Building Administrator , Tony Wenzler – 535-1038
After Hours Hotline – 535-1030
Why do I Need Building Inspections?
A Brief History of Codes
The earliest recorded code was by Hammurabi, founder of the Babylonian Empire in about 2000 B.C. The following is a quote from this code:
“228: If a builder has built a house for a man and his work is not strong, and if the house he built falls in and kills the householder, that builder shall be slain.”
Of course the penalties of today’s codes are not that severe, but we can see that even in primitive cultures there was need for supervision of construction or relief from substandard work.
Building codes over the years have evolved with the times. Unfortunately, many people, even some of our government leaders, may not realize the importance of building safety. Most often codes are not recognized or changed until a major tragedy occurs. The most recent example of this is the 2003 Rhode Island Night Club fire that killed 96 people.
In 1871 the famous Chicago Fire was the most devastating and costly fire in American History. After two days of fires, 17,000 buildings had been destroyed, 250 people died, and almost 100,000 people were left homeless. Most of these buildings were constructed out of wood and highly flammable materials and building inspections or codes were nearly non-existent. After much resistance by Chicago government leaders, in 1875 a building code and fire-prevention ordinance was adopted.
Design is the Key
While codes cannot prevent every disaster, they are meant to provide reasonable controls for the construction, use and occupancy of buildings. These controls are minimum standards for the health, safety and welfare of the occupants and secondly protection of the structure. A good building design can provide safety and sanitation without sacrificing aesthetic value, functionality and cost efficiency.
Who Makes the Codes?
Building codes are developed similarly to the law making process. Many groups of people are involved; developers, material suppliers, engineers, architects, builders, and governmental leaders.
Recently all code organizations such as BOCA (Building Officials and Code Administrators), ICBO (International Council of Building Officials) and SBBCI (Southern Building Code Congress) have merged to form ICC (International Code Council). Hearings are held every 18 months for code changes. Anyone who would like to make a change to the code can be heard.
In Ohio, all commercial buildings are required to comply with the requirements of the Ohio Building Code. It is based on the International Building Code and adopted by the Ohio Board of Building Standards with modifications to fit Ohio’s climate and Ohio laws.
Construction regulated by the state can be inspected only by OBBS certified inspectors.
One, two, and three family residential dwellings are regulated at the local level. The City of Moraine and most departments that are members of Miami Valley Building Officials Council historically adopt the latest version of the Ohio Building Officials Association Residential Code, which is based on the International Residential Code.
What is a building permit?
A building permit gives you legal permission to start construction of a building project in accordance with approved drawings and specifications. Some permits are required for change of use or occupancy.
When do you need a building permit?
• Any change of use, structural alteration and or addition to a building, alteration to electrical/mechanical systems, will require a permit.
• Commercial buildings, new dwellings and additions/alterations to these structures.
• Garages, pole barns, sheds over 200 square feet in area. (under 200 square feet require a zoning permit)
• Porches and decks that have at least one of the following – attached to the building, over 200 square feet in area, 30 inches in height above grade or serve an exit door. (under 200 square require a zoning permit)
• Typically cosmetic items such as siding, painting, spouting, etc. do not require a permit. A roofing permit is not required by this department. (When replacing rafters or roof structure a permit is required) However, any work that is not required to have a permit that is addressed by the adopted building code still must comply to the code.
The City of Moraine Building Department is committed to preserving the public health, safety, and welfare in all jurisdictions under our authority in the new construction environment through the effective, efficient use, and enforcement of current residential and commercial building code requirements of the State of Ohio.
Should you have any questions regarding codes or construction, please feel free to contact us. The City of Moraine Inspectors are members of the following organizations, which can also help answer your code questions.
If you are planning to build or expand a house or business facility, you must first obtain a building permit and zoning certificate. If you are changing the use of a building contact Building & Zoning to find out if a new certificate of occupancy and/or zoning certificate is necessary. Contact Montgomery County Building Regulations to obtain plumbing permits.
The forms listed are in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). The Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read and print PDF files. The Acrobat Reader may be downloaded from Adobe at no cost by clicking here.
The following documents are available online:
Building Inspections/Plan Review
Flood Plain Regulations
The meetings are scheduled on the first Tuesday of every month and are held in the Council Chambers of the Moraine Municipal Building , 4200 Dryden Road . All meetings begin promptly at 6:00 p.m.
All BZA meetings are open to the general public. Please check the bulletin board at the Municipal building for changes in the schedule and for any special meeting dates and times. If there are any questions regarding a BZA meeting, please feel free to contact Tony Wenzler at (937) 535-1038.
In order to submit an application for a variance to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). The submit deadline is at 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting for which you intend to submit your application.