Friday, September 5, 2008

OR Measure 63: Exempt Homeowners/Farmers From Building Codes

EXEMPTS SPECIFIED PROPERTY OWNERS FROM BUILDING PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR IMPROVEMENTS VALUED AT/UNDER 35,000 DOLLARS
OR Elections: SUMMARY: Current law requires owner of residential real property or farm property to comply with applicable state and local building permit requirements when making improvements to real property. Measure creates exemption for residential real property and farm property owners from applicable state and local building permit requirements for improvements when the total value of improvements made with a calendar year does not exceed 35,000 dollars. Measure requires improvements to comply with applicable setback requirements and height limitations. Requires property owners to disclose improvements made without building permits to prospective buyers. Requires electrical wiring made to improvement covered by measure to be performed or approved by licensed electrical contractor. Amount of exemption increases annually to adjust for inflation. Measure supersedes conflicting state and local laws. Other provisions.

[_] Yes

“Yes” vote exempts farm and residential real property owners from applicable state and local building permit requirements for improvements valued at 35,000 dollars or less.

"Yes":
OR "Family" Council: "Lean toward a 'YES'"
Victoria Taft

From arguments in favor (pdf):
• Bill Sizemore
• OR Tax Payers United

[X] No

“No” vote requires farm and residential real property owners to comply with applicable state/local building permit requirements for improvements valued at/under 35,000 dollars.

EMO (pdf): ". . . Eliminating permit requirements will undermine the planning and public safety systems and deprive local governments of an important revenue source. . . ."

"No":
WWeek
Portland Mercury
The Oregonian

OregoniansAgainst
UnsafeHousing.org

OR Working Families Party
• Ecumenical Ministries (pdf)
League of Women Voters
NARAL Pro-Choice
Sierra Club
Jack Bogdanski

From OregoniansAgainstUnsafeHousing.org
supporters:
• American Council of
Engineering Companies
• American Institute of
Architects
• American Planning Assn
• Associated Bldg
& Contractors
• Associated Gen Contractors
• Home Builders Assn of OR
• Natl Association of
Mutual Insurance Companies
• Natl Electrical
Contractors Assn
• OR Assn of Plumbing
Heating & Cooling Contractors
• OR Bldg Officials Assn
• OR Planning Assn
• OR Remodelers Assn
• OR State Bldg Trades Council
• OR State Bldg
& Construction Trades Council
• Plumbing and Mechanical
Contractors Assn
• Plumbing, Heating
& Cooling Contractors Assn
• American Federation of
Labor & Congress of Ind'l Orgs
• American Federation of
State, County & Municipal Employees
• Bricklayers Local 1 of OR
• Independent Electrical
Contractors of OR
• Intl Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers
• Ironworkers Local 29
• State Employee Itnl Union
• United Assn of
Plumbers & Steamfitters
• OR Fire Chiefs Assn
• OR Fire Marshals Assn
• OR State Fire Fighters
Council
• Independent Insurance
Agents & Brokers
• Professional Insurance
Agents of OR & ID
• Property Casualty Insurers
Assn of America
• American Insurance Assn
• • 2 county commissioners
• 6 OR Representatives
• 4 OR Senators
• 16 mayors
Neutral Basic Rights OR

MY FIRST IMPRESSION: Uh? I, like probably most voters, don't know anything about building permit laws or real estate, so this law is asking voters to make some huge assumptions.

  • Why $35,000? I may not know much about building costs, but it seems someone could make some major alterations to their home for $35K.
  • Who is assessing the improvement's value and when is it assessed? It's easy to imagine a homeowner arbitrarily guessing that their second story addition couldn't possibly be worth $35K.
  • Why $35K in a calendar year instead of any 12-month period? Couldn't a homeowner complete $70K of improvements in a long New Year's weekend?
  • Why does it only require electric work to be completed by an licensed electrical contractor? Shouldn't licensed building and plumbing contractors also be required?

Overall, I'm not comfortable legislating an exemption to building codes, so I'm leaning toward a no vote. Instead of exempting owners from building codes, why not enable do-it-yourselfers to learn and comply with codes such as requiring agencies to publish easy-to-understand building codes and interpretations?

1 comment:

goooooood girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.