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9/7/2017 Ballot Codes
The county commissioners acted responsibly last week by agreeing to bring the building code proposal to voters in November. The contentious proposal – what isn’t here these days? – will give the public an opportunity to weigh-in on what the adoption of these complex building codes means for the county. There are supporters and detractors to the proposal. On the plus side, having county-wide building codes in place could mean that homebuilders may find cheaper mortgage loans and homeowner’s insurance. (An important consideration given the pressures on insurance companies due to the Texas and Florida hurricanes.) Flood insurance would be available to property owners; and homeowners will have an added measure of fire safety attached to their dwellings. On the downside? Well, it’s a building code, with the additional levels of public scrutiny in place, and the possibility of higher construction costs. (Though many contractors already build up to code, so the price differential would be minimal.) For building code naysayers, we urge them to visit with homeowners and the zoning offices in Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. Both towns adopted the International Building Code many years ago, and we have yet to hear a negative squawk from a single soul. The codes can be devilishly complicated, but ensuring that a home is built sturdily and safely can bring on added benefits to homeowners. We encourage residents to study the proposal with open minds.