The City of Hiawatha and surrounding jurisdictions have generally adopted the latest model building codes in order to stay current with the latest technologies, building materials and improved methods. These codes are updated on a three-year basis involving all aspects of the construction industry. This year the local officials met prior to the Hiawatha Board of Appeals to consider options contributing to uniformity of codes in this metro area. The recommendations for adoption reflect the effort to achieve consensus.
The model codes are referred to as the International Model Codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC) through a governmental consensus process allowing local code officials to participate. Hiawatha attends the code development hearings on a regular basis. Participation adds to the assurance the codes will be appropriate for our adoption.
Associated chapters of the Hiawatha Codes have also been addressed in this process inclusive of the Nuisance Code (50), Appeals Board (159) and the Housing Code (163). This is a coordinated adoption with the Fire Code (160). An explanation of changes in each chapter is attached.
This code adoption coordinates our codes with mandated State Building Codes for energy conservation, for electrical and plumbing requirements. It also consolidates the administrative specifics into two locations to facilitate a more cohesive administration and enforcement of the codes.
The new administrative language is located in Chapter 155 for new construction and Chapter 164 for existing buildings. These chapters contain the charging language for connecting with the Hiawatha Code of Ordinances for authority, fees and enforcement procedures as specified in the Hiawatha ordinances.
The code amendment process included a review by the Board of Appeals, a presentation to the Developer’s Council and meetings with the building departments of the surrounding jurisdictions including Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Robins and Marion. The jurisdictions agreed to the same principles of adoption which include minimum amendments to the model codes and minimum changes to our existing standards. The Council will consider the adoption of these ordinance amendments in November to be effective January 1, 2022.
A table of the coordinated items and the Hiawatha changes is included in the Summary of Changes. All of the proposed amendments discussed and approved by a majority of the Board of Appeals are included in the amendment recommendations. The proposed code changes and a list of significant changes can be viewed by clicking on the links below.