Proposed building code change will reduce size of 'exempt' buildings

July 28, 2010

Citizen Review

Clallam County, WA - The County Commissioners will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, starting at 10:30 a.m., at the Clallam County Courthouse Commissioner's Chambers before making a change in the building code. Citizens have the opportunity to give your input about the proposal before it is passed by the Commissioners into law.

One story detached accessory buildings, storage sheds, etc. will be changed from 400 to 200 square feet. In other words, no longer can an individual place a structure on their own property of 400 square feet, without getting (and paying for) a permit (permission) from the county planning department (approximately $345.00).

The reasoning is to "comply with the State Building Code", which in turn complies with the "International Building Code". In other words, the code is a "top-down" document, using a "one-size-fits-all" methodology.

There are other areas to be affected, as well. Be sure to read the proposed code and documentation here.

One wonders where the logic is in reducing the size of exempt buildings, other than increased governmental control and the collection of more fees (The av. The "International Building Codes are all developed and "governed" by the "International Code Council" (ICC).

At their website, the ICC includes their "Blueprint to 2015". There are plans for continuing changes and further restrictions to the use of our private property through continuing rules and regulations - all "for our own good", of course. Under the introduction to "Blueprint", the website states: 'We remain firmly committed to the existing Vision, Mission and Values stated in the Blueprint to the Future, issued in August 2007, as we move forward into the planning and updating process."

Buzzwords are used, such as "consensus", "sustainability" and "stakeholders" - all words from UN Agenda 21/Division for Sustainable Development, where it explains that "Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment".

In a letter from Wally Baily, president of the ICC Board under opening comments for the Blueprint, states: "I also am pleased to report that the Code Council is taking steps to protect our world for future generations by supporting green and sustainable construction. In line with the Blueprint goal of social responsibility and public visibility, the Board of Director’s Policy Position on Green Building/Sustainable Communities reinforces our commitment to the environment and encourages efforts by our members to play leadership roles on matters related to green building."

Within the Blueprint document itself, words are used that "sound good", like the Vision Statement - "Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of people by creating better buildings and safer communities."

It's a "one size fits all" - whether you live in a city or in the country, there are no considerations for the different areas and/or lifestyles and building needs. In the America of our Founding Fathers, we govern from the bottom up - not from the "international" down.