Homebuilders Back Bill To Limit City Ordinances On Home Aesthetics

Des Moines, Iowa — The Home Builders Association of Iowa is urging the legislature to pass new limits on city rules for the construction and renovation of residential property.

Dan Knoup, executive director of the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines, says building codes should govern life and safety issues, not aesthetics.

The group says ordinances that forbid the use of things like vinyl siding or require a certain number of windows drive up the cost of building houses, condos, and apartments.

Hubbell Homes vice president Rachel Flint oversees construction of the company’s home building operations in central Iowa. She says they’re not asking to get rid of building codes.

A senate subcommittee has advanced a bill that would limit residential building codes that include design standards. Angela Caulk, a lobbyist for the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, says the group has concerns.

Tom Cope, a lobbyist for the American Planning Association’s Iowa Chapter, says the group hopes senators make some adjustments to the bill.

The bill would allow cities to maintain design standards for some historic structures and homeowners associations that have rules for roofing, siding or other design elements could stay in effect. The bill does not apply to retail, commercial or industrial properties.



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