This past Monday evening, the Sedalia City Council unanimously approved the proposed Certificate of Inspection ordinance pertaining to the inspection of building in the Downtown Sedalia Commercial District. This has been a several month process.
According to information from the City of Sedalia staff, unless it is a free-standing building with living quarters, it shall be unlawful for any person, owner, corporation or agent to occupy to permit the occupancy of any commercial, industrial or mixed-use premise or structure in the City of Sedalia’s Downtown Commercial District without first obtaining a certificate of inspection for the structure.
In addition, those buildings which also serve as a residence will be subject to the same certification of inspection standards. Intrusion into living areas will only be necessary in the amount that it takes for the inspector to compete the structural inspection.
According to the information provided, each structure will be allowed to have a five foot by five foot or lesser room that can be locked. It would be exempt from any inspection.
The ordinance states that a comprehensive inspection and certificate of comprehensive inspection to determine the structural integrity of the structures is required prior to April 1, 2016. The initial inspection will be conducted by an independent registered engineer with historic building maintenance, and the cost will be covered at the expense of the city.
One of the changes in the ordinance allows the property owner to select their own engineer, if approved by the city. He or she has to be an approved structural engineer. The city would pay up to $500 for the inspection,” City Administrator Gary Edwards explained.
A comprehensive inspection must be completed every ten years according to the ordinance. However, if the initial inspection found significant structural issues that need to be fixed, inspections will be done on a yearly basis until the issues have been repaired. These inspections would be conducted at no expense to the owner.
The inspection of the properties will include elements such as roofing, masonry, foundation, building openings. Guttering and general exterior weatherproofing features on the building.
Information provided by city staff indicates the Chief Building Official of the City of Sedalia is authorized to permit continued occupancy on a conditional basis, for a term not to exceed 90 days, when serious hardships interfere with completing all repairs required to bring the structure into compliance with the code.
The official can extend the expiration date for another 90 days if they feel that the progress of repairs to date warrant the extension. No extension can be given longer than 180 days total from the original date of notification.
A proposed amendment to the ordinance was brought in front of the council, but it was decided against by the council. The proposed amendment stated that all private areas of a structure not open to the public would not be subjected to the same overall inspection standards. Only with written consent of both the property owner and resident, would an inspection be allowed.