Commission to consider changes to city code related to buildings and construction

The next chunk of city code revisions are up for consideration by the City Commission on Tuesday.

City staff have drafted changes to Title 15 that were presented to commissioners during an Oct. 16 work session and again for a first reading on Nov. 7.

City moving forward with plan to suspend design review board; looking at changes to development codes

There was no public comment or commission discussion during the Nov. 7 meeting, but since then, Commissioner Mary Moe suggested additional grammatical changes and clarifying language regarding mobile home caps, according to the staff report.

[READ: Proposed changes to Title 15]

The city is required to adopt the international fire and building codes that the state adopts, limiting the city’s ability to make changes to this particular section of the code.

One of the proposed substantive changes to Title 15 would establish clear penalty provisions for violating those international codes and operating construction and building maintenance businesses without appropriate licenses.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Cik has been spearheading the code revision effort and told commissioners in October that adding clear penalties would improve the code enforcement process and be more clear to residents.

Another proposed substantive change would amend the city’s process in adopting the International Fire Code.

The state often amends the IFC and the city is required to adopt that version.

Currently, the process requires Great Falls Fire Rescue to request that the City Commission adopt an ordinance amending the IFC to be consistent with the state.

The proposed code change would allow GFFR to administratively amend the IFC to be consistent with the state, increasing efficiency in the city’s process, according to city staff.

City staff have been working for more than a year to clean up city code language for clarity, consistency and bringing it up to date with current practice.

Some of the other proposed substantive changes in Title 15 include clarifying penalties for building moving permits; providing penalties for maintaining unsafe structures; providing penalties for operating without a special business license; providing specific penalties for fire code violations; and enhancing code enforcement options for property screening violations.