Commissioners consider building code changes

Kootenai County Commissioners are considering drastic changes to the county building codes, including getting rid of them altogether.

Commissioners are weighing four different options, from slight changes to the current codes, to doing away with them completely. And they want your input.

All around Coeur d’Alene, construction is underway, as neighborhoods continue to grow. But Kootenai County Commissioners could be changing the way those neighborhoods grow, and how they are built.

Those commissioners are considering several changes to the building codes, which some home builders aren’t crazy about.

“I think the best for builders and the community is keeping the code current, keeping the process the way it is,” said Erik Campbell, Operations Manager at Aspen Homes.

Erik Campbell says the current codes are needed to keep the homeowners safe.

“I think the benefits far outweigh any burden or issues that we have with it,” said Campbell.

But some of the commissioners feel that government doesn’t have any place inside one’s home, including the construction of that home.

They’re considering four new changes.

The first would adopt the latest building codes, but you can opt out if you are building your own home and on more than five acres.

The second option would allow builders to opt in to the formal permitting procedures.

Option three would maintain and update the current building codes.

The final option would do away with the building code ordinance altogether.

The last option has builders worried.

“It does open the door and window for the opportunity to cut corners where corners shouldn’t be cut,” said Campbell.

County commissioners say there is a possibility they will decide which option to move forward with by 11 p.m.