The Santa Barbara City Council is expected to adopt new state building standards on Tuesday.
City staff is recommending the council approve an ordinance adopting the 2019 editions of the 12 state codes, including the California Building, Residential, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Energy Codes, according to an agenda report prepared by Chief Building Official Andrew Stuffler.
The report also recommends the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code and local revisions to the state codes be adopted.
The adoption would add new codes that allow state housing law to supersede the city’s Property Maintenance Code when discrepancies arise. It allows certain building work, such as domestic water heater replacements and the installation of solar energy systems, to be done without the installation of a sewer backwater valve.
“Each year, the State of California adopts Building Standards Codes for uniform use throughout the State, a process that is facilitated by the State Building Standards Commission,” the agenda report reads.
Mr. Stuffler explained the state Building Standards Commission receives input from state agencies, law enforcement, industry professionals and the general public on the statewide implementation of the 2018 International Building and Residential Codes, the 2018 National Electrical Code, the 2018 Mechanical Code and several of the 2019 codes.
“After considering the input that has been received, these codes are amended by the Building Standards Commission and adopted by the State under Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations,” reads the report.
The state Building Standards Commission published the amendments on July 1. Local jurisdictions have 180 days to further amend the codes. They become law on Jan. 1.
The city stopped drafting its own building standards in 1954, electing to adopt and amend regional, state, national and international building standards instead.
The city Building and Safety Division proposed a few amendments from 2016 code adoption including revising grading permit regulations in order to ensure clearer enforcement of stormwater pollution prevention measures during grading projects, revising the definition of a fountain, and coordinating the state housing law and property maintenance code standards for the use and upkeep of housing.
The city Building and Safety Division recommended adopting the 2019 codes in conjunction with the city Fire Department’s proposal to adopt the 2019 California Fire Code and 2018 International Fire Code.
“This coordinated adoption should eliminate potential conflicts while incorporating the administrative, climatic, geologic, and topographic amendments that promote safe, sustainable, and accessible development in the City of Santa Barbara,” reads the report.
When approved by the City Council, the ordinance will go into effect in no later than 30 days after Jan. 1. The council will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday inr council chambers at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.