Current Status Bill Number:
236Ratification Number: 193Act Number: 123Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19970122Primary Sponsor: McConnellAll Sponsors: McConnell, Passailaigue and GieseDrafted Document Number: gjk\23226djc.97Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19970605Date of Last Amendment: 19970605Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19970613Subject: Building Codes, Council, enforcement officers; fire insurers premium tax levy, Insurance, loss mitigation grant program
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 19970630 Act No. A123 ------ 19970613 Signed by Governor ------ 19970609 Ratified R193 House 19970605 Ordered enrolled for ratification Senate 19970605 Conference Committee Report adopted 88 SCC House 19970605 Conference Committee Report adopted 98 HCC House 19970603 Conference powers granted, 98 HCC Bailey appointed Reps. to Committee of Sandifer Conference Tripp Senate 19970603 Conference powers granted, 88 SCC McConnell appointed Senators to Committee Bryan of Conference Lander Senate 19970603 Insists upon amendment House 19970529 Non-concurrence in Senate amendment Senate 19970529 House amendments amended, returned to House with amendment House 19970508 Read third time, returned to Senate with amendment House 19970507 Amended, read second time House 19970501 Committee report: Favorable with 26 HLCI amendment House 19970212 Introduced, read first time, 26 HLCI referred to Committee Senate 19970212 Read third time, sent to House Senate 19970211 Read second time Senate 19970211 Committee amendment adopted Senate 19970206 Debate adjourned Senate 19970205 Committee report: Favorable with 11 SJ amendment Senate 19970122 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A123, R193, S236)
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 9, TITLE 6, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO BUILDING CODES, SO AS TO REVISE THE REQUIREMENTS AND METHODS OF ADOPTION, THE APPLICATION, SCOPE, AND EXCEPTIONS, AND FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THESE CODES; TO PROVIDE FOR APPOINTMENT OF BUILDING OFFICIALS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF BUILDING PROGRAMS; TO PROVIDE FOR ADOPTION OF BUILDING CODES AND STANDARDS BY STATE AGENCIES, AND THE APPLICATION OF LOCAL ORDINANCES, REGULATIONS, AND STANDARDS TO CERTAIN STATE AND SCHOOL DISTRICT CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS, AND TO FARM STRUCTURES; TO PROVIDE FOR THE MEMBERSHIP AND DUTIES OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA BUILDING CODES COUNCIL AND FOR THE DUTIES OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL AND STATE ENGINEER IN CONNECTION WITH CERTAIN PROJECTS; TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING CHAPTER 8 TO TITLE 6 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR BUILDING CODES ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FOR THEIR FUNCTIONS, DUTIES, AND REGISTRATION; BY ADDING SECTION 38-7-35 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS OF REVENUE COLLECTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 38-7-30 MUST BE USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMPLEMENTING THE TRAINING, CERTIFICATION, AND CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR BUILDING CODES ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS; TO AMEND CHAPTER 75 OF TITLE 38 BY ADDING ARTICLE 8 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO THE DIRECTOR AND THE SOUTH CAROLINA BUILDING CODES COUNCIL AND LOSS MITIGATION GRANT PROGRAM; TO PROVIDE THAT CHAPTER 10 OF TITLE 6 IS NOT APPLICABLE IN COUNTIES OR MUNICIPALITIES THAT FULLY HAVE IMPLEMENTED BUILDING CODES REQUIRED BY SECTION 6-9-10; AND TO DECLARE THE PUBLIC POLICY OF SOUTH CAROLINA PERTAINING TO MAINTAINING REASONABLE STANDARDS OF CONSTRUCTION IN THIS STATE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Building codes revised
SECTION 1. Chapter 9, Title 6 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Section 6-9-10. All municipalities, as defined by Section 5-1-20, and counties in this State shall adopt building, energy, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, gas, and fire codes, referred to as building codes in this chapter, relating to the construction, livability, sanitation, erection, energy efficiency, installation of equipment, alteration, repair, occupancy, or removal of structures located within their jurisdictions and promulgate regulations to implement their enforcement. The municipality or county may adopt only the national, regional, or model codes provided in Section 6-9-50.
With the exception of structures used primarily for offices, storage, warehouses, shop areas, or residential housing, nothing in the building codes or regulations applies to electric cooperatives, the Public Service Authority, or to a public utility corporation subject to regulation by the authorities of the South Carolina Public Service Commission or the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board.
To the extent that federal regulations preempt state and local laws, nothing in this chapter shall conflict with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations regarding manufactured housing construction and installation.
Section 6-9-20. Municipalities and counties may establish agreements with other governmental entities of the State to issue permits and enforce building codes in order to provide the services required by this chapter. The South Carolina Building Codes Council may assist in arranging for municipalities, counties, or consultants to provide the services required by this chapter to other municipalities or counties if a written request from the governing body of the municipality or county is submitted to the council. If a municipality or county determines that it is unable to arrange for services for any annual period at costs totally within the schedule of fees recommended in the appendixes to the building codes referred to in Section 6-9-50, the municipality or county shall submit an affidavit to the council to be exempt from the requirements of this chapter. If such an affidavit is submitted, the municipality or county is exempt from the requirements of this chapter, which exemption is effective until such time as it becomes financially feasible for a county or municipality to provide the services, or five years, whichever is less. A county or municipality may renew its affidavit at the end of five years and at each five-year interval thereafter if it makes another determination that it cannot arrange for services at costs totally within the schedule of fees recommended in the building codes referred to in Section 6-9-50.
Section 6-9-30. Each county shall appoint a building official or contract with other political subdivisions as authorized in Section 6-9-20 so that the unincorporated area of the county is under the jurisdiction of a building official. Each municipality shall appoint a building official or contract for a building official within the municipal limits. Based on the needs established by each municipality or county, the building official or appointing authority may appoint and employ other personnel and assistants necessary to perform the required inspections and duties and may prescribe fees for construction permits and inspections. The appointment of a building official and the establishment of a building inspection program for all municipalities and counties must be accomplished according to the following dates and populations based on the population figures of the latest official United States Census:
(1) municipalities and counties with a population above 70,000: one year after the effective date of this provision;
(2) municipalities and counties with a population of 35,000 to 70,000: two years after the effective date of this provision;
(3) municipalities and counties with a population under 35,000: three years after the effective date of this provision.
Section 6-9-40. The building codes and standards referenced in Section 6-9-50 must be adopted within six months after the establishment of a building inspection department. State agency adoption of a building code or regulation permitted by this chapter must be accomplished in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
Section 6-9-50. (A) Municipalities and counties shall adopt by reference only those provisions of the latest editions of the following nationally known codes and the standards referenced in the codes for regulation of construction which directly relate to building and safety standards within their respective jurisdictions: Standard Building Code, Standard Gas Code, Standard Plumbing Code, Standard Mechanical Code, the Standard Fire Prevention Code, as published by the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., the Model Energy Code, as published by the Council of American Building Officials, and the National Electrical Code, as published by the National Fire Protection Association. The appendixes of the codes provided in this section may be adopted as needed by a municipality or county, but this fact must be referenced by name or letter designation in the adoption ordinance. However, the provisions of the codes referenced in this section which concern the qualification, removal, dismissal, duties, responsibilities of, and administrative procedures for all building officials, deputy building officials, chief inspectors, other inspectors, and assistants do not apply unless they have been adopted by the municipal or county governing body.
(B) The governing body of a county may not enforce that portion of a nationally recognized fire prevention code it has adopted which may regulate outdoor burning for forestry, wildlife, and agricultural purposes as regulated by the South Carolina Forestry Commission.
(C) A residential building is considered in compliance with the Building Envelope Requirements of the Model Energy Code if:
(1) it is built in compliance with prescriptive standards issued by the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission, in consultation with the State Energy Office, based on computer models of the Model Energy Code including, but not limited to, options developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratories for South Carolina's climatic zones, or
(2) if double pane or single pane with storm windows are used for window glass and in the case of ceilings, exterior walls, floors with crawl space, and heating and air conditioning duct work, the determination of the minimum thermal resistance ratings (R-value) is:
(a) R-30 for ceilings, except for ceiling/roof combinations, which must be at least R-19;
(b) R-13 for exterior walls;
(c) R-19 for floors with crawl space;
(d) R-6, or the installed equivalent, for heating and air conditioning duct work not located in conditioned space.
Section 6-9-60. (A) Municipalities and counties may adopt by reference only those provisions of the latest editions of the following nationally known codes and the standards referenced in the codes for regulation of construction which directly relate to building and safety standards within their respective jurisdictions: Standard Housing Code, Standard Existing Building Code, Standard Swimming Pool Code, the Standard Excavation and Grading Code, as published by the Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc., and the One and Two Family Dwelling Code, as published by the Council of American Building Officials. The appendixes of the codes provided in this section may be adopted as needed by a municipality or county, but this fact must be referenced by name or letter designation in the adopting ordinance. However, the provisions of the codes referenced in this section which concern the qualification, removal, dismissal, duties, responsibilities of, and administrative procedures for all building officials, deputy building officials, chief inspectors, other inspectors, and assistants do not apply unless they have been adopted by the municipal or county governing body. If a county or municipality adopts the One and Two Family Dwelling Code, the One and Two Family Dwelling Code shall take precedence over the Standard Building Code for dwellings as defined in the Standard Building Code. If a municipality or county contends that the codes authorized by this chapter do not meet its needs due to local physical or climatological conditions, the variations and modifications must be submitted for approval to the South Carolina Building Codes Council of fifteen members which is established in this section.
(B) Members of the council must be appointed by the Governor for terms of four years each and until a successor is appointed and qualifies. The council shall consist of (1) an architect registered in South Carolina, (2) a municipal administrator, manager, or elected official, (3) a county administrator, manager, or elected official, (4) a representative of the electrical industry who is either an engineer or master electrician registered in South Carolina, (5) a general contractor licensed in South Carolina, (6) a residential home builder licensed in South Carolina, (7) a disabled person, (8) a representative of the mechanical and gas industries who is either an engineer registered in South Carolina or a master mechanic, (9) a representative of the plumbing industry who is either an engineer registered in South Carolina or a master plumber, (10) a representative designated by the State Engineer of the Budget and Control Board, (11) a structural engineer registered in South Carolina, (12) a representative of the general public who is not in the practice of home or safety inspection, construction, or building, who does not have any financial interest in these professions, and who does not have any immediate family member in these professions, (13) a representative designated by the State Fire Marshal, (14) a representative from the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina who shall serve as a nonvoting member, and (15) a representative designated by the Director of the State Energy Office of the Budget and Control Board who shall serve as a nonvoting member. A vacancy must be filled in the manner of the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term. The primary function of the council is to decide to what extent a jurisdiction may vary from the series of codes listed in this chapter in the establishment of construction standards. The council shall monitor the adoption of building codes by municipalities and counties to ensure compliance with this chapter. Members of the council shall receive mileage, subsistence, and per diem as provided for other state boards, committees, or commissions for attendance at board meetings called by the chairman. The council shall elect from its members a chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary. The council shall adopt regulations consistent with this chapter. Meetings may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and must be called by him at the request of three or more members of the council. All members must be notified by the chairman in writing of the time and place of meeting at least seven days in advance of the meeting. Seven members constitute a quorum. All meetings are open to the public. At least two-thirds vote of those members in attendance at the meeting constitutes an official decision of the council.
Section 6-9-65. (A) For purposes of this section, 'farm structure' means a structure which is constructed on a farm, other than a residence or a structure attached to it, for use on the farm including, but not limited to, barns, sheds, and poultry houses, but not public livestock areas. For purposes of this section, 'farm structure' does not include a structure originally qualifying as a 'farm structure' but later converted to another use.
(B) The governing body of a county or municipality may not enforce that portion of a nationally recognized building code it has adopted which regulates the construction or improvement of a farm structure. The standards published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the National Flood Insurance Program shall apply.
(C) The provisions of this section do not apply unless before constructing a farm structure the person owning the property on which the structure is to be constructed files an affidavit with the county or municipal official responsible for enforcing the building code stating that the structure is being constructed as a farm structure. The affidavit must include a statement of purpose or intended use of the proposed structure or addition.
(D) This section does not affect the authority of the governing body of a county or municipality to issue building permits before the construction or improvement of a farm structure.
Section 6-9-70. (A) A person found to be in violation of the building codes or regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter must be fined, by civil fine, in an amount not more than two hundred dollars. Each day the violation continues is a separate offense. However, this provision does not prevent a county or municipality from exercising its authority to impose by ordinance criminal sanctions of a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than thirty days in lieu of the civil penalties required by this provision.
(B) However, before being charged with a second violation, an individual must be given seven calendar days to remedy the violation if in the opinion of the inspector or official it does not place the public in imminent danger or create an emergency situation. Each day a violation continues is a separate offense if the inspector or official determines the situation places the public in imminent danger or creates an emergency situation. In a situation which does not place the public in imminent danger or create an emergency situation, if in the opinion of the inspector or official no substantial progress is made toward correcting the violation by the end of the seventh calendar day, each day the violation continues thereafter is considered a separate offense.
Section 6-9-80. For a violation of the building codes or regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, the local building officials, municipal or county attorneys, or other appropriate authorities of a political subdivision, or an adjacent or neighboring property owner who would be damaged by the violation, in addition to other remedies, may apply for injunctive relief, mandamus, or other appropriate proceeding.
Section 6-9-90. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body of a county or municipality may impose fees necessary to implement and continue the programs required by this chapter upon a vote of a simple majority of the governing body unless (1) a super majority vote is required by local ordinance, or (2) prior to December 1, 1998, the General Assembly specifically amends, repeals, or otherwise affects this law by direct reference to this section, or (3) after November 30, 1998, the General Assembly provides otherwise by law.
Section 6-9-100. The provisions of this chapter are cumulative to other local ordinances and do not limit the authority of counties or municipalities.
Section 6-9-110. (A) A county, municipal, or other local ordinance or regulation which requires the purchase or acquisition of a permit, license, or other device utilized to enforce any building standard does not apply to a:
(1) state department, institution, or agency permanent improvement project, construction project, renovation project, or property; or
(2) school district facility, permanent improvement project, construction project, renovation project, or property which is reviewed and approved by the State Department of Education; except that the State Department of Education or a local school district may direct that the local ordinance or regulation apply to a particular facility, project, or property.
(B) After successful completion of all requirements, the State Fire Marshal shall certify personnel of the State Engineer's Office of the Budget and Control Board designated by the State Engineer. The certified personnel and deputy state fire marshals, including resident state fire marshals, have exclusive jurisdiction over state buildings, including schools, in the exercise of the powers and jurisdictional authority of the State Fire Marshal under Sections 23-9-30, 23-9-40, and 23-9-50.
Section 6-9-120. Nothing in this chapter affects water or sewer systems in this State.
Section 6-9-130. Buildings must be inspected according to the codes in effect for the locality on the date of the issuance of the building permit."
Building Codes Council membership terms
SECTION 2. Members of the South Carolina Building Codes Council serving in office on the effective date of this act whom the Governor determines possess those qualifications required by Section 6-9-60 and, if applicable, represent an entity required to be represented by Section 6-9-60 shall continue to serve until their current terms of office expire. The terms of all other members shall expire on the effective date of this act at which time, their successors shall be appointed by the Governor in the manner provided by Section 6-9-60.
Building Codes Enforcement Officers
SECTION 3. Title 6 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 6-8-10. When used in this chapter 'building codes enforcement officer' means a person employed by a public entity who is primarily responsible for the overall inspection or enforcement of applicable building code requirements within the jurisdiction of the employer.
Section 6-8-20. (A) The South Carolina Building Codes Council is responsible for the registration of building codes enforcement officers pursuant to this chapter. The council or its designated representatives may conduct hearings and proceedings required by law or considered necessary by the council. The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation shall employ and supervise personnel necessary for the administration of this chapter. The council may promulgate regulations for the proper enforcement of this chapter.
(B) The council shall keep a record of its hearings and proceedings and a register of applications for the certificates of registration showing the date of application, name, qualifications, and addresses of the business and residence of the applicant and whether the certificate is approved or denied. The council shall publish biannually during odd-numbered years the applications in the register which are approved. Applicants and registrants shall notify the council of changes in required information within ten days of a change.
Section 6-8-30. (A) Certificates of registration may be issued without examination to building codes enforcement officers employed in codes enforcement on the effective date of this chapter only for the position and locality held at the time of registration pursuant to this section. This registration is valid for two years and may be renewed.
(B) Upon initial employment by a political subdivision, an individual must be granted a provisional certificate of registration without examination which is valid for one year from the date of issuance. The provisional certificate of registration may not be renewed.
Section 6-8-40. No person may practice as a codes enforcement officer in this State unless registered as provided in this chapter. A person violating the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days. Each day the violation continues is a separate offense.
Section 6-8-50. If the council has reason to believe that a person is violating or intends to violate a provision of this chapter, in addition to other remedies, it may order the person immediately to refrain from the conduct. The council may apply to the court of common pleas for an injunction restraining the person from the conduct. The court may issue a temporary injunction ex parte not to exceed ten days and upon notice and full hearing may issue other orders in the matter it considers proper. No bond is required of the council by the court as a condition to the issuance of an injunction or order pursuant to this section.
Section 6-8-60. (A) A person desiring to be registered as a building codes enforcement officer as required by this chapter shall apply upon a form prescribed by the council.
(B) An applicant shall furnish satisfactory proof to the council of valid certification by a recognized code organization or testing agency in the general or special capacity in which he desires to be registered. Special certificates of registration authorize the registrant to practice in the named specialty only. General certificates of registration are not restricted. The council or its designated representatives shall review the guidelines employed by the organization or agency in order to determine their continued compatibility with the requirements considered by the council to be consistent with this chapter.
(C) A local jurisdiction may impose additional requirements upon a person employed as a building codes enforcement officer in its jurisdiction.
Section 6-8-70. (A) A certificate of registration is valid for two years and expires on July first of each odd-numbered year unless renewed before that date. Renewal of all registrations must be based upon a determination by council of the applicant's participation in approved continuing education programs. The council must promulgate regulations setting forth the continuing education requirements for building codes enforcement officers. A person failing to make timely renewal of his certificate is not registered unless qualified in the manner provided for new registrants and may not practice until registered in accordance with this chapter.
(B) Funding for the certification, training, and continuing education of building code enforcement officers must be appropriated to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in the manner provided in Section 38-7-35."
Building Codes Enforcement Officers' training
SECTION 4. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 38-7-35. (A) The first one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars of the revenue collected annually pursuant to Section 38-7-30 must be transferred to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for the purpose of implementing the training, certification, and continuing education program for building codes enforcement officers as provided in Section 6-8-70 and by law.
(B) The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation shall report annually to the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee detailing actual program expenditures including, but not limited to, the number of instructors employed, the number of training sessions conducted, and the number of certifications issued. This report must be submitted to the respective chairmen no later than January fifteenth of each year.
(C) One hundred thousand dollars of the revenue collected annually pursuant to Section 38-7-30 must be transferred to the Department of Insurance for the purpose of implementing the program as provided in Section 38-75-480.
(D) Subsection (C) of this section ceases to be of any force or effect after June 30, 2002."
Advisory committee to Building Codes Council
SECTION 5. Chapter 75 of Title 38 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 38-75-470. The Director of Insurance shall appoint an advisory committee to the director and the South Carolina Building Codes Council to study issues associated with the development of strategies for reducing loss of life and mitigating property losses due to hurricane, earthquake, and fire. The advisory committee also must consider the costs associated with these strategies to individual property owners. The advisory committee must include:
(1) one representative from Clemson University involved with wind engineering;
(2) one representative from an academic institution involved with the study of earthquakes;
(3) one representative from the Department of Insurance;
(4) one representative from an insurer writing property insurance in South Carolina;
(5) one representative from the Department of Commerce;
(6) one representative from the Federal Emergency Management Association;
(7) one representative from the Homebuilders Association;
(8) one representative from the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina;
(9) one representative from the State Fire Marshal's office;
(10) two at-large members appointed by the director; and
(11) two at-large members appointed by the Governor.
Members shall serve for terms of two years and shall receive no per diem, mileage, or subsistence. Vacancies must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
Within thirty days after its appointment, the advisory committee shall meet at the call of the Director of Insurance. The advisory committee shall elect from its members a chairman and a secretary and shall adopt rules not inconsistent with this chapter. Meetings may be called by the chairman on his own initiative and must be called at the request of three or more members of the advisory committee. All members shall be notified by the chairman of the time and place of the meeting at least seven days in advance of the meeting. All meetings must be open to the public. At least two-thirds vote of those members in attendance at the meeting shall constitute an official decision of the advisory committee.
Section 38-75-480. (A) There is established within the Department of Insurance a loss mitigation grant program. Funds may be appropriated to the grant program, and any funds so appropriated shall be used for the purpose of making grants to local governments or for the study and development of strategies for reducing loss of life and mitigating property losses due to hurricane, earthquake, and fire. Grants to local governments shall be for the following purposes:
(1) implementation of building code enforcement programs including preliminary training of inspectors; and
(2) conducting assessments to determine need for and desirability of making agreements to provide enforcement services pursuant to Section 6-9-60.
Funds may be appropriated for a particular grant only after a majority affirmative vote on each grant by the advisory committee.
(B) The Department of Insurance may make application and enter into contracts for and accept grants in aid from federal and state government and private sources for the purposes of:
(1) implementation of building code enforcement programs including preliminary training of inspectors;
(2) conducting assessments to determine need for and desirability of making agreements to provide enforcement services pursuant to Section 6-9-60; and
(3) study and development of strategies for reducing loss of life and mitigating property losses due to hurricane, earthquake, and fire."
Exemptions to building codes requirements
SECTION 6. Chapter 10 of Title 6 of the 1976 Code is not applicable in counties or municipalities which have fully implemented building codes as required in Section 6-9-10, as amended by this act.
Public policy as to building codes
SECTION 7. The public policy of South Carolina is to maintain reasonable standards of construction in buildings and other structures in the State consistent with the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. To secure these purposes, a person performing building codes enforcement must be certified by the South Carolina Building Codes Council, and this act is necessary to provide for certification.
To clarify the intent of the General Assembly and address questions which might arise or have arisen with respect to provisions of the nationally known codes which have been or are in place, only those portions or provisions of the nationally known building and safety codes which relate to building standards and safety are binding upon any state or local governmental entity or agency which adopts the building and safety codes authorized or required by Chapter 9 of Title 6 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
SECTION 8. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 13th day of June, 1997.