County Commission to conduct building codes hearing

John Richmeier

Leavenworth County soon could have building codes.

County commissioners are scheduled to have a public hearing on the issue when they meet Wednesday morning. And they could vote to adopt building codes at that time.

While cities within the county have building codes, the county government does not have building codes for unincorporated areas.

According to Krystal Voth, director of the Leavenworth County Planning and Zoning Department, a tornado that passed through the Linwood area last year highlighted the need for building codes. Insurance companies paid to cover the expense of repairing damaged homes to their previous conditions. But they did not pay to bring the homes up to codes because there are no adopted codes for the county.

A committee was formed last year to study the possible adoption of building codes. The group recommended the adoption of the 2006 International Residential Code and 2006 International Building Code.

According to information Voth prepared for Wednesday’s meeting, county staff members are recommending modifications to the 2006 codes to reflect previous direction from the county commissioners.

The recommended modifications would reflect that the county government will not conduct inspections of properties.

The modifications also would clarify that the codes would apply only to new construction. An existing home would not have to be brought up to the codes unless it is being rebuilt after more than 50% was damaged or demolished.

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