By Forrest Cyr, Director of Government Affairs and Communications, Builders Association of MN
It’s a new year, and a new legislative session! Builders Association of Minnesota staff, consultants, and members are working with legislative allies to promote common sense, pro-housing legislation on behalf of MN’s homebuilding industry!
BAM’s Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors approved the association’s proactive agenda for 2017 on December 8, 2016, which outlines specific policy priorities to be pursued at the Minnesota State Capitol. We’re excited by the opportunities this legislative session presents, and we look forward to working with our membership to advocate for meaningful progress for our industry.
Unlicensed Builders Hurt Consumers
BAM seeks to increase the penalty for failing to obtain a local building permit. Currently a misdemeanor, the Builders Association of Minnesota advocates to reclassify this offense as a gross misdemeanor, aligning the penalty for unlicensed activity with other licensed professions working in the housing industry.
MN’s Townhome Definition
In an effort to encourage the development of affordable, market-rate housing, BAM seeks to revert the definition of a townhouse back to the ICC definition of three or more connected units, instead of MN’s current definition of two connected units.
Certificate of Occupancy 48-hour Requirement
BAM is working to require a 48-hour or less turn around time for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy in residential structures after the final inspection has been completed.
Establish a MN Appraisal Board
BAM seeks to create the MN Appraisal Board and establish criteria for new construction in partnership with NAHB. BAM is work with stakeholders to create an efficient board structure with builder representation, and appraisal criteria that recognizes new construction and energy codes cost drivers, and modern techniques such as green building.
Working with external stakeholders, we expect to engage the legislature to make sure local governments are prohibited from adopting a patchwork of pay and scheduling ordinances, ensure that prohibitively expensive stretch energy codes are not adopted by cities and municipalities, as well as require that insurance adjusters be familiar with the MN Building Codes. Stay tuned!
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