over the last few meetings, the assembly has looked at its options. At the regular meeting last week, the assembly reviewed ordinances that would revert it back to the 2012 building code.

One version Crow suggested would provide wiggle room for home owner-builders.

“This provides what we’re calling an opt-out, but it is an exemption, where right now the remote areas have exemptions from the building codes, and I’m just bringing that proposal for anything outside the city limits.”

Crow’s ordinance went forward as a baseline to build upon. As Assemblywoman Rebecca Skinner said, the meeting is just the beginning of the process for the code change.

“There was discussion that nobody wants a repeat of what happened with the building codes the first time, which is we took action on something, it immediately went into effect, and there were consequences and repercussions that maybe we weren’t administratively – either didn’t anticipate or we weren’t ready to handle.”

The ordinance will be up for public hearing at the assembly’s next regular meeting. That’s set for December 15.

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