Clay Commission rejects adoption of building code
The Clay County Commission on Tuesday shot down a proposal to adopt the Minnesota State Building Code. The unanimous decision by commissioners ends weeks of contentious discussion on a code many Clay County residents said is costly and unnecessar...
The Clay County Commission on Tuesday shot down a proposal to adopt the Minnesota State Building Code.
The unanimous decision by commissioners ends weeks of contentious discussion on a code many Clay County residents said is costly and unnecessary.
The state building code sets guidelines for construction. County Planner Tim Magnusson suggested implementing the code as a way to ensure homebuyers are getting a quality product.
Seventeen Minnesota counties have adopted the code.
The county has received phone calls from people frustrated after hiring shoddy contractors for building projects, Magnusson said. The code would require permits or inspections when residents build or renovate certain property.
The county currently doesn't require permits or inspections for some projects listed in the code.
Several people attended a March commission meeting and complained the code shouldn't be stretched to include permits for mundane projects like replacing new water heaters or windows.
That argument persuaded commissioners against adopting the code.
"Is the county trying to be Big Brother saying this is necessary when we're hearing from others it's not?" said Commissioner Jerry Waller.
"We're opening ourselves to more issues than we can handle."
Commissioner Jon Evert said the code's intentions are good but residents who contacted him overwhelmingly found the guidelines to be too restrictive. "I've never had an issue where I've had more anger expressed (to me) than this issue," he said.
Commissioners discussed adopting a portion of the code but Minnesota law prohibits using only a portion of the guidelines.
Minnesota regulations also prohibit Clay County from adopting a building code that is less restrictive than the state's building code.
Commissioners Mike McCarthy and Kevin Campbell suggested the county find an alternative way to alert citizens to make sure their contractor is licensed.
A licensed contractor must abide by the state building code.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Melinda Rogers at (701) 241-5524