Because Douglas County buildings have the potential to become Lawrence buildings through annexation, Lawrence Mayor Marty Kennedy has an interest in seeing the county pass a commercial building code.
"I definitely think they need to have some ordinances that resemble what the city has, in regards to construction guidelines, to make sure these buildings are safe for the future," Kennedy said.
Lawrence buildings are inspected and built to a version of the Universal Building Code standards.
Annexed businesses are not forced to renovate their buildings to meet city building standards. It would be an impractical request that could easily mean tearing down a building and starting from scratch.
But they do undergo inspections by the fire marshal's office.
Lawrence Fire Marshal Rich Barr said his office looks for problems that are "distinct hazards to life and property."
Inadequate exits, in particular, are hazards Barr will not allow.
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