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Building Division Modernization

The Division of Code Service, Building Permits is undergoing a substantial three part modernization effort during 2019. The modernization will occur in three parts.

  1. Modernization of Code of Ordinances (Adopted March 5, 2019)
  2. Modernization of Software/Applications (Expected Late Summer 2019)
  3. Modernization of Fee Schedule (Expected April/May 2019)

Part 1: Code of Ordinance Update

The City Council adopted the Chapter 26 Building Ordinance Amendments on March 5, 2019 at the regular council meeting. These changes go into effect 30 days after adoption.

The following is a summary of the changes:

  • General reorganization of chapter to allow for easier reference and administration.
  • Reduced from 13,000 words to 4,000 to simplify use and accessibility for residents and contractors.
  • Since the early 1970’s, tradesman licenses have been subject to review from the Mechanical and Electrical Boards. With modern technology giving access to license records and computerized testing, it is no longer necessary to have a review board to issue licenses. The amendments allow the building official is issue a license if the applicant meets the requirements immediately.
    • Benefit- streamlined processes, licensee can be granted license immediately upon meeting requirements instead of awaiting decision of a board over a 1-3 month period.
  • Codification of procedure and requirements to establish Master and Journeyman Electrical, Plumbing, Gas Fitter, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioner Licenses
    • All requirements for years of experience, testing, and references remain in place. Language has been clarified and modernized to reflect current practices and specify the type of testing required.
  • Codification of Transfer procedures from other Municipalities based on MCA1972, § 27-17-457
    • The State of Mississippi has established rules from transfer and recognition of other municipal licenses, this aligns the city ordinance to state law and streamlines the transfer process.
  • Codification of Transfer procedures from State of Mississippi Board of Contractors
    • The State of Mississippi has established rules from transfer and recognition of licenses granted by the State of Mississippi Board of Contractors, this aligns the city ordinance to state law and streamlines the transfer process.
  • Codification of Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals as the appeal body for persons aggrieved with the decision of the building official.
    • With the elimination of individual tradesmen boards, the Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals will operate as the single appeal body. This body will hear appeals related to licensure decisions, code interpretations, and any action taken by the building official. It is to be made up of individuals representing the various trades involved in the construction industry along with two lay citizens. All members shall be residents of the City of Jackson.
  • Clarification of permit requirements and exemptions from bonding and licensing.
    • o   A person doing work on his own residence or who acts under supervision of the owner-occupant with respect to residential construction or improvement, when the owner of such construction or improvement is related to such person by consanguinity (blood) or direct affinity (marriage) is exempt form licensing, boding, and insurance requirements.
  • Replacement of $5,000 performance bond with requirement for contractors to hold liability insurance.
    • Bonds are difficult to manage and require very specific knowledge to make a claim. Providing a copy of the contractors Liability Insurance allows the permit department to provide a resident a record in the event they want to pursue a claim against a contractor and serves as a better determinant of qualification.
  • Removal of references to ordinances that are no longer valid.
  • Removal of language that duplicated the contents of the adopted codes.
  • Creation of true penalty for violation and notification standard.
  • No changes were made to the individual building code adoptions, however the organization was simplified to allow all code adoptions to be viewed in one simple location.

Current Chapter 26 Ordinance 

Comments and Questions can be addressed to Jordan Hillman at prior to the Council Work Session on March 4th, 2019 at 4 PM.

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