Water and Light
Your trusted source of water and electricity for over 100 years.
City of Columbia & Boone County
Daniel Boone Building, Third Floor Conference Room
Minutes of Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Vice Chair Jean Sax called the meeting to order. Members present: Jean Sax, Liz Deken, Bob Walters, Nan Collins, Norm Lenhardt, Frank Cunningham, Alyce Turner, Karl Skala, and staff liaison Jay Hasheider Members absent: Andrew Spain, John Miles, Jerry Wade Guests: John Sudduth, Brenda Canady, Public Works
Both approved without amendments.
John Sudduth of Protective Inspections came to visit with the Environment & Energy Commission (EEC). John explained his role with the division and advised of some other staff members along with their roles. He advised he was here mostly to answer questions rather than give a speech. He advised that he is usually involved with any building inspections, public or private. He advised they are now in the process of reviewing the building code for updates per the International Residential and Building Codes. Bob asked for information on older properties and those that are sub-par and how that is handled. John advised that anything that is not rental is basically complaint driven. Brenda is the coordinator for the Rental Unit. There are over 20,000 rental units in 7000 buildings that have a Certificate of Compliance in Columbia at this time and all are subject to inspections. They are currently using Building Maintenance Code 2000, and the qualifications per that code indicate that as long as the structure is being maintained per the original design, no upgrades can be required. Frank asked if there were any amendments to the code that are Columbia specific. Brenda advised there have been some, but none pertain to insulation. She advised that as long as furnaces will maintain 65 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night, regardless of inefficiency, they meet code. John elaborated on the “knob and tube” wiring, advising that it is a very old way to wire that requires the wiring be air-cooled, making weatherization an unsafe option. At this time, on rental properties, they have no efficiency standards.
Bob asked if persons requesting utility history for a given property could be denied and neither John nor Brenda know. Karl asked how prevalent “knob and tube” wiring is and John advised it is very common. Bob asked if going forward in new construction are there SEER qualifications for air conditioners and John advised that Building Code does not address efficiency at all, but almost exclusively safety.
Liz asked if going forward Protective Inspections intends to include requirements for efficiency and John advised he did not foresee that as being a component to their inspections, but safety only. John advised that international codes exist to simplify requirements for all developers. John advised that if we have suggestions we would best do to take to the Home Builders Association, Building Construction Code Commission or even City Council. John did advise that they encourage use of furnaces with 90 % ratings whenever they can, but they can't require that. Brenda also advised that there are few cities that have the kind of aggressive Rental Compliance Unit like Columbia has. Brenda also gave an illustration of how if she advises of an issue, the landlord can resolve any way they choose as long as it solves the issue. John advised that Protective Inspections does not handle lead paint, asbestos and the like and that is handled at a state and federal level. Frank asked if they personally had any items they wanted to see improved and John said usually they see that furnaces and insulation as well as low-E windows and the like could be good, but nothing in particular stands out.
Bob spoke at the City Council meeting regarding the Mayor’s Climate Protection Initiative and advised that it was very brief and that he didn't feel like the reception was overly warm. Karl said that he spoke with Barbara Hoppe after the fact and she stated she was glad that the EEC came to speak and was looking at this issue. Bob advised that there was a man there who spoke on bringing in an asphalt shredder to make tiny asphalt bits that could be reused. Bob advised he provided this person with some contact information to pitch that idea where it could perhaps be used. Bob advised that the Mayor was not present at that meeting and he feels that Mayor Hindman would most likely be in support and would like to try and get this to him. Bob also said that he would be willing to write an op-ed piece for the paper.
Alyce said she wanted to do more than just cover the Clean Air Ordinance but instead wanted to discuss it and get EEC feedback on that. She advised that 90% of workplaces are smoke free now, but the hospitality sector has stayed away from that and that is mostly what this ordinance is trying to target. There are still exceptions such as a small business where all the employees smoke, or where there are no interactions with the public. Jean asked what Alyce would like the EEC to do with this. A member pointed out that she is “preaching to the choir.” Bob motioned to endorse the ordinance through an official EEC representative (Alyce) to the City Council with the exception of Sec. 11-290, subsection 14 (banning smoking in outdoor patios) and Norm seconded the motion. Call to vote with all members but one supporting the motion.
Comments on Outdoor Lighting Standards began with an article from the Missourian. Karl advised that most of the recommendations in the article came from the sub-committee report put out by the EEC several years ago. Karl would like us to draft a letter of support to send to Tim Teddy in the Planning and Zoning department and perhaps have representation with Planning and Zoning Commission meetings. He advised at this time he really just wanted to pass out the materials for review and would set up a speaker for a future meeting and take ideas for the draft letter. Karl advised he felt that the current proposal is actually quite comprehensive and would like to perhaps send a proposal to the City Council regarding the Outdoor Lighting Regulations. EEC agreed we would like him to draft a proposal letter.
Karl spoke on a current topic in the community : Land Disturbance ordinances. Karl put together a document that essentially outlines what ordinances and permits are currently in place. Karl advised that the Director of Public Works (John Glasscock) has sole discretion in granting permits Liz asked what constituted “land disturbance” and Karl advised that that is partly what we are discussing, that the guidelines aren't very clear. Bob advised that anything over .5 acres has to have a permit, but other than that there are unclear guidelines on how much and what can be done to the land. Karl advised he wanted to just throw this out there for us to look at and see if we want to get involved. Jean advised she would like to obtain resources for further education, and Karl advised there is no one source but there are resources available.
Bob would like to have some kind of follow up on the Rental Units information provided by Protective Inspections. Bob is not certain when that would be best, but doesn't want it to drop off our radar.
Jean reminded all that elections will be taking place at the next meeting.