With the current surge in applications for building permits in Park County, county commissioners need to take a serious look at adopting building code restrictions and inspections.

We can certainly understand why the Park County commissioners have up to this point been reluctant to institute building codes and conduct inspections. It would cost a bunch of money the commissioners don’t have at their disposal.

However, while county officials are not shy about requiring building permits for any construction in the county, at this time they have no control over what the building looks like.

Overall, Wyoming residents are resistant to being told what they can or can’t do on their private property.

And in some cases, Home Owners’ Associations may have been too rigid in strictly enforcing covenants. However, people who purchased property in those subdivisions should have been aware of what they were committing themselves to before purchasing the property.

Joy Hill, Park County Planning and Zoning director, asserts P&Z will issue fines for violations if a building permit is not purchased prior to construction and the county will litigate if the infractions are disputed.

So if that is the case, why can’t the county implement minimum building code requirements and enforce them also?

Hill said the reason is enforcing code restrictions and inspections would be an enormous cost to the county. But the county already performs wastewater inspections.

If the county can inspect wastewater, certainly the county should be able to inspect building codes.

It is completely understandable county commissioners have resisted mandating inspections for the simple reason they don’t have the resources, both personnel and finances.

However, with the increase in construction in the county, we believe the commissioners need to begin the process of establishing county building codes and enforcing them.


(3) comments

Greg Gaspers

John, you are asking to add an administrative and economic burden on the county and the citizens. You are absolutely correct in saying Wyoming folks are resistant to being told what do with their own property, that is called "property ownership rights". The continuing increase in governmental bureaucracy is becoming overwhelming.

The only reason I can find in your editorial requiring building inspection is the county doesn't have any control over "what the building looks like". If there are any legal matters with how a property looks, that is a civil matter, not any of the governments business. The purpose of Building inspections is mainly for fire prevention and safety. I am in agreement inspections should be required in the city for those reasons because of the proximity of structures, but in rural Park county that problem doesn't exist. If you are becoming a home or property owner do your own due diligence and take your care of your own business, stop trying to make the government accountable for every facet of your life.

Also, you stated in your last sentence "we believe.....", who is we?

Lori quote:

"Agreed! All it would take is a little PRE PLANNING on the part of County government entities to allow the building inspectors to travel to and from the building site WITH the wastewater inspectors and there would virtually be NO or very little additional expenses to get this done."

Lori it isn't quite that simple. Both the State of Wyoming and the city of Cody have adopted the 2018 IBC code. The adopted residential codes for the State of Wyoming are voluntary with no state wide enforcement. According to the 2018 IBC & IRC, if the county were to adopt and enforce the current state code there could be up to 27+ different inspections plus the plan review for residential construction. Yes, some of them can be completed at the same visit, but certainly not all of them. It would be a big expense. Using the State of Wyoming plan review calculator, a review for a project estimated to cost $300,000 would cost $1441.60. Then comes the inspections.

A little "PRE PLANNING" on the part of property owners should suffice.

Sam Wilde

Most jurisdictions that enforce building codes charge a permit fee. If done appropriately, the fee would cover the cost of the inspector's wages and vehicle.

Lora Carpenter

Agreed! All it would take is a little PRE PLANNING on the part of County government entities to allow the building inspectors to travel to and from the building site WITH the wastewater inspectors and there would virtually be NO or very little additional expenses to get this done. The fact is, our government entities don't want to go to any extra "work" to save the taxpayers money in this realm and get some uniformity and safety in construction. Get with it county offices---how 'bout you WORK TOGETHER to check out these county building projects. It's alot easier to check things out BEFORE the construction is started rather than trying to get things taken care of retroactively!!!! Have some PRIDE in your job!

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