05-015-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO THE FIRE CODE, ALLOWING PRIVATE INSPECTIONS; AMENDING SECTIONS 21-1 AND 21-2 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED.

BY COUNCILOR LITTLE:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 21-1 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 21-1. Adoption of the Minnesota State Fire Code.

     The city hereby adopts by reference and incorporates into this Code the Minnesota State Fire Code authorized by Minnesota Statutes Section 299F.011, or its successor, set forth in Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7510, which is based on the 2000 edition of the International Fire Code, and as said rules and code may be, by the state, amended from time to time, or replaced.

     (a)  The city adopts by reference the following appendices to said International Fire Code, their successors and amendments:

           (1)  Appendix B - fire flow requirements for buildings;

           (2)  Appendix C - fire hydrant location and distribution;

           (3)  Appendix D - fire apparatus access roads;

           (4)  Appendix H - fires or barbecues on balconies or patios (as amended by Minnesota Rules, 7510.3710, subpart 11);

           (5)  Appendix I - special locking arrangement for group I occupancies (as amended by Minnesota Rules 7510.3710, subpart 12);

     (b)  Appendix B, Section 105.1, of the 2000 International Fire Code is not adopted and is not a part of the Duluth city ordinance;

     (c)  Private inspections. When the issuance of a permit authorized or required by Fire Code Section 105.1.2, or its successor, (operational permit or construction permit) requires an inspection authorized by Fire Code Section 106.2, or its successor, the applicant for the permit shall decide whether the inspection shall be done by the fire chief, or his agent, or, in the alternative, shall be done by a qualified private inspector, compensated by the applicant. The applicant’s choice of which method to employ shall be indicated in writing to the city at the time of application or within two business days thereof. A qualified private inspector shall be one that is knowledgeable in fire code provisions, building safety and inspection techniques and acceptable to the code official, based upon that criteria. A qualified private inspector must be insured or bonded in an amount deemed adequate by the fire chief or city attorney and not have been found by a government agency having jurisdiction to be or have been dishonest or incompetent to be such an inspector. A person licensed or approved by the state of Minnesota to perform such inspections is a qualified private inspector. When the applicant engages a qualified private inspector, that person shall perform the inspections, produce reports and competently do all acts necessary for the code official to administer the program. He or she shall also exercise the inspection authority of the code enforcer as set out in Fire Code Section 106, or its successor, all under the reasonable control of the fire chief. No city employee shall recommend that an applicant engage a particular private inspector;

     (d)  Penalties. Violation of the Fire Code adopted by this Section subjects the violator to penalties as set out in M.S.A. Section 299F.011, subd. 6, or its successor, and Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7510.3520, subpart 7, or its successor, and any civil penalty allowed by law.

     Section 2. That Section 21-2 of Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 21-2. Fire code appeals.

     Any person affected by any decision of the fire chief or fire marshal which is made pursuant to the Minnesota Uniform Fire Code may appeal therefrom to the building appeal board created in Article IV of Chapter 10 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, in accordance with the provisions contained herein and procedures set out there, and then to the state of Minnesota as set out in Minnesota Rules 7510.3520, subpart 3, or its successor, and Minnesota Statutes Section 299F.011, or its successor, and other applicable law.

     Section 3. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication, as set out in the City Charter.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance changes the fire code.

 

1.   It recites the state law authorization for adoption of the Uniform Fire Code, which the city is required to adopt.

 

2.   It allows an applicant for an operational permit to hire a qualified private inspector. Some businesses will want to do this in order to have the job done by someone who is legally responsible to them.

 

3.   Supplies references to the state laws that set out the penalties for non-compliance.

 

4.   Supplies references to the city ordinances and state laws that set out the procedure for appealing a ruling by the city enforcers.

 

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