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Building code committee prepares recommendations

The Building Code Review Committee, appointed by the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors to review and recommend modifications to the county’s adopted building codes, met Wednesday to finalize a list of recommendations to present to the board at a future board meeting.

County Planning and Development Director Ed Pinero said many of the procedural changes, such as the length of time needed for plan review within the permit department, have already been implemented with positive results.

“The processes were the biggest issue we’ve been having, and we’ve made some minor modifications in the way we handle things in the building permit department and we’re already having some improvements,” Pinero said. “I think by using common sense and reasonable logic, we can get business taken care of.”

Committee member Reese Moody said he has not heard any negative comments about the building permit department since the new policies have been implemented.

One of the recommendations the committee will present to the board of supervisors is that all inspections be consolidated into one visit to the building site.

“Consolidation of all the inspections so they can be done at one time will make the process faster, while making sure nothing is left out. We’re not taking anything out. We’re able to do this because we’ve been cross-training our inspectors,” Pinero said.

Another recommendation would be in regards to the current requirement for a site inspection prior to the beginning of construction. The committee’s suggestion will be to eliminate the site inspection, except under special circumstances to be determined by Deputy Chief Building Official Guy Holston.

“Such special circumstances would be if a builder is wanting to build in a flood zone or something like that,” Holston said.

The committee also addressed the usage of rough cut lumber and decided to recommend that ungraded, rough cut lumber be allowed in building for personal use or in barns, at the discretion of the Building Official.

“I don’t want to see it used in spec houses or something like that, but I don’t have a problem with someone using it in their barn,” said Moody.

The committee also agreed to recommend to eliminate temporary power pole inspections.

“I have a problem with the temporary pole inspections. I don’t think the county needs to take on that responsibility. The temporary power pole inspections took all responsibility off the power company and put it on the county. If the county is responsible, those poles need to be inspected every time they are put up, and I don’t think we need to do it. If they aren’t set up right, the power company won’t hook to it. Let the power company inspect it,” said committee member Marcy Johnson.

Pinero pointed out that the committee has not made any changes to the building codes themselves, but rather to the procedures that are followed to implement and enforce the codes.

“The Building Code Review Committee is going to present to the Board of Supervisors suggested changes to the processes for handling building codes, but no changes to the actual building codes. The committee suggests using a common sense approach to inspections and full implementation of the codes as required by legislation,” Pinero said in a follow-up email to the Item.