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Louisville will allow Marshall Fire survivors to opt out of 2021 building code

A new ordinance in Louisville allows survivors to opt in or out of 2021 building codes.

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — The Louisville City Council has approved an ordinance allowing Marshall Fire survivors to opt in or out of 2021 building codes. 

The ordinance passed in a 4-2 vote Tuesday night.

The city council had adopted the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in October. Those codes regulate more eco-friendly options into buildings, requiring buildings to have options like capabilities for solar power, electric appliances and electric vehicle charging stations. The goal was to make homes greener.

Many Marshall Fire survivors pleaded with the council, saying the new building codes made the cost of rebuilding their homes more expensive. 

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The new ordinance allows fire survivors to adopt the 2018 code instead. 

"A lot of people have declared they are underinsured," Councilmember Dennis Maloney said.

“We want to build our community back and we want to do everything we can to not be an impediment to doing that. One of the ideas was OK, so if we step back to the 2018 code, then most people felt like, even underinsured, that they could build back,” Maloney said.

Homeowners can opt in or out of the 2021 building codes when they file their building permits. Homeowners will need to sign that they are facing financial hardships due to the Marshall Fire. The city will not check the homeowner's financial data for verification.

The deadline to submit a building permit with this option is Dec. 31, 2024.

The neighboring town of Superior, where 378 homes were destroyed, has also exempted its residents from stricter building codes.

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