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TMCNet:  Edmond City Council approves update to code despite opposition

[December 11, 2012]

Edmond City Council approves update to code despite opposition

EDMOND, Dec 12, 2012 (The Oklahoman - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A group of people claiming they are trying to restore constitutional governance at the local level argued this week against the city council updating the International Builders Code, a code that has been used by Edmond for 12 years.
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The International Builders Code is a model building code developed by the International Code Council in 1997 and adopted by most cities throughout the United States.

Four other codes, covering fire, housing, power-generation towers and structures and job site sanitation rules, also were on the council's agenda.

A committee of builders and contractors has been reviewing the code updates for about a year.

Ferlin Kearns said the group of opponents wanted a delay on the vote because the regulations were in 13 books, covered 15,000 pages and would cost the people $1,000 to get copies. Opponents said they did not have time review the documents.

"We had no idea this was being dumped on us," Kearns said.

Robert Semands compared the codes to President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which he said has hidden requirements.

"It is going to cost us a lot of money," Semands said. "I don't know what is in it." The opponents, some who are members of Govern Edmond Locally, have argued against the city's involvement in International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives and Edmond having a sister city because of ties to the United Nations' program Agenda 21.

Richard Gabel, director of Edmond's building services, said he was confused why there was an issue over the updates of the code at this time.

"We're not trying to hide anything," Gabel said. "It has never been a secret. I don't see a down side to this. We are trying to get a uniform technical code.

"No cities have refused to adopt this. The whole point is so everyone will be on the same page." Art Myers, a retired contractor for stadium seating in Oklahoma, said, "There is not a cryptic, mysterious thing. I can't stress enough how important it is to be on the same footing.

"It is all about uniformity. It does not cost any more to do it right." Oklahoma City, Broken Arrow, Lawton and other cities are updating their ordinances to comply with state building codes and the International Builders Code, something municipalities do periodically, City Manager Larry Stevens said.

Edmond council members unanimously approved updating the codes.

___ (c)2012 The Oklahoman Visit The Oklahoman at www.newsok.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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