City panel delays submitting report on sprinklers

September 09, 1992

WESTMINSTER -- A committee that is drafting a sprinkler ordinance for Westminster residences won't meet its hoped-for Oct. 12 public hearing date.

Committee members agreed at a meeting yesterday to delay submitting the ordinance to the City Council until they know who will review construction plans and who will inspect to be sure sprinkler systems are installed.

The committee is counting on the county government for plan reviews and the state fire marshal for inspections, but will seek agreements from both agencies before sending the ordinance to the council, which will conduct the public hearing.

The fire marshal's staff is not taking on any additional responsibilities during the current state budget crunch, John F. Bender, chief fire protection engineer, said.

However, he said Westminster may be able to obtain the inspection service under a state law that requires the fire marshal to respond to requests for assistance in fire safety issues from local fire chiefs.

The fire marshal's office is drafting a fee schedule for plan reviews and inspection services that have been provided in the past, Mr. Bender said. He said the proposed charges are $50 for review and inspection.

The proposed sprinkler ordinance would be effective for semi-detached houses starting July 1, 1993, and for single-family houses July 1, 1994.

Committee members have been working on the ordinance since April. The council asked public safety committee members Kenneth A. Yowan and Rebecca A. Orenstein to draft a sprinkler requirement for residences after a fatal fire in an East Main Street house in 1991.

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