Elkins City Council is hoping a new ordinance will help residents and business owners receive their building permits faster. Instead of waiting for council to approve the permits, the building inspector and building committee will provide the approval.
Rules and Ordinance Chairman and Councilman Mark Scott, 3rd Ward, said after looking at the International Building code, which has been adopted by the city, council only issues the permit.
"It says the permit shall be issued," Scott said. "It doesn't say you (council) can disapprove them. The two-week wait slows people down from getting their permit."
Scott said no other municipality in the state passes building permits like the city of Elkins. The ordinance, which passed a first reading, will shift the responsibility of approving the permits to the Elkins Building Committee. Recommendations to the committee will be made by Building Inspector Phil Isner.
"Council is just rubber stamping it," Scott said. "You can't turn it down."
Scott said the ordinance also will allow council to sit as an appeal board for any building permit that is not approved.
"We have no authority in approving the permits," Scott said. "It lies with the inspector and the building permit."
Councilman Carman Metheny, 3rd Ward, said council used to approve the permits, but that was prior to the acceptance of the International Building Code.
City Attorney Gerry Roberts said council can not disapprove building permits. She said the permits should be issued when it is approved by the building committee.
The ordinance will have to pass a second reading before it is adopted. City Council will next meet at 7 p.m. on Sept. 20
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