Thanks to the joint efforts of REBIC and the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA), home builders in Mecklenburg County are still able to apply for permits on new construction and renovations, and a potentially devastating, statewide permit shutdown has been avoided.
When local code officials began warning last week that they may have to stop accepting permit applications on March 1 because of the unavailability of the 2012 North Carolina Residential Building Code, NCHBA sprung into action and ensured that an online version of the code was available two days before its state-mandated effective date. This online version allows general contractors, code enforcement officials, other industry professionals, and the general public to view the code in its entirety. Consequently, there is no legal basis to withhold building permits as several jurisdictions had threatened to do.
When Mecklenburg County then raised concerns that the online version was labled “DRAFT,” REBIC and NCHBA teamed up to obtain a memorandum from the State Department of Insurance clarifying that no further substantive edits would be made and ensuring local governments that they could rely on the code for the issuance of permits. As a result, Mecklenburg County agreed to begin accepting permits for review under the new code on March 1, although it asked builders to be patient as its plan review staff adjusts to the changes.
Thanks are also due to State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, whose efforts helped ensure that permits would continue to be accepted in Mecklenburg County and other jurisdictions across the state.
“Any withholding of building permits would have surely harmed the fragile recovery in the housing market that is beginning to take hold in our state,” said Mike Carpenter, NCHBA Executive Vice President. “We appreciate Commissioner Goodwin’s personal involvement in speaking to officials at the ICC to obtain this result.”
Again, you may find the 2012 NC Residential Building Code at this link.