Building codes to go countywide Sunday
MOHAVE COUNTY - Time is running short for rural Mohave County residents impacted by the adoption of the 2003 International Building Codes to grandfather their structures with zoning permits.
On May 7, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors approved the extension of the adopted codes countywide to be effective September 1.
"Residents in the rural areas where the codes will now be enforced should make sure that any recently constructed buildings have zoning permits," County Chief Building Official Darrell Riedel said Monday, Aug. 27. "The 2003 codes are already used throughout the more populated unincorporated areas, such as Mohave Valley, Desert Hills, Valle Vista and Golden Valley, among others. Now, due to recent growth, the overlay area is expanding to the whole county.
"All structure construction in those areas will require building permits after September 1," he said. "But buildings recently constructed or in the process of being built will only need a zoning permit if that permit is acquired from the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Department before September 1. A zoning permit requirement has been in effect since the 1960s."
Riedel said the building codes are a necessity to ensure safety for the growing population.
"We all know that electrical problems can lead to fires, electrical shock and possible death," he said. "Gas piping must also be code compliant as gas leaks can also be deadly. And, obviously, a building not constructed correctly can collapse. The inspections Darrell Riedel
that come with building permits will make sure structures are well-built."
Flood problems are another matter.
"If someone wants to build in a flood plain, that flood plain will designate how high the base of that home has to be elevated," he said. "If someone builds outside a designated flood plain, we have no ability to require elevation. In the recent storm flooding in Golden Valley, some people thought Planning and Zoning should have prevented the problem. We can only follow the law and the law allows homes to be built where the owner wants to build them, unless it is in a designated flood plain.
"We recommend that a home buyer who has questions about a structure bring in a private engineer to research the property prior to purchase," he said. "We also recommend homeowners purchase flood insurance if they believe there is any possibility of a problem."
The new codes will help keep some flooding problems from being created.
"Throughout the entire county, after September 1," he said, "a person will need a grading permit to move 100 cubic yards of dirt or more. That is because the moving of even a small amount of dirt can create a large flood problem for the homeowner or his or her neighbors."
There will still be problems related to living in extreme rural areas, he said, but the codes will help.
For more information, call Riedel at (928) 757-0903.
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