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RE: "Water in the Hole"
- To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: "Water in the Hole"
- From: "Caldwell, Stan" <scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com>
- Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 17:07:53 -0500
Tripp Howard wrote:
Also, I just want to make sure I understand you correctly. Has
the state of Texas _not_ adopted a statewide building code? I not,
how did they rationalize that decision?
The only building
code that is enforced statewide in Texas is the IRC 2000, and even that leaves a
lot to be desired. For nonresidential building construction, there
literally are no building codes enforced outside of municipalities.
By state law, Texas counties are not allowed to adopt and enforce any building
code in unincorporated areas (i.e., beyond the city limits). For more than
a decade now, I have acted as SEAoT's legislative liaison to try to correct this
sorry situation. Working in concert with groups of building officials,
fire chiefs, architects, and others, we have lobbied every session of the Texas
Legislature (which meets for four months every other year). We have
written proposed bills, recruited legislators to sponsor them, and
provided testimony at committee hearings ... all to no avail. While we
argue that these changes would promote the interests of public safely and
welfare, others argue that such changes would needlessly increase the cost of
development. They cleverly ask "Where are the bodies?" In
particular, the "colonias" along the Texas/Mexico border argue that they cannot
afford code compliance, and that such constraints would greatly slow the
pace of development beyond their current 18th Century standards of
living. I am convinced that we won't prevail unless or until Texas
has a mammoth natural disaster, because we simply can't point to very many
casualties resulting directly from building code violations.
Of course, other
than that and the current weather, Texas is perfect!
Stan R. Caldwell,