senate Bill S7565

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides for the review of local governments' construction standards by the state fire prevention and building code council

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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May 15, 2014 referred to housing, construction and community development

S7565 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Housing, Construction And Community Development
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §379, Exec L

S7565 - Bill Texts

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Provides for the review of local governments' construction standards by the state fire prevention and building code council when such standards are more stringent than the state fire prevention and building code.

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BILL NUMBER:S7565

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to the
adoption by local governments of higher or more restrictive standards
for construction

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To amend Executive Law § 379 to
alter the process for approving local standards for construction which
are higher or more restrictive than those applicable generally in the
Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code ("Uniform Code")

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the Executive Law
379 and adds a new subdivision 6 to change the process by which
cities, towns, villages and Nassau County may adopt higher or more
restrictive construction standards than are applicable generally in
the Uniform Code.

Subdivision 1 is amended to require local governments that propose to
adopt higher or more restrictive standards to first petition the State
Fire Prevention and Building Code Council ("Code Council") for
approval of such proposed local standards. The local standards would
not take effect while the Code Council considers the local
government's petition.

Subdivision 2 is amended to provide that council review be completed
and a determination issued within 180 days of receipt of a complete
petition. If the Code Council fails to issue a determination in 180
days, the local government would be authorized to adopt the higher or
more restrictive standard without council approval. The criteria for
approval of a local standard by the Code Council would be clarified.
In addition, the Code Council would be required to review local
standards every three years to ensure that such standards are
consistent with any changes to the Uniform Code adopted since the last
review.

Subdivision 3 is amended to eliminate from its provisions an apparent
inconsistency with subdivisions 1 and 2 of the statute.

Subdivision 4 and 5 would be amended and a new subdivision 6 added to
the statute for the purpose of conforming the process for approving
local standards proposed for adoption by Nassau County to the
procedures set out in subdivisions one and two for approval of local
standards.

Section 2 - Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Executive Law § 379 authorizes cities, towns, villages
and Nassau County to adopt local laws or ordinances which impose
higher or more restrictive standards for construction than are
applicable generally in the Uniform Cod; provided the municipality
petitions the Code Council within thirty days of the adoption of such
law or ordinance for a determination of whether the local standard is
more stringent than the standard applicable in the Uniform Code.
During the period in which the Code Council is considering such a


petition any such local laws or ordinances remain in full force and
effect.

The Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code is intended to be the
minimum standard for building construction and fire prevention in the
State. Executive Law § 379 authorizes adoption of higher or more
restrictive local standards so long as such standards are reasonably
necessary because of special conditions prevailing within the
municipality adopting such standard. Any local standard adopted by a
local governing body must be reviewed and approved by the Code
Council. Although the Code Council's approval is necessary for the
local standard to remain in effect, the statute currently provides for
a mechanism whereby the local government adopts the local standard and
continues to enforce its requirements while its petition for approval
by the Code Council is pending. This has led to situations where
eventually the local standards were disapproved by the Code Council
because of the absence of special conditions prevailing within the
municipality. However, local property owners were required to comply
with the more restrictive standard during the pendency of the
municipality's petition before the Code Council.

The better practice would be to delay the effectiveness of the
proposed local standard and continue the applicability of the minimum
standards of the Uniform Code until the Code Council has had the
opportunity to review and approve the proposed local standard. To
ensure timely review by the Code Council, the amended statute would
require council review and a determination to occur within 180 days of
receipt of a petition or the local standard will be deemed approved.
In accordance with the directives of Executive Law § 374, the Code
Council meets quarterly. In 2002, the Code Council adopted new text to
replace the current provisions of the New York Uniform Fire Prevention
and Building Code. This new text took effect January 1, 2003 and was
based upon a set of model codes developed by an organization comprised
of government and industry representatives from throughout the nation.
The goal of using national model codes as the basis of New York
regulation is to bring the State into conformity with building and
fire code provisions in use across the country. Conformity presumes
uniformity to the greatest extent possible. Allowing local governments
to adopt and enforce local standards which differ from the standard
enforced throughout the country without first establishing that
special conditions justify such a variation is contrary to this
presumption of uniformity.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2005-2006: A.10609/S5027; 2003-2004:
S.4904.;2007-2008.S.4800

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7565

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 15, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  YOUNG  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction  and
  Community Development

AN  ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the adoption by local
  governments of higher or more restrictive standards for construction

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section 379 of the executive law, as added by chapter 707
of the laws of 1981, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 772 of the laws
of 1986 and subdivision 5 as added by chapter 622 of the laws  of  1986,
is amended to read as follows:
  S  379. [Incorporation]  APPROVAL  of higher standards by council upon
[recommendation] PETITION of  local  government;  local  building  regu-
lations.  1. [Except in the case of factory manufactured homes, intended
for use as one or two family dwelling units or multiple dwellings of not
more than two stories in height, the] THE legislative body of any  local
government may [duly enact or] adopt [local laws or ordinances imposing]
STANDARDS  FOR  CONSTRUCTION  THAT  ARE  HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN
THOSE APPLICABLE GENERALLY IN THE UNIFORM CODE BY ENACTING OR ADOPTING A
LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE AFTER OBTAINING THE APPROVAL OF  THE  COUNCIL.  A
LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT PROPOSES TO ADOPT higher or more restrictive stan-
dards  for construction within the jurisdiction of such local government
than are applicable generally to such local government  in  the  uniform
code[. Within thirty days of such enactment or adoption, the chief exec-
utive officer, or if there be none, the chairman of the legislative body
of  such local government, shall so notify the council, and] shall peti-
tion the council for a determination of whether OR NOT such local  [laws
or  ordinances are] STANDARDS WOULD BE more stringent than the standards
for construction applicable generally [to such local government] in  the
uniform code. During the period in which the council is considering such
petition, [such local laws or ordinances shall remain in full force and]
NO  SUCH  LOCAL  STANDARDS  SHALL TAKE effect.   NO LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAY
ENACT OR ADOPT HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE STANDARDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION
OF FACTORY MANUFACTURED HOMES INTENDED FOR USE  AS  ONE  OR  TWO  FAMILY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15277-01-4

S. 7565                             2

DWELLING  UNITS  OR  MULTIPLE  DWELLINGS OF NOT MORE THAN TWO STORIES IN
HEIGHT.
  2.  [If]  WITHIN  ONE  HUNDRED  EIGHTY DAYS FROM RECEIPT OF A COMPLETE
PETITION, THE COUNCIL SHALL DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT  A  PROPOSED  LOCAL
STANDARD  IS  APPROPRIATE  AND SHALL NOTIFY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WHETHER
THE STANDARD WILL BE APPROVED OR REJECTED IN WHOLE OR IN PART.    BEFORE
APPROVING A LOCAL STANDARD WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF A PETITION, the coun-
cil  [finds]  MUST  FIND that [such] THE STANDARD CONFORMS WITH ACCEPTED
ENGINEERING AND FIRE PREVENTION PRACTICES AND THE PURPOSES OF THIS ARTI-
CLE, IS higher or more restrictive [standards are] THAN  THOSE  EXISTING
IN  THE  UNIFORM  CODE,  AND  IS reasonably necessary because of special
conditions prevailing within the local government [and that such  stand-
ards conform with accepted engineering and fire prevention practices and
the purposes of this article, the council shall adopt such standards, in
whole  or  part],  BUT  DOES  NOT  MERIT PROPOSAL AS AN AMENDMENT TO THE
UNIFORM CODE.  The council shall have the power to  limit  the  term  or
duration  of  such  standards,  impose conditions in connection with the
adoption thereof, and [to] terminate such standards at such times[,] and
in such manner as the council may deem necessary, desirable  or  proper.
UPON  RECEIPT  OF  THE  COUNCIL'S  APPROVAL OF A PROPOSED HIGHER OR MORE
RESTRICTIVE LOCAL STANDARD, A LOCAL GOVERNMENT IS AUTHORIZED TO ADOPT BY
LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE SUCH STANDARD. IF THE COUNCIL FAILS TO  RENDER  A
DETERMINATION  ON  A COMPLETE PETITION WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF
RECEIPT, THE REQUESTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAY ADOPT A LOCAL LAW OR  ORDI-
NANCE  IMPOSING THE PROPOSED STANDARD OR STANDARDS, IN WHOLE OR IN PART,
TO THE EXTENT THAT  SUCH  WERE  CONTAINED  IN  THE  PETITION  ORIGINALLY
SUBMITTED  TO  THE COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL SHALL REVIEW ALL LOCAL STANDARDS
EVERY THREE YEARS TO ENSURE THAT EACH STANDARD IS NECESSARY  AND  APPRO-
PRIATE  IN  LIGHT  OF  ANY  CHANGES  TO  THE UNIFORM CODE THAT HAVE BEEN
ADOPTED SINCE THE STANDARD WAS ADOPTED. IF THE COUNCIL  FINDS  THAT  ANY
STANDARD  IS  NO  LONGER  NECESSARY  AND  APPROPRIATE, THE COUNCIL SHALL
DIRECT MODIFICATION OR REPEAL OF SUCH STANDARD.
  3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit any  munici-
pality  from  adopting  or enacting any building regulations relating to
any matter as to which the uniform fire  prevention  and  building  code
does not provide, but no municipality shall have the power to supersede,
void,  repeal  or  make  more or less restrictive any provisions of this
article or of rules or  regulations  made  pursuant  hereto,  EXCEPT  AS
PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION.
  4.  Within  one  hundred  twenty  days after the effective date of the
uniform code, a local government may by resolution duly enacted petition
the council for a determination as to whether OR NOT an existing  build-
ing and/or fire code in force in said local government is more stringent
than the uniform code. During the period in which the council is consid-
ering  such  petition,  such  local  code shall remain in full force and
effect. If, after review, the council determines that such local code is
less stringent than the uniform code, the council shall notify the chief
executive officer or, if there be none, the  [chairman]  CHAIRPERSON  of
the  legislative  body  of  such  local government, and the uniform code
shall, thirty days after the date of notification, apply in  such  local
government. If the council finds that such local code is not less strin-
gent than the uniform code, such local code shall continue in full force
and  effect  until  the  council,  upon its own initiative, reviews such
local code and determines that it is no longer more stringent, whereupon
the council shall notify  the  chief  executive  officer  or  [chairman]
CHAIRPERSON of the legislative body of such local government, and, thir-

S. 7565                             3

ty  days after the date of notification, the uniform code shall apply in
such local government.
  5.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section,
the legislative body of Nassau county may have duly enacted  or  adopted
or  may  duly enact or adopt local laws or ordinances imposing higher or
more restrictive standards for construction within the  jurisdiction  of
the  county  than  are applicable generally to the county in the uniform
code. The chief executive officer, or if there be none,  the  [chairman]
CHAIRPERSON  of  the  legislative  body  of the county, shall notify the
council, and shall petition the council for a determination  of  whether
OR NOT such preexisting local laws or ordinances[, or within thirty days
of  such  enactment  or  adoption of such local laws or ordinances,] are
more stringent than the standards for construction applicable  generally
to such county in the uniform code. During the period in which the coun-
cil  is  considering  such petition, such local laws or ordinances shall
remain in full force and effect.
  6. THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE COUNTY OF NASSAU  MAY  ADOPT  STANDARDS
FOR CONSTRUCTION THAT ARE HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN ARE THE STAND-
ARDS  THAT ARE APPLICABLE GENERALLY TO THE COUNTY IN THE UNIFORM CODE BY
FIRST OBTAINING THE APPROVAL OF THE COUNCIL. THE CHIEF  EXECUTIVE  OFFI-
CER, OR IF THERE BE NONE, THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE
COUNTY, SHALL PETITION THE COUNCIL FOR A DETERMINATION OF WHETHER OR NOT
LOCAL  STANDARDS  WHICH  THE  COUNTY  LEGISLATIVE BODY PROPOSES TO ADOPT
WOULD BE MORE STRINGENT  THAN  STANDARDS  APPLICABLE  GENERALLY  IN  THE
UNIFORM  CODE.  DURING  THE PERIOD IN WHICH THE COUNCIL IS CONSIDERING A
PETITION OF THE COUNTY, NO  SUCH  LOCAL  STANDARDS  SHALL  TAKE  EFFECT.
BEFORE  APPROVING  A  LOCAL STANDARD PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION BY THE COUNTY
LEGISLATIVE BODY, THE COUNCIL MUST FIND THAT THE STANDARD CONFORMS  WITH
ACCEPTED  ENGINEERING  AND FIRE PREVENTION PRACTICES AND THE PURPOSES OF
THIS ARTICLE, IS HIGHER OR MORE RESTRICTIVE THAN THOSE EXISTING  IN  THE
UNIFORM  CODE, AND IS REASONABLY NECESSARY BECAUSE OF SPECIAL CONDITIONS
PREVAILING WITHIN THE COUNTY.  THE COUNCIL SHALL HAVE THE POWER TO LIMIT
THE TERM OR DURATION OF SUCH STANDARD, IMPOSE CONDITIONS  IN  CONNECTION
WITH  THE ADOPTION THEREOF, AND TERMINATE THE STANDARD AT SUCH TIMES AND
IN SUCH MANNER AS THE COUNCIL MAY DEEM NECESSARY, DESIRABLE  OR  PROPER.
UPON  RECEIPT  OF  THE  COUNCIL'S  APPROVAL OF A PROPOSED HIGHER OR MORE
RESTRICTIVE LOCAL STANDARD, THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF THE COUNTY OF NASSAU
MAY ADOPT BY LOCAL LAW OR ORDINANCE SUCH STANDARD. IF THE COUNCIL  FAILS
TO  RENDER  A  DETERMINATION  ON  A COMPLETE PETITION WITHIN ONE HUNDRED
EIGHTY DAYS OF RECEIPT, THE LEGISLATIVE BODY MAY ADOPT A  LOCAL  LAW  OR
ORDINANCE  IMPOSING  THE  PROPOSED STANDARD OR STANDARDS, IN WHOLE OR IN
PART, TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH WERE CONTAINED IN THE PETITION  ORIGINALLY
SUBMITTED  TO  THE COUNCIL. THE COUNCIL SHALL REVIEW ALL LOCAL STANDARDS
ADOPTED BY THE COUNTY LEGISLATIVE BODY EVERY THREE YEARS TO ENSURE  THAT
EACH  STANDARD  IS  NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE IN LIGHT OF ANY CHANGES TO
THE UNIFORM CODE THAT HAVE BEEN ADOPTED SUBSEQUENT TO  ADOPTION  OF  THE
LOCAL  STANDARD.  IF  THE  COUNCIL  FINDS THAT ANY STANDARD IS NO LONGER
NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE, THE  COUNCIL  SHALL  DIRECT  MODIFICATION  OR
REPEAL OF SUCH STANDARD.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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