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Thursday, May 9, 2024

In the Zone: Changes to Building Code Statutes

On August 4, 2023, Governor Pritzker signed PA 103-0510 into law, which makes several changes to two state statutes: the Capital Development Board Act and the Illinois Residential Building Code Act, which municipalities and counties should be aware of.

Changes to the Capital Development Board Act

The new law requires municipalities and counties that have adopted and are enforcing a building code to identify the adopted model code, by title and edition, and any local amendments, to CDB in writing no later than June 30, 2024. Similarly, municipalities and counties adopting a new building code must identify the model code being adopted, by title and edition, and any local amendments, to CDB in writing at least 30 days before the effective date of the building code. Note that the term “building code” under the new law expressly excludes zoning ordinances.

Effective January 1, 2025, the new law will prohibit any person from occupying a “newly constructed commercial building” or a “substantially improved commercial building” in any “non-building code jurisdiction” until the property owner (or its agent) has contracted with a qualified inspector to inspect the building. Under this new law, the inspector must file a certification of inspection with the municipality or county with jurisdiction over the property indicating whether the building complies with certain Code requirements specified in the Act. The certification requirement does not apply to municipal or county inspectors acting in their official capacity. A “non-building code jurisdiction" means an Illinois municipality or county that (i) has not adopted a building code; or (ii) is required to, but has not identified its adopted building code to the Capital Development Board (CDB). 

Also effective January 1, 2025, the law requires any municipal or county building code to regulate the structural design of new buildings, rehabilitation work in existing buildings, and residential buildings in a manner at least as stringent as the applicable baseline code applicable to those buildings. This section also expressly preempts home rule municipalities.

To comply with the Act, municipalities or counties adopting new building codes or amending existing building codes can identify the code being adopted, by title and edition, and any local amendments to the CDB in writing by visiting the CDB’s website, where they can complete and submit CDB’s County Municipal Reporting Form, and check whether their codes are up to date by visiting CDB’s Directory.

The law also requires CDB to: (1) identify the adopted model code(s) by title and edition, whether any local amendments were adopted, and the date municipalities and counties reported this information to CDB on their website; and (2) annually send written notices to municipalities and counties regarding their obligations under the Act. Many municipalities recently received these notices, which notices were sent, in many cases, to the mayor or president.

Changes to Illinois Residential Building Code Act

The new law also requires that any contract to build a “new residential construction” (construction of a single family home or dwelling containing 2 or fewer apartments, condos, or townhomes) in any non-building code jurisdiction incorporate, as part of the construction contract, the applicability of a “residential building code” agreed to by the home builder and the purchaser. If the builder and the purchaser fail to agree to a residential building code or if no residential building code is stated in the contract, the law states that certain default code provisions that are identified in the new law will be adopted as part of the construction contract.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink


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