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THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Alabama needs uniform, statewide building code

Even if the Alabama Building Code Study Commission were to recommend a statewide, uniform building code today, getting one in place will take some fancy doing.

Rural residents in many counties don't want government looking over their shoulders when it comes to their property.

The commission is looking at the issues involved and how to get statewide building specifications into law without upsetting too many people. Its findings will go to the Legislature and governor.

Many people move to rural areas to escape the restrictions that building and zoning codes impose. County commissions are keenly aware of the opposition to codes and don't attempt to impose them without a vote of the people.

Even if the commission strongly recommends a uniform, statewide building code, getting the Legislature to impose uniformity will take a massive education program.

Decatur Building Department Director Jimmy Brothers is one of the 12-member board meeting in Montgomery. He represents the Alabama League of Municipalities.

Other interests at the table include The Association of County Commissions of Alabama, the state building commission, fire marshal and the Legislature.

Mr. Brothers said the public would benefit from a standard code. But at this point, too many people think one would only interfere with their lives and cost them more money.

Thus Alabama, like four other states that don't have such a building code, face a challenge if they try to enact one. But 45 have done so.

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