HBA Presents during EPC Board of County Commissioners Working Session
Fire Code issue presented
Last week, the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs presented the industry position on the proposed 2009 fire codes to the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners. 2013 HBA President John W. Bissett, J.M. Weston Homes; Code Review Committee Chairman Mark Bussone with Vantage Homes; and, Larry Whitaker , YOW ARCHITECTS, PC, presented for HBA. Marla Novak coordinated the presentation and served as the staff lead for the fire code issues. HBA provided information on the two year stakeholder process that has been on-going between HBA members and the Falcon and Black Forest Fire Districts.
The HBA and the Fire Districts found agreement on more than 90% of the fire code issues identified. However, HBA opposed attempts to include stringent commercial fire sprinkler requirements, as well as onerous residential water supply and other costly requirements applying to individual single-family dwelling construction when the code is intended to apply to larger subdivision developments. The working session lasted more than four hours, and included testimony from home owner’s who lost their homes in the Black Forest fire and have been faced with delays from the Falcon and Black Forest Fire Districts.
In addition to a full slide presentation on the costs associated with rebuilding under various fire code scenarios, should the proposed codes be adopted, HBA also provided an advisory letter from NAHB regarding the appropriateness of the HBA position, as well as a legal opinion provided to HBA by the special district law firm of McGeady Sisneros, affirming that the Board of County Commissioners have the authority to amend the fire code presented by the Fire Districts as proposed by the HBA.
In the unincorporated areas of Colorado, new code cycles must be brought forward by the Fire Districts, and are then approved by the Board of County Commissioners. With the work session now completed, we are hopeful the Board of County Commissioners will support the fire codes, with the HBA positions, during a formal session on December 10, 2013. The codes will apply to the Black Forest, Falcon, Westcott, Cimarron Hills, Security, Hanover, and Peyton Fire District boundaries . We will send an additional update about this issue at that time.
We want to thank our presenters, and the HBA members who have volunteered many hours during the stakeholder process. The following deserve special recognition for their contributions to the effort: Mark Bussone, Larry Whittaker, Scot Gring, John Bissett, Scott Hente, Nate Dowden, Jack Hinton, Dan Potter, Tiffany Overholser, Jim Stiltner, Brad Ausmus, Josh Peterson, PJ Langmaid, Craig Warnimont.
We have included copies of the HBA position letter, the legal opinion from McGeady Sisneros, and the opinion provided by NAHB for your information. Also included below are several links to news reports regarding the proposed new fire codes and the Nov 21st BoCC Fire Code Work Session.
We also want to recognize Marla Novak for the dedication and expertise she has provided to the fire code team. Please contact Marla Novak at email@example.com or (719)592-1800 ext 14 for additional information on this issue.
HBA Letter Supports City for Champions
Last week, HBA sent a letter to the Colorado Economic Development Commission supporting the City for Champions application as a major economic development initiative for the City of Colorado Springs and the region. A copy of the letter is attached to this update. The HBA Board of Directors has been a strong supporter of the City for Champions Application, as described in the application: “City for Champions builds upon Colorado Springs’ history as a health destination, a training ground for service men and women, and a sports and fitness hub by advancing a collection of new attractions unique in Colorado—and in some cases, the country. These venues will attract new out-of-state visitors, extend visitor trips, and improve quality of life for residents of the Pikes Peak region and the state. Together, the four City for Champions anchor projects combine synergistically in ways that will add dimension, energy and economy to the Pikes Peak Region.”
The application will be heard on December 4th in Denver and a number of community leaders from Colorado Springs will be attending. The official presentation begins at 9:00 a.m. and the public will be allowed to weigh in from 10:00 a.m. – Noon.
Wells Fargo Conference Center
1700 Lincoln Street, Hershner Room, Ground Floor Denver, CO
Northeast corner of 17th Avenue and Lincoln Street in downtown Denver
Please let us know if you are interested in attending the hearing or if you would like to submit your own letter of support. We would be happy to assist you with organizations planning transportation, as well as providing you with talking points and the mailing address for letters of support. Learn more about City for Champions at http://www.cityforchampions.com/
Best wishes for your upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, from the HBA Government Affairs team, and everyone at HBA!
William D. Mutch
Director, Government Affairs/Public PolicyHousing & Building Association of Colorado Springs
4585 Hilton Parkway, Suite 100
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
719-592-1800 ext. 16