Prairie Township Trustees voted to establish a local building department within Prairie Township in order to enforce and regulate building codes more efficiently and cost effectively at their Dec. 19 regular meeting.
Currently, Ohio building code rules and regulations are reviewed and enforced by the state of Ohio through the Department of Industrial Compliance within the Department of Commerce. In order to enforce the Ohio building code more actively and proficiently within a specific jurisdiction, a township can request the authority to establish a building department locally.
According to J. Michael Asebrook, a representative of Asebrook & Co., there are numerous benefits to establishing a local building department.
“Enforcement of the building codes, like zoning codes and other codes, is always best done at a local level because the folks that do the enforcement of the building codes are more familiar with the jurisdiction.”
Local regulation also ensures a faster application and inspection process for commercial buildings, as well as increased public safety as a result of immediate supervision and standardization.
“It also makes a little more sense to have everything done so the applicants can come in at one place…It should make it easier for anyone building in Prairie Township,” said Trustee Chair Steve Kennedy.
The building department will require no additional overhead fees from the township to establish and maintain, due to outside consultation provided by Asebrook & Co., a group of architects that provides building officials, master plans examination and inspection services for 19 other jurisdictions in the state of Ohio.
All of the work done by Asebrook & Co. will be paid for by the person applying for a permit. The set application fee will be decided by the township at a later date.
The application process is expected to begin immediately and requires an estimated four months from the submission date to receive approval.
Also at the meeting, trustees approved the purchase of nine parcels of land located west of Hubbard Road for a cost of $20,000. The acquired land spans an estimated 12 acres and is intended for future park use.
Development of the parcels is expected to take place shortly after the purchase is complete, but no definite plans have been coordinated.