We have received a number of emails from members recently regarding a letter sent from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) detailing the requirement to have on hand a copy of building codes and references. According to the department, this was a proactive move on the part of the commission and NOT a new requirement. This was an attempt by the commission to provide more narrow guidance on what was really important as far as references and books go to keep your library up to date as opposed to all books and references. The department will be investigating local community books and references at the point of complaint, as has been done in the past.
If you are a local community who is not currently performing these functions, you are not required to have the materials referenced, including if you contract your services out to the county or a third party.
Also confirmed by the department is that you may have group access to these materials. You could create an MOU with other communities, universities, etc. to show you have access when needed and that would be sufficient. I mentioned the possibility of having these documents available on a statewide website and each community performing these functions can subscribe to the website for access. This is a direction the department has considered going in but because of copyright issues with the books and references, it is not doable at this time. This is why the option of at least sharing the materials with other communities to save on costs was brought up as a solution at this point in time.
A suggestion was made for a clarifying letter to be sent out by the department because of the confusion the previous letter created. Please let me know if you have any additional concerns or questions you wish to have addressed and I would be happy to reach out and get answers.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.