Bill S7565-2013

Provides for the review of local governments' construction standards by the state fire prevention and building code council

Provides for the review of local governments' construction standards by the state fire prevention and building code council when such standards are more stringent than the state fire prevention and building code.

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  • May 15, 2014: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7565

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the adoption by local governments of higher or more restrictive standards for construction

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To amend Executive Law § 379 to alter the process for approving local standards for construction which are higher or more restrictive than those applicable generally in the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code ("Uniform Code")

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Executive Law 379 and adds a new subdivision 6 to change the process by which cities, towns, villages and Nassau County may adopt higher or more restrictive construction standards than are applicable generally in the Uniform Code.

Subdivision 1 is amended to require local governments that propose to adopt higher or more restrictive standards to first petition the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council ("Code Council") for approval of such proposed local standards. The local standards would not take effect while the Code Council considers the local government's petition.

Subdivision 2 is amended to provide that council review be completed and a determination issued within 180 days of receipt of a complete petition. If the Code Council fails to issue a determination in 180 days, the local government would be authorized to adopt the higher or more restrictive standard without council approval. The criteria for approval of a local standard by the Code Council would be clarified. In addition, the Code Council would be required to review local standards every three years to ensure that such standards are consistent with any changes to the Uniform Code adopted since the last review.

Subdivision 3 is amended to eliminate from its provisions an apparent inconsistency with subdivisions 1 and 2 of the statute.

Subdivision 4 and 5 would be amended and a new subdivision 6 added to the statute for the purpose of conforming the process for approving local standards proposed for adoption by Nassau County to the procedures set out in subdivisions one and two for approval of local standards.

Section 2 - Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Executive Law § 379 authorizes cities, towns, villages and Nassau County to adopt local laws or ordinances which impose higher or more restrictive standards for construction than are applicable generally in the Uniform Cod; provided the municipality petitions the Code Council within thirty days of the adoption of such law or ordinance for a determination of whether the local standard is more stringent than the standard applicable in the Uniform Code. During the period in which the Code Council is considering such a

petition any such local laws or ordinances remain in full force and effect.

The Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code is intended to be the minimum standard for building construction and fire prevention in the State. Executive Law § 379 authorizes adoption of higher or more restrictive local standards so long as such standards are reasonably necessary because of special conditions prevailing within the municipality adopting such standard. Any local standard adopted by a local governing body must be reviewed and approved by the Code Council. Although the Code Council's approval is necessary for the local standard to remain in effect, the statute currently provides for a mechanism whereby the local government adopts the local standard and continues to enforce its requirements while its petition for approval by the Code Council is pending. This has led to situations where eventually the local standards were disapproved by the Code Council because of the absence of special conditions prevailing within the municipality. However, local property owners were required to comply with the more restrictive standard during the pendency of the municipality's petition before the Code Council.

The better practice would be to delay the effectiveness of the proposed local standard and continue the applicability of the minimum standards of the Uniform Code until the Code Council has had the opportunity to review and approve the proposed local standard. To ensure timely review by the Code Council, the amended statute would require council review and a determination to occur within 180 days of receipt of a petition or the local standard will be deemed approved. In accordance with the directives of Executive Law § 374, the Code Council meets quarterly. In 2002, the Code Council adopted new text to replace the current provisions of the New York Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. This new text took effect January 1, 2003 and was based upon a set of model codes developed by an organization comprised of government and industry representatives from throughout the nation. The goal of using national model codes as the basis of New York regulation is to bring the State into conformity with building and fire code provisions in use across the country. Conformity presumes uniformity to the greatest extent possible. Allowing local governments to adopt and enforce local standards which differ from the standard enforced throughout the country without first establishing that special conditions justify such a variation is contrary to this presumption of uniformity.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2005-2006: A.10609/S5027; 2003-2004: S.4904.;2007-2008.S.4800

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7565 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the adoption by local governments of higher or more restrictive standards for construction THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 379 of the executive law, as added by chapter 707 of the laws of 1981, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 772 of the laws of 1986 and subdivision 5 as added by chapter 622 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: S 379. [Incorporation] APPROVAL of higher standards by council upon [recommendation] PETITION of local government; local building regu- lations. 1. [Except in the case of factory manufactured homes, intended for use as one or two family dwelling units or multiple dwellings of not more than two stories in height, the] THE legislative body of any local government may [duly enact or] adopt [local laws or ordinances imposing] STANDARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION THAT ARE HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THOSE APPLICABLE GENERALLY IN THE UNIFORM CODE BY ENACTING OR ADOPTING A LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE AFTER OBTAINING THE APPROVAL OF THE COUNCIL. A LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT PROPOSES TO ADOPT higher or more restrictive stan- dards for construction within the jurisdiction of such local government than are applicable generally to such local government in the uniform code[. Within thirty days of such enactment or adoption, the chief exec- utive officer, or if there be none, the chairman of the legislative body of such local government, shall so notify the council, and] shall peti- tion the council for a determination of whether OR NOT such local [laws or ordinances are] STANDARDS WOULD BE more stringent than the standards for construction applicable generally [to such local government] in the uniform code. During the period in which the council is considering such petition, [such local laws or ordinances shall remain in full force and] NO SUCH LOCAL STANDARDS SHALL TAKE effect. NO LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAY ENACT OR ADOPT HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE STANDARDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF FACTORY MANUFACTURED HOMES INTENDED FOR USE AS ONE OR TWO FAMILY
DWELLING UNITS OR MULTIPLE DWELLINGS OF NOT MORE THAN TWO STORIES IN HEIGHT. 2. [If] WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS FROM RECEIPT OF A COMPLETE PETITION, THE COUNCIL SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT A PROPOSED LOCAL STANDARD IS APPROPRIATE AND SHALL NOTIFY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WHETHER THE STANDARD WILL BE APPROVED OR REJECTED IN WHOLE OR IN PART. BEFORE APPROVING A LOCAL STANDARD WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF A PETITION, the coun- cil [finds] MUST FIND that [such] THE STANDARD CONFORMS WITH ACCEPTED ENGINEERING AND FIRE PREVENTION PRACTICES AND THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTI- CLE, IS higher or more restrictive [standards are] THAN THOSE EXISTING IN THE UNIFORM CODE, AND IS reasonably necessary because of special conditions prevailing within the local government [and that such stand- ards conform with accepted engineering and fire prevention practices and the purposes of this article, the council shall adopt such standards, in whole or part], BUT DOES NOT MERIT PROPOSAL AS AN AMENDMENT TO THE UNIFORM CODE. The council shall have the power to limit the term or duration of such standards, impose conditions in connection with the adoption thereof, and [to] terminate such standards at such times[,] and in such manner as the council may deem necessary, desirable or proper. UPON RECEIPT OF THE COUNCIL'S APPROVAL OF A PROPOSED HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE LOCAL STANDARD, A LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO ADOPT BY LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE SUCH STANDARD. IF THE COUNCIL FAILS TO RENDER A DETERMINATION ON A COMPLETE PETITION WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF RECEIPT, THE REQUESTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAY ADOPT A LOCAL LAW OR ORDI- NANCE IMPOSING THE PROPOSED STANDARD OR STANDARDS, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH WERE CONTAINED IN THE PETITION ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL SHALL REVIEW ALL LOCAL STANDARDS EVERY THREE YEARS TO ENSURE THAT EACH STANDARD IS NECESSARY AND APPRO- PRIATE IN LIGHT OF ANY CHANGES TO THE UNIFORM CODE THAT HAVE BEEN ADOPTED SINCE THE STANDARD WAS ADOPTED. IF THE COUNCIL FINDS THAT ANY STANDARD IS NO LONGER NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE, THE COUNCIL SHALL DIRECT MODIFICATION OR REPEAL OF SUCH STANDARD. 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit any munici- pality from adopting or enacting any building regulations relating to any matter as to which the uniform fire prevention and building code does not provide, but no municipality shall have the power to supersede, void, repeal or make more or less restrictive any provisions of this article or of rules or regulations made pursuant hereto, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION. 4. Within one hundred twenty days after the effective date of the uniform code, a local government may by resolution duly enacted petition the council for a determination as to whether OR NOT an existing build- ing and/or fire code in force in said local government is more stringent than the uniform code. During the period in which the council is consid- ering such petition, such local code shall remain in full force and effect. If, after review, the council determines that such local code is less stringent than the uniform code, the council shall notify the chief executive officer or, if there be none, the [chairman] CHAIRPERSON of the legislative body of such local government, and the uniform code shall, thirty days after the date of notification, apply in such local government. If the council finds that such local code is not less strin- gent than the uniform code, such local code shall continue in full force and effect until the council, upon its own initiative, reviews such local code and determines that it is no longer more stringent, whereupon the council shall notify the chief executive officer or [chairman] CHAIRPERSON of the legislative body of such local government, and, thir-
ty days after the date of notification, the uniform code shall apply in such local government. 5. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, the legislative body of Nassau county may have duly enacted or adopted or may duly enact or adopt local laws or ordinances imposing higher or more restrictive standards for construction within the jurisdiction of the county than are applicable generally to the county in the uniform code. The chief executive officer, or if there be none, the [chairman] CHAIRPERSON of the legislative body of the county, shall notify the council, and shall petition the council for a determination of whether OR NOT such preexisting local laws or ordinances[, or within thirty days of such enactment or adoption of such local laws or ordinances,] are more stringent than the standards for construction applicable generally to such county in the uniform code. During the period in which the coun- cil is considering such petition, such local laws or ordinances shall remain in full force and effect. 6. THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE COUNTY OF NASSAU MAY ADOPT STANDARDS FOR CONSTRUCTION THAT ARE HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN ARE THE STAND- ARDS THAT ARE APPLICABLE GENERALLY TO THE COUNTY IN THE UNIFORM CODE BY FIRST OBTAINING THE APPROVAL OF THE COUNCIL. THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFI- CER, OR IF THERE BE NONE, THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE COUNTY, SHALL PETITION THE COUNCIL FOR A DETERMINATION OF WHETHER OR NOT LOCAL STANDARDS WHICH THE COUNTY LEGISLATIVE BODY PROPOSES TO ADOPT WOULD BE MORE STRINGENT THAN STANDARDS APPLICABLE GENERALLY IN THE UNIFORM CODE. DURING THE PERIOD IN WHICH THE COUNCIL IS CONSIDERING A PETITION OF THE COUNTY, NO SUCH LOCAL STANDARDS SHALL TAKE EFFECT. BEFORE APPROVING A LOCAL STANDARD PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION BY THE COUNTY LEGISLATIVE BODY, THE COUNCIL MUST FIND THAT THE STANDARD CONFORMS WITH ACCEPTED ENGINEERING AND FIRE PREVENTION PRACTICES AND THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, IS HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THOSE EXISTING IN THE UNIFORM CODE, AND IS REASONABLY NECESSARY BECAUSE OF SPECIAL CONDITIONS PREVAILING WITHIN THE COUNTY. THE COUNCIL SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO LIMIT THE TERM OR DURATION OF SUCH STANDARD, IMPOSE CONDITIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADOPTION THEREOF, AND TERMINATE THE STANDARD AT SUCH TIMES AND IN SUCH MANNER AS THE COUNCIL MAY DEEM NECESSARY, DESIRABLE OR PROPER. UPON RECEIPT OF THE COUNCIL'S APPROVAL OF A PROPOSED HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE LOCAL STANDARD, THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE COUNTY OF NASSAU MAY ADOPT BY LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE SUCH STANDARD. IF THE COUNCIL FAILS TO RENDER A DETERMINATION ON A COMPLETE PETITION WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF RECEIPT, THE LEGISLATIVE BODY MAY ADOPT A LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE IMPOSING THE PROPOSED STANDARD OR STANDARDS, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH WERE CONTAINED IN THE PETITION ORIGINALLY SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL SHALL REVIEW ALL LOCAL STANDARDS ADOPTED BY THE COUNTY LEGISLATIVE BODY EVERY THREE YEARS TO ENSURE THAT EACH STANDARD IS NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE IN LIGHT OF ANY CHANGES TO THE UNIFORM CODE THAT HAVE BEEN ADOPTED SUBSEQUENT TO ADOPTION OF THE LOCAL STANDARD. IF THE COUNCIL FINDS THAT ANY STANDARD IS NO LONGER NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE, THE COUNCIL SHALL DIRECT MODIFICATION OR REPEAL OF SUCH STANDARD. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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