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A. Direct Access: Access to each dwelling unit or rooming unit shall not require first entering any other dwelling unit or rooming unit, except access to rooming units may be through a living room or kitchen of a unit occupied by the owner-operator of the structure. No dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit containing two (2) or more sleeping rooms shall have such room arrangements that access to a bathroom or water closet compartment intended for use by occupants of more than one sleeping room or type III dwelling unit is available only by going through another sleeping room or type III dwelling unit, nor shall room arrangements be such that access to a sleeping room or type III dwelling unit is available only by going through another sleeping room or type III dwelling unit. A bathroom or water closet compartment shall not be used as the only passageway to any habitable room, hallway, basement, cellar or to the exterior of the dwelling unit or rooming unit. (1978 Code §17-6; amd. 1994 Code)
B. Lighting Of Public Halls And Stairways:
1. Public passageways and stairways in dwellings accommodating two (2) dwelling units or rooming units shall be provided with a convenient wall mounted light switch(es) which activates an adequate lighting system.
2. Public passageways and stairways in buildings accommodating three (3) or more dwelling units or rooming units shall be lighted at all times with an artificial lighting system, in accordance with the City Building Code.
C. Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers which are approved by the Fire Marshal shall be provided within every single-family dwelling, dwelling unit within a duplex and dwelling unit within a multiple dwelling. Multiple dwellings shall have fire extinguishers located within each laundry room and central mechanical room; except where these rooms are contiguous, they may be served by one fire extinguisher. Laundry rooms and central mechanical rooms which are equipped with an automatic sprinkler system are exempt. The minimum size fire extinguisher is a five (5) pound 2A 10BC. Fire extinguishers must be properly mounted and in an area of easy access. Rooming houses are required to have a five (5) pound 2A 10BC rated fire extinguisher supplied on each floor level, including habitable basement areas, and in each kitchen. Fire extinguishers supplied in areas of public access shall be contained within an approved tamperproof cabinet.
D. Early Warning Fire Protection System:
1. All dwelling units and rooming units shall be provided with smoke detectors as approved by the Fire Marshal. Smoke detectors shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Dwelling units shall have smoke detectors located on each floor level, including basements, in each bedroom, and hallways serving bedrooms. Multi-family and rooming houses shall have smoke detectors in common corridors, stair towers and stairways constructed prior to 1978. Smoke detectors shall be operable at all times, and when actuated, the detector shall provide an alarm for the dwelling unit(s) or rooming unit(s). An owner or owner's agent of a multiple unit residential building, rooming house, duplex or single-family dwelling shall supply light emitting smoke detectors, upon request, for a tenant with a hearing impairment. New construction and remodeling shall be in accordance with the City Building Code.
2. Newly constructed dwellings with four (4) or more bedrooms shall have interconnected smoke alarms (hardwired or wireless). Existing dwellings that add one or more bedrooms shall have interconnected smoke alarms (hardwired or wireless).
E. Toilets, Lavatory Basins And Baths:
1. At least one toilet and one lavatory basin shall be supplied for each eight (8) persons or fraction thereof residing within a dwelling containing a rooming unit or units and/or type III dwelling unit or units, including members of the operator's family whenever they share the said facilities, provided in a rooming house or where rooms or type III dwelling units are let only to males, flush urinals may be substituted for not more than one-half (1/2) of the number of required toilets.
2. At least one bath shall be supplied for each eight (8) persons or fraction thereof residing within a dwelling containing a rooming unit or units and/or type III dwelling unit or units, including members of the operator's family whenever they share the use of said facilities.
3. Communal toilets and baths shall be located on the same floor or the floor immediately above or below the rooming unit or type III dwelling unit. (1978 Code §17-6; amd. 1994 Code)
F. Lead Based Paint: Every owner or operator of a dwelling unit or rooming unit being let for rent and/or occupancy shall certify that the dwelling is in accordance with HUD lead based paint regulations, 24 CFR, part 35, issued pursuant to the Lead Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act, as amended.
G. Communal Kitchens: If a communal kitchen is supplied, it shall comply with the following requirements:
1. The minimum floor area of a communal kitchen shall be sixty (60) square feet.
2. The minimum floor area of a communal kitchen in which roomers are permitted to prepare and eat meals shall be one hundred (100) square feet.
3. It shall contain a refrigerator with an adequate food storage capacity.
4. It shall contain an approved kitchen sink.
5. It shall contain a stove or range.
6. It shall include at least one cabinet of adequate size suitable for the storage of food and eating and cooking utensils.
7. It shall contain at least six (6) square feet of surface area easily cleanable and suitable for the preparation of food.
8. It shall contain a table and adequate chairs for the normal use of the facilities if a communal dining room is not supplied.
9. Every communal kitchen shall be located within a room accessible to the occupants of each rooming unit sharing the use of such kitchen, without going outside the dwelling and without going through a dwelling unit or rooming unit of another occupant.
H. Communal Dining Rooms: Every dwelling or rooming house, within which the occupant of any rooming unit is permitted to prepare meals or cook within a communal kitchen containing less than one hundred (100) square feet of floor area, as provided in subsection G of this section, shall contain a communal dining room which complies with all of the following requirements:
1. Every communal dining room shall be located on the same floor of the rooming house as the communal kitchen, and such dining room shall be as nearly adjacent to the communal kitchen as is practicable.
2. Every communal dining room shall be located within a room accessible to the occupants of each rooming unit sharing such dining room, without going outside the dwelling and without going through a dwelling unit or rooming unit of another occupant.
3. It shall contain a table and adequate chairs for the normal use of the facilities.
4. Every communal dining room shall contain not less than seventy (70) square feet of floor area.
I. Shades, Draperies And Window Coverings:
1. Every window in rooms used for sleeping purposes in rooming units and furnished dwelling units shall be supplied with shades, draperies or other devices or materials which, when properly used, will afford privacy to the occupants.
2. Every window in rooms used for sleeping purposes in unfurnished dwelling units shall be supplied with hardware necessary to support shades, draperies or other devices or materials which, when properly used, will afford privacy to the occupants.
J. Kitchen Stoves And Refrigerators: Kitchens or kitchenettes in multiple dwellings, rooming houses and duplexes shall be supplied with a stove or range and a refrigerator by the owner or operator.
K. Tie Downs: In the case of manufactured housing, the housing shall be securely anchored by a tie down device which distributes and transfers the load posed by the unit to appropriate ground anchors so as to resist wind overturning and sliding. (1978 Code §17-6; amd. 1994 Code)
L. Bedrooms; Maximum Allowed: Bedrooms cannot exceed thirty five percent (35%) of the finished floor area of a single-family dwelling or duplex unit, not including floor area of a recreation room in the basement. Any existing single family or duplex unit that contained lawful bedroom space that exceeded this percentage cap prior to January 1, 2018 may continue to be used as bedroom space. However, additional bedroom space may not be added unless the unit is brought into full compliance with this standard. This dimensional standard is subject to administrative review.
M. Bedrooms; Minimum Size: Bedrooms shall have a minimum of one hundred (100) square feet of total floor area. The floor area of that bedroom where the ceiling height is less than five feet (5') shall not be considered when computing the total floor area of the bedroom. These dimensional requirements are subject to administrative review. Any lawful bedroom/sleeping room greater than or equal to seventy (70) square feet in existence prior to January 1, 2018 may continue to be used as a bedroom/sleeping room. However, if and when it is brought into compliance with the current minimum dimensional requirements, it may not be converted back to a substandard size.
N. Dimensional Requirements: Within household living uses, as defined in title 14 of this Code, a minimum of one hundred (100) square feet of shared living space shall be provided for every bedroom within the dwelling unit. By way of illustration, for a two-bedroom single-family dwelling, there must be at least two hundred (200) square feet of shared living space within the dwelling. Any lawful dwelling unit in existence prior to January 1, 2018 that is not in compliance with this provision may continue as currently configured. However, if and when the shared living space is brought into compliance with the current minimum dimensional requirements, it may not be converted back to a substandard size. Any change that would increase the noncompliance with this provision is not allowed. This dimensional requirement is subject to administrative review.
O. Duplex; Units To Be Separated: The two (2) dwelling units of a duplex must be physically and permanently separated, and the separation must be continually maintained. By way of illustration, a duplex shall not have a door that opens from one duplex unit directly into the other duplex unit.
P. Deadbolt Locks Required: Every dwelling unit and rooming unit shall have a deadbolt lock that can be operated from inside and locked from the outside. "Deadbolt" means a locking mechanism where the bolt cannot be moved to an open position except by rotating the locked cylinder.
Q. Improved Surface In Rear Yard; Restrictions: After November 21, 2017, an improved surface shall not be constructed, installed, or established on the rear yard of a single-family dwelling or a duplex, except within the first twenty feet (20') of lot depth as measured from the rear lot line and setback at least five feet (5') from abutting properties. The remainder of the rear yard shall remain landscaped open space, free of impervious surface. This provision shall not apply to allowed accessory structures. Rear yard shall have the meaning as defined in title 14 of this Code. Improved surface means asphaltic cement concrete, Portland cement concrete, manufactured paving materials (such as brick), or similar hard surface.
R. Administrative Review: In an administrative review, the Director or designee may grant a minor adjustment to the dimensional requirement if in conformance with the purposes of this chapter. Minor adjustments shall be noted in the property file maintained by the Neighborhood and Development Services Department.
S. Regulation Of Noncompliant Situations:
2. Existing single family dwellings and duplex units that are noncompliant with the number of required parking spaces are allowed an occupancy of no less than three (3) adults or in the case of a one-bedroom unit, two (2) adults.
3. Prior to issuance of a new rental permit for a single family dwelling or two-family dwelling unit, the property must be brought into compliance with the open space requirement and the required number of parking spaces. If it is not feasible to fully meet the parking standards due to existing buildings on the property, occupancy will be limited according to subsection S2 of this section. In cases where it is not feasible to fully meet the open space standard due to existing buildings on the property, occupancy is limited to one adult per one hundred (100) square feet of usable open space provided, but may be further limited based on other factors, such as available parking.
T. Radon Testing: This provision applies to all applications for new rental permits filed on or after July 1, 2021 and all renewals of rental permits that expire on or after July 1, 2021
1. All single-family and duplex units shall be tested for radon.
2. Radon test or tested means a test performed by a radon measurement specialist certified by the State of Iowa. Radon mitigation system means a system installed by a radon mitigation specialist certified by the State of Iowa.
3. If the radon test result is less than four (4) picoCuries per liter (pCi/L), the unit shall be retested in eight (8) years unless there is a habitable bedroom in the basement. If the test result is less than four (4) picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) and there is a habitable room in the basement, the unit shall be retested in four (4) years.
4. If the test result is equal to or greater than four (4) picoCuries per liter (pCi/L), a radon mitigation system shall be installed and the unit tested within ninety (90) days, unless the director or designee provides an extension in writing for good cause. After the radon mitigation system is installed, the unit shall be retested every eight (8) years thereafter.
5. If the unit has an existing radon mitigation system on July 1, 2020, the unit shall be tested within eight (8) years of the date the last radon test was performed.
6. Notwithstanding any other provision herein, a prior radon test will be accepted if the radon test was performed within two (2) years of the filing of the application for a new rental permit or within two (2) years of the expiration of the expired permit. The unit shall be tested within eight (8) years of the date that the prior radar test was performed.
7. The owner shall provide a copy of all radon test results to the City. (Ord. 08-4315, 9-9-2008; amd. Ord. 17-4734, 12-19-2017, eff. 1-1-2018; Ord. 18-4744, 4-2-2018; Ord. 19-4816, 12-17-2019)