Skip to code content (skip section selection)
The following amendments, modifications, additions, and deletions to the IPMC, 2012 Edition, are hereby made:
(A) Amend § 101.1 by inserting “City of Urbandale” in the brackets.
(B) Amend § 101.2 by deleting the words “and nonresidential.” The scope of this Code shall be limited to residential dwelling units.
(C) Amend § 102.3 by deleting the words “International Zoning Code,” and replacing them with: “applicable codes that have been adopted by the City of Urbandale.”
(D) Add § 102.11 as follows:
Interpretation of Standards.
In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimum requirements. Where this chapter imposes a greater restriction than is imposed or required by other provisions of law or by other rules or regulations or ordinances, the provisions of this chapter shall control.
Words used in the present tense shall include the future; the singular number shall include the plural and the plural number includes the singular; the word “shall” is mandatory, the word “may” is permissive; the word “person” includes a firm , association, organization, partnership, trust, company, corporation or any other legal entity as well as an individual; the words “used” or “occupied” include the words intended, designed or arranged to be used or occupied.
(E) Add § 102.12 as follows:
No building or structure regulated by this Code shall be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted or demolished unless a separate permit for each building or structure has first been obtained from the Building Official in the manner and according to the applicable conditions prescribed in the Building Code.
Where work for which a permit is required by the Building Code is started or proceeded with prior to obtaining the permit, a penalty fee may be assessed at the discretion of the Building Official that is equal to or less than the permit fee. The payment of a penalty fee shall not relieve any person from fully complying with the requirements of this Code in the execution of the work, nor from any other penalties.
(F) Amend § 103 by replacing the words “department of property maintenance inspection” with the words “Department of Community Development,” and by replacing the words “code official” with the words “Building Official.” Throughout this Code wherever these words appear this is how they shall be interpreted.
(G) Amend § 103.5 by adding:
Housing Inspection Fee.
The owner or an agent, manager or other person who has been placed in charge and given control of the property shall submit an application for the inspections required by this Code, which application shall be accompanied by the payment of a fee as set by resolution of the City Council from time to time.
An application for inspection shall include the following information:
1. Legal description and address of the subject property;
2. Name of the applicant and the interest held in the property; the record title holder if different from the applicant; the holder of any mortgage or deed of trust or other lien or encumbrance of record; the owner or holder of and lease of records; and any contract buyer; and
3. Any additional information required by the Building Official.
The Building Official shall schedule an inspection as soon as practical after receipt of the application and payment of the required fee. Upon completion of the inspection the Building Official shall:
1. Issue a certificate of inspection if the dwelling unit and structure have been found to be in compliance with this Code; or
2. Formally notify the applicant of the Code violations found in the inspection and of a period of time which shall be allowed for corrections, in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 107; and
3. After re-inspection fees have been paid and the Code violations have been satisfactorily corrected to fully comply with this Code, issue a certificate of inspection.
(H) Add § 104.7 as follows:
Inspection Schedule for Dwelling Units that are not Owner-Occupied: The Department of Community Development shall inspect each dwelling unit that is not occupied by the owner thereof, at least once every two years. The Building Official may require inspections to be made at an earlier date or more frequently at the sole discretion of the Building Official, for events or conditions that include but are not limited to:
1. Age and condition of dwelling;
2. Inspection history evidencing severe, habitual, or a significant number of violations;
3. Numerous tenant complaints that are determined to be founded; or
4. Significant damage to a structure or dwelling unit, whether caused by fire or other casualty; natural disasters or storms; or accidental or intentional act.
The property owner shall be responsible for obtaining and maintaining a valid inspection certificate for each and every dwelling unit that is occupied by a person other than the owner. The City may schedule inspection appointments with the owner or agent of the property by providing notice by regular mail a minimum of 30 days in advance of the inspection, provided that the owner or agent may request that the appointment be rescheduled for another date within 30 days of the original date. The owner or agent shall be responsible for notifying all tenants of the inspection date and time, in accordance with Iowa law.
Owner-occupied units shall be inspected upon receipt of a complaint as set out in § 104.8, or may be inspected at any time by the Building Official upon evidence of a violation. Non-owner occupied units shall be inspected upon receipt of a complaint as set out in § 104.8 in addition to regularly scheduled inspections.
Multi-family complexes shall submit a completed checklist one year after the housing inspection, to verify that the life-safety features are being properly maintained.
(I) Add § 104.8 as follows:
An occupant or neighbor may file a complaint alleging that a dwelling unit or property does not fully comply with this Code, by identifying and describing the alleged violations in writing on such form that the Department may provide for such purpose and containing the following minimum information together with payment of the inspection fee in the amount set out in this Code:
1. The complainant’s name, address and telephone number;
2. The address of the dwelling unit or property in question;
3. The location and nature of the alleged Code violations;
4. Payment of the inspection fee as specified by § 103.5. The fee shall be refunded to the complainant and charged to the owner if the alleged violation is found to in fact exist.
(J) Add § 105.7 as follows:
The inspection certificate that is issued by the City upon inspection and a finding that the property is in full compliance with this Code and shall be readily available for observation by the occupants of the dwelling unit or property. In multi-family housing, the certificate shall be posted in a conspicuous location.
The certificate shall be transferable to succeeding owners. Every certificate shall be valid for the time specified in the regular inspection schedule established in § 104.7, unless sooner suspended or revoked.
No person shall rent, lease, let, operate or otherwise allow the occupancy of a housing unit by a person other than the owner of the unit unless they have a valid inspection certificate.
(L) Add § 105.8 as follows:
Notification of Sale.
Every person holding an inspection certificate as required in § 105.7 shall give written notice to the Department of Community Development within 30 days after having sold, transferred, conveyed or otherwise disposed of his or her ownership of, interest in or control of the dwelling unit. The notice shall include the name and address of the person succeeding to the ownership or control thereof.
(M) Amend § 106.4 by adding the following:
Any violation of any of the terms or conditions of this Code, or any failure to comply with any of its requirements, shall constitute a civil infraction or misdemeanor and shall be accordingly subject to fines or imprisonment in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Iowa. Each day a violation exists may be considered to be a new and separate infraction or misdemeanor.
(N) Add the following to the end of § 107.2, Item #4:
but in no case more than 18 months unless a time extension not to exceed an additional 18 months, is granted by the Board.
(O) Delete § 111.1 through 111.8 and replace with:
Board Membership and Hearings
A Housing Advisory and Appeals Board is hereby created to hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determination made by the Building Official relative to the application and interpretations of this Code, which shall be the same Board of Appeals which serves for the Building Code (herein “Board” or “Board of Appeals”), and persons who are appointed to the Board of Appeals are hereby concurrently appointed to this Board without further action or specific citation. The Building Official shall be an ex officio member and shall act as secretary to the Board, but shall have no vote upon any matter before the Board.
The Board shall have no authority relative to interpretation of the administrative provisions of this Code, and the Board shall not be empowered to waive requirements of this Code.
The rules of procedure, powers, and obligations of the Board shall be the same as those set forth in the Building Code, including but not limited to rendering all decisions and findings in writing to the appellant with a duplicate copy to the Building Official, except as modified herein.
The Board may grant a variance in a specific case and from a specific provision of this ordinance subject to appropriate conditions, and provided the Board makes specific findings of fact based on evidence related to all of the following:
1. That there are practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships in carrying out the strict letter of any notice or order that are not purely economic in nature; and that the difficulties or hardships are not generally applicable to other properties;
2. That the effect of the application of the provisions would be arbitrary in the specific case;
3. That a time extension of not more than 18 months would not constitute an appropriate remedy for these practical difficulties or unnecessary hardships and this arbitrary effect; and
4. That the variance is in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this chapter in securing the public health, safety and general welfare.
The concurring vote of three members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision or determination of the Building Official, or to decide in favor of the applicant on any matter upon which it is required to pass under this Code; provided, however, that the action of the Board shall not become effective until after the resolution of the Board, setting forth the full reason for its decision and vote of each member participating therein, has been filed. The resolution, immediately following the Board’s final decision, shall be filed in the office of the Department of Community Development, and shall be open to public inspection.
Every variation and exception granted or denied by the Board shall be supported by a written testimony or evidence submitted in connection therewith.
Any taxpayer, or any officer, department, board or bureau of the city, or any person or persons jointly or severally aggrieved by any decision of the Board may present to a court of record a petition, duly verified setting forth that the decision is illegal, in whole or in part, and specifying the grounds of the illegality. The petition shall be presented to the court within 30 days after the filing of the decision in the office of the Board.
If any application for a variance or exception shall have been denied by the Board, then no new application for the same relief shall be considered by the Board unless the Board first finds that conditions have changed.
(P) Amend § 302.4 by inserting 12 inches as the maximum weed height.
(Q) Amend § 303.2 by adding the following IBC exception to the barrier or enclosure requirements:
A swimming pool with a power-operated safety cover, or a spa or hot tub if it is equipped with a lockable top cover, which is factory designed for the unit.
(R) Amend § 304.14, Insect Screens, by inserting “April 15th to October 15th” as the applicable dates.
(S) Amend § 307, Handrails and Guardrails, by deleting the last sentence of the provision, which relates to guard height, and inserting the following:
Guardrails shall be not less than 36 inches high (public and common areas in multi-family shall be minimum 42 inches high) and if unenclosed shall have intermediate rails or an ornamental pattern such that no object in excess of four inches in diameter can pass through.
Exception: For buildings constructed prior to 1996, handrails and guardrails which are structurally sound may provide the same height and opening protection/restriction as was required by the Building Code when the structure was originally constructed.
(T) Add § 404.8 as follows:
The minimum finished floor area requirements of this subsection shall apply only to single-family detached dwellings. Minimum room sizes specified by ordinance shall apply to all dwelling units.
Single-family detached dwellings shall conform to the minimum finished floor areas specified in the following tables for each type of dwelling design, the minimum floor area to be completely finished for full occupancy and use.
l. For lots that are allowed to be less than 70 feet in width:
Raised ranch or split foyer
1,000 directly under roof
Ranch or other single story
Two story, also known as one and one-half story, herein defined as not having a significant quantity of finished floor area over an attached garage
Two story, herein defined as having finished floor area over a majority of an attached garage
2. For lots required to be 70 feet or more in width:
Raised ranch or split foyer
1,150 directly under roof
Ranch or other single story
Two story, also know n as one and one-half story, herein defined as not having a significant quantity of finished floor area over an attached garage
Two story, herein defined as having finished floor area over a majority of an attached garage
3. For the purposes of this chapter, the following shall be applicable.
a. Finished living area is defined as floor area located in a story that is not more than 42 inches below finished grade, which is suitable for occupancy and has fully completed construction with respect to all floors, walls and ceilings and surfaces thereof; fixtures; and windows and doors as are customary and normal for occupied dwellings in the community.
b. Calculations of minimum finished floor areas shall be exclusive of and shall not include unfinished areas; finished area in attics, cellars or basements or other stories that are not completely above grade; carports and garages; or porches and breezeways.
c. In the case of a dispute, the classification of a specific dwelling shall be determined by the Board.
4. No structure or vehicle shall be considered a dwelling unless it has a minimum floor area of 320 square feet, in addition to complying with all Codes.
(U) Amend § 602.3 Heat Supply by inserting “September 1 through May 30" as the dates when the heat supply shall be available for dwellings.
(V) Amend § 602.4 Occupiable Work Spaces by inserting “September 1 through May 30" as the dates when the heat supply shall be available.
(W) Amend § 603 by adding §§ 603.7 as follows:
All existing Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (“CSST”) shall be retrofitted to be electrically bonded in the same manner as and in full accordance with the requirements of the International Fuel Gas Code for new construction.
(X) Amend § 605.2 Receptacles by adding:
GFCI protected electrical receptacles shall be provided in bathrooms of dwelling units that are occupied by a person other than the owner of the unit.
(Y) In § 702.4 add the following exception:
Dwelling units that were constructed prior to December 27, 1979 are not required to comply with the current minimum clear opening dimensions and maximum sill height requirements of this Code, but every such noncompliant emergency escape opening shall have clear and unobstructed width and height dimensions that are a minimum of 18 inches in each direction of a rectangular shape, and the finished sill height of every such escape opening shall not be more than 48 inches above the floor elevation below such opening.
(Z) In § 703.2 add the following:
Dwelling units that exit into exit-ways that serve three or more dwelling units shall be equipped with doors that are rated to control smoke and drafting by a fire for 20 minutes or longer, provided that solid-core doors having a one and three-fourth inch nominal width dimension may be provided in lieu of doors having such fire rating.
(Title VI, Ch. 1, § 4.0000)