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Relating to procedures for a municipality to adopt or amend a national model building code.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 1679 would amend Chapter 214 (Municipal Regulation of Housing and Other Structures) of the Local Government Code. Specifically, this legislation would require the governing body of a municipality to hold two public hearings on proposed changes to the national model code (NMC).
Before a municipal governing body would adopt or amend an NMC, it would first have to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the effects the proposed changes would have to the local economy, tax revenue, net growth in a new development, and the additional cost per unit of development.
Moreover, if a proposed amendment addresses a health and safety issue the governing body would have to present scientific evidence of the probability that the health a safety issue will occur and it must present scientific evidence on the probability that the proposed amendment would remedy the issue.
The NMC is a series of international and national uniform standards for best practices in construction and design. Chapter 214 establishes the NMC in the Local Government Code. Local governments may amend this model by tailoring it to its respective jurisdiction, however, as the author’s statement of intent says, “changes to these guidelines can have significant economic impacts on businesses, builders, homebuyers, and those who lease commercial and residential space.”
Although some of these changes bring negligible benefits, the unintended consequence is usually in the form of higher compliance costs. It is critical for all government entities to justify the changes they propose because these changes can pose a significant economic impact, which ultimately hurts the pocket books of people in the community.
We support SB 1679 because it maintains the proper role of government by requiring local municipalities to run a cost-benefit analysis so that they understand the fiscal ramifications of any proposed building code modifications.