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Council hears about building code changes

The Glencoe City Council heard Monday night about changes to the building code from Scott Qualle of MNSpect, the city’s building inspection firm. Several new building codes have or will become effective in 2015.
The Minnesota building code, residential code and mechanical code became effective Jan. 24. The energy code for residential buildings and radon code became effective Feb. 14. The commercial building and commercial energy codes became effective at the beginning of June. The fire and plumbing codes have yet to be adopted, but will likely be before the end of 2015.
The changes to the codes will apply to new construction only, not to existing residences.
Qualle said the city will need to keep track to ensure projects are finished in accordance with the code they were applied under rather than the current code.
Changes to codes include:
• Fence height. Previously fences had to be 6 feet or lower to be exempt from a building permit. Now the requirement is 7 feet or lower.
• Utility sheds. Sheds that are under 200 square feet are now exempt from building codes. The previous requirement was 120 square feet.
• Changes to need for plumbing permit. Qualle now has the discretion to say whether or not a resident needs a plumbing permit for certain projects. Previously any project, such as changing a faucet, required a permit.

For more, see the June 17 print edition of The Chronicle.