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AIA Ohio News

AIA Ohio’s Legislative affairs program provides information and leadership through advocacy and monitoring of legislation and regulations at the state level.  By collaborating with allied professionals, industry representatives, code officials, and state and local representatives, AIA Ohio strives to build strategic alliances to address issues of public health, safety and welfate, design excellence and in advancing the quality of life through the built environment.

As advocates of innovative approaches to legislation, AIA Ohio advances state regulations that benefit the practice of architecture and promotes good design that positively affects the quality of life of for all citizens of Ohio. Through our efforts, AIA Ohio works to educate the public and legislators on a wide facet of issues relating to architecture including:

  • Qualification Based Selection
  • Historic Preservation
  • Sustainable Design
  • Building Code development and regulation
  • Statute of repose

Working through our highly qualified staff and experienced membership, AIA Ohio proposes regulations, positions architects as leaders, and tracks and responds to legislation that benefits both architects and users of the built environment alike. Additionally, through our Political Action Committee, we strive to support legislation, and allies in the legislature, that advances the needs of our members.

Bill Granting Townships Building Code Rights Heard (SB 43)

The bill that would enable limited home rule townships to adopt building codes regardless of any similar codes adopted by the county in which the township resides had a proponent hearing March 21 before the Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Testimony in support of SB43 was given by Bryan Rhoads, administrator for Blendon Township in Franklin County; and Heidi Fought, director of governmental affairs for the Ohio Township Association (OTA), on behalf of OTA and the Coalition of Large Ohio Urban Townships (CLOUT).

Rhoads said, "Our residents have to go to Franklin County to obtain building permits and inspections in order to undertake any improvements to their homes. We feel we can provide quick and efficient building services to our residents and can streamline the construction process."

Fought said, "Clearly, Ohio law acknowlmedges that limited home rule townships do have the expertise and resources to effectively operate a building department to establish, revise and enforce building standard codes, for they are allowed to do so as long as the county has not adopted such. The typical limited home rule township is a large and sophisticated operation, managing police, fire and other critical operations... any such code adopted by a limited home rule township may not conflict with state-adopted codes ..."

 

There were no questions following the testimonies.

Board of Building Standards Proposed Code Revisions

The Ohio Board of Building Standards will convene for a public hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, at 10:00 A.M., Friday, April 14, 2017 in Hearing Room #1, at 6606 Tussing Road, Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 43068.  The purpose of the hearing is to solicit testimony on proposed actions taken on select rules of the Administrative Code, identified as Amendments Group XCIII (93) pursuant to Chapters 119., 3781., 3791., and 4104. of the Revised Code.

 A synopsis of the proposed rule changes is attached.  The full text of the public hearing draft containing the proposed rules can be viewed on the Board’s website at the following link:http://www.com.state.oh.us/documents/bbs_CombinedPHDraft-AG93.pdf

Due its size, it may take a few moments to download. 

Please contact the Ohio Board of Building Standards at 614-644-2613 with any questions.

Building Code Bill Gets Hearing (SB 43)

The Senate Local Government, Public Safety & Veterans Affairs Committee took testimony, March 7 regarding SB43 which would enable limited home rule townships to adopt building codes regardless of any similar codes adopted by the county in which the township resides.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) said his proposal would let residents and businesses in certain limited home rule townships obtain building permits at the township level, which would be more convenient than seeking permits from county departments.

He said the change was requested by Blendon Township, which would like to adopt its own codes.

He said that township has a commercial building department because Franklin County doesn't have one, but is unable to open a residential building department because the county does have a residential operation.

Having both departments, he said, would make the process more efficient because Ohioans would only have to visit one jurisdiction to address all their permit needs. The change, he added, would allow builders to work with a single inspector on all projects.

Sen. Bacon told Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London) that the bill would not address any local zoning restrictions.

Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) questioned whether counties and townships could come to different decisions on permit applications. Sen. Bacon said the codes would be similar, but acknowledged that different people could have different views on code interpretation.

The sponsor also told Sen. Sykes that there is nothing in the bill that lets counties object to qualifying townships creating their own departments.

Responding to Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Loveland), Sen. Bacon said the proposed structure is similar to the process that many cities already follow, in which the county is not involved.

Sen. Frank Hoagland (R-Adena) said he has experience in residential and commercial construction, and raised concerns that the shift could "muddy the waters" in terms what governmental entity is responsible for permitting. "This could become an extreme nightmare if we make it more convoluted than it already is," he said.

Sen. Bacon said it is his goal that the bill makes the process go more smoothly, not create confusion. "We're changing nothing about the process," he added, noting that the bill only creates new township authority.

Sen. Sykes said he wanted to avoid potential conflicts between counties and townships, and asked why the bill declares that township codes will prevail.

Sen. Bacon said that issue would be reviewed.

Private Building Inspection: HB128

bill that would permit a general contractor or owner of specified buildings to enter into a contract with a third-party private inspector or a certified building department for building inspection was introduced March 14 as HB 128 by Rep. Kristina Daley Roegner.

 

Budget Bill Would Mitigate Registration Board Anti-Trust Vulnerabilities

Ohio's Budget Bill (HB49) contains provisions that address the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision against the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners that ruled they violated federal antitrust laws because members of the state’s dental board were active participants in the profession they regulated.

Due to this Supreme Court ruling, certain vulnerabilities have been identified in Ohio’s current licensing system. HB49 proposes the creation of a third-party review process by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), in which the DAS would review any action taken by or on behalf of a board that could be subject to antitrust laws. Not only would this protect boards from costly legal action for antitrust-related concerns, it would also prevent unnecessary delays in business decisions the boards make and promote better coordination and efficiency within the licensing boards structure.  

Following are the details governing DAS Antitrust review: 

 

  • Requires the Director of Administrative Services to review and approve or disapprove actions or proposed actions that have been referred to the Director and that may have antitrust implications taken by boards and commissions.
  • Voids an action or proposed action disapproved by the Director.
  • Allows a board or commission that has taken or proposes to take an action, person who is affected or is likely to be affected by an action taken or proposed to be taken by a board or commission, or a person granted a stay in court under the bill to refer an action for review by the Director.
  • Allows a party adversely affected by the Director's approval or disapproval to appeal to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
  • Requires a person to obtain a determination from the Director before pursuing a court action for a violation of antitrust laws and grants the state, a board or commission, or a member of a board or commission the right to request a stay of antitrust proceedings pending in a court that lasts until the Director approves or disapproves the action.
  • Requires the Director to adopt rules under the Administrative Procedure Act to implement and administer the bill's review provisions. 
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