No on I-codes, at least for now.
The Douglas County Commission postponed approval of a new set of building codes in its Wednesday night meeting, saying that more discussion with builders and public contribution was needed.
Kay Pettit, combination building inspector of the county zoning and codes office, presented the plan to switch from a 1997 code to the 2012 international set of codes, which several surrounding counties use and the city of Lawrence is on track to approve. Discussion lasted more than an hour, with Pettit explaining proposed amendments, and commissioners Jim Flory and Mike Gaughan expressing that they wanted to learn more before moving ahead with approval.
A Lawrence homebuilding group had sent the commission a letter asking for more process; one member of the public spoke in favor of the new rules at the meeting. Pettit said the I-codes as she amended them were “builder friendly” and that regulation like the county’s first-ever insulation requirement helped builders and consumers. Flory said that he didn’t understand the need for the county government to dedicate such rules.
All three commissioners eventually expressed support of the plan but moved to continue discussion with constituents and to have the issue tentatively put on the Sept. 19 meeting agenda.
In other County Commission business Wednesday:
• The commission approved extension of the burn ban first put into effect July 25. It will last another week before the commission addresses it again, though Gaughan can lift it if township fire chiefs recommend it.
• Representatives from the county economic development community requested a loan of $15,000 to help with the relocation of a dinner train from Nebraska to the Midland Railways property.
• Public works staff presented a plan to pave a frontage road near old U.S. Highway 59 in an agreement with KDOT and the owners of the Sadies Lake property. The commission held off on approval until more details could be worked out in the proposed deal.
• The county declared September National Disaster Preparation Month.
•Four temporary business permits were issued, including one for the Cates Haunted Farm.
• The commissioners and the county’s lawyer met in executive session for 30 minutes to discuss a land-acquisition issue related to roads. That portion of the meeting was not open to the public. County administrator Craig Weinaug said after the session that the commission had not come to any action within it.
The next meeting is at 4 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the County Courthouse, 1100 Mass.