The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Final recommendations near on proposed building code changes

June 12, 2013 - Work on the proposed changes to the building codes continues, as the Building Codes Advisory Commission prepares recommendations for Village Board review.

These latest documents reflect input from the community as well as extensive review by the BCAC.

Question or comments regarding the proposed changes should be forwarded to . The schedule for Village Board final public review will be announced as soon as it is set.

The Village of Oak Park began the public phase of the complex, but very important task of updating current regulations that govern building construction in September 2012. Because of the critical importance of building codes to protecting the safety of people and property, such a periodic review is essential to keeping the community up to date with the ever-evolving construction industry, as well as maintaining a favorable insurance rating, officials said.

Recognizing the impact building codes can have on investments in the community, the citizen volunteers on the Building Codes Advisory Commission – many of whom are in the construction trades – have spent nearly two years carefully developing recommendations for the Village Board’s consideration. Now that the research and review have been completed, officials have been working to generate a community conversation about proposed changes before any final action is taken by the Village Board.

The changes under consideration are intended to bring Village codes up to date with the latest developments, including energy conservation code that are estimated to improve energy efficiency by up to 18 percent. Other changes include the following:

  • Adopt 2009 I-Codes
  • Adopt 2008 National Electric Code
  • Adopt 2009 Property Maintenance Code to replace many of the current Village Municipal code sections in Chapter 12
  • Adopt state-mandated codes to allow for local enforcement
  • Tighten administrative process/penalties for with work being performed without required permits
  • Clarify what work does not require a permit
  • Reduce the time limit for plan review and permit applications
  • Reduce the time limit on permits between inspections
  • Reduce the time limit on permits to one year unless granted an extension of time
  • Clarify submittal requirements for fire sprinkler systems
  • Clarify what projects require Certificates of Occupancy
  • Tighten requirements for construction site cleanup, security and pedestrian protection
  • Clarify requirements for placement of dumpsters in the public right-of-way
  • Add tree protection requirements for sites under construction or renovation
  • Modify basic code text from new five feet building setback to current three feet building setback without fire separation requirements for exterior walls
  • Require smoke alarms interconnected to principal structure in accessory structures used for other than vehicle storage
  • Add requirements for construction of tree houses
  • Relax requirements for construction of exterior guards and handrails in historic districts
  • Reduce floor areas in new or renovated buildings not requiring fire sprinklers for all occupancy types
  • Relax fire separation requirements in restaurants serving alcoholic beverages
  • Require fire sprinklers in all new residential construction including one and two-family dwellings and new condominium buildings or conversions
  • Establish regulation of commercial exhaust system discharge
  • Establish boundaries for when existing construction requires upgrading to meet new code standards during renovation of existing buildings.