Opp council discusses ordinance changes

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Much discussion was on the table at a workshop held prior to the Opp City Council over wording in the proposed building code ordinance.

District 2 councilman TD Morgan was concerned about making homeowners pay a fee to move a prefabricated storage building onto their property.

“Why can’t they bring it on without a permit,” Morgan said.

Mayor John Bartholomew said that the reason for the permit was to ensure that homeowners keep structures such as these building the proper footage away from their homes and that they don’t bring buildings into subdivisions that don’t allow them.

District 5 councilman Arlin Davis said he too didn’t think prefabricated store building should have a permit.

City Planner Jason Bryan said he needed a way to enforce the law when residents have buildings too close to their homes.

Morgan also said he felt that the city was trying to go at too fast of a pace and trying to keep up with larger cities, such as Andalusia, Enterprise and Montgomery.

“I don’t have a problem adopting the International Code Council,” he said.

The new ordinance will change the current code – the Southern Standard Building Code – to the International Code Council.

District 4 councilwoman Mary Brundidge said she felt that Bryan should come to the council with fees that were more closely aligned with cities of Opp’s size.

“You can set whatever prices you want,” Bryan said. “I just tried to look at those that were around us.”

District 3 Councilman Mike Booth said he didn’t feel it was right to exempt those who are purchasing prefab storage buildings and not those who are building theirs.

“I think that’s a lot of money slipping through the cracks in Opp,” he said.

Bartholomew said the longer the council stalls the more money the city is losing.

To compromise, the council agreed to incorporate an exemption in the ordinance that reads, “Manufacturers of accessory structures, storage buildings and the like, are not required to obtain moving permits. This exemption does not remove the burden of obtaining a building/zoning permit from the property owner. Prefabricated structures of 12×24 and smaller are exempt from the building permit fee.”

However, homeowners will be required to come in and “pull a permit.”

Additionally, anyone who fails to comply will be subject to the following penalties:

• First offense – $100 fine plus double the $15 permit cost.

• Second offense -$200 fine plus double the $15 permit cost.

• Third offense – $1,000 fine plus double the $15 permit cost.

The council will vote on the ordinance at the Jan. 7 meeting.

-Kendra Bolling