Letter: Building inspector given way too much powerAt its Aug. 4 meeting, the Kinnickinnic Town Board will discuss and act on a Building Code Ordinance that is far beyond the scope of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC).
By: Candace Bettendorf, town of Kinnickinnic, River Falls Journal
At its Aug. 4 meeting, the Kinnickinnic Town Board will discuss and act on a Building Code Ordinance that is far beyond the scope of the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC).
The UDC applies to dwellings (homes) only. While the town’s draft ordinance claims to adopt the Wisconsin UDC, the town changes the wording from “dwelling” to “structure,” so there’s virtually no limit to what will be inspected.
The UDC specifically exempts farm buildings and accessory buildings not attached to dwellings. The Kinnickinnic Ordinance specifically names “shed, gazebos, barns, studios…” and more as structures subject to not only permits, but inspections.
The proposed ordinance gives the building inspector the power to “pass upon any questions arising under the provisions of this ordinance relating to buildings, subject to conditions contained in this ordinance.” Nice, since he also wrote this ordinance.
The ordinance also says, “Any person interfering with the building inspector while in the performance of the duties prescribed in this ordinance shall be subject to a penalty as hereinafter provided,” the stated penalty being no less than $500 per day.
Three of us were issued a verbal and written warning at the last Town Board meeting that publicly questioning the building inspector, disagreeing with him, and making open records requests are all considered interfering with the building inspector. So is writing this letter.
The proposed ordinance requires an expensive recent stake-out survey drawn by a surveyor, architect, or engineer for the first building or structure on a lot. The state does not require that.
How much power and control does the town need? Must a building inspector inspect our pole sheds and gazebos?
Existing homes are exempt so far, but how soon before the inspector wants to charge to inspect those? If you have any questions or objections, contact a town