City of Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
DIVISION 1
Generally
[B&H Code §§ BH201, BH202; amended 2-14-1977 by Ord. No. 1106; 4-28-1980 by Ord. No. 1196; 1-3-1984 by Ord. No. 1304; 4-14-1986 by Ord. No. 1378; 12-4-1989 by Ord. No. 1479; 6-29-1992 by Ord. No. 1535; 2-26-1996 by Ord. No. 1611; 12-20-1999 by Ord. No. 1691; 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804; 9-16-2019 by Ord. No. 1999]
This chapter, together with the codes adopted by § 9-22, shall be known as the "Kalamazoo Building Code."
Pursuant to the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, MCLA § 125.1501 et seq., as amended, the Michigan Building Code and the Michigan Residential Code, being the most recent editions as adopted by the State of Michigan, and a complete copy of which is on file in the office of the City Clerk, are hereby adopted by reference as if fully set forth herein for the purpose of regulating the erection, construction, enlargement, alteration, repair, moving, removal, conversion, demolition, occupancy, equipment use, height, area and maintenance of building and residential structures in the City, providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor and providing penalties for the violations thereof except as otherwise provided in the City Code. Unless otherwise expressly provided, in the event of a conflict between any of the provisions of such state-adopted codes herein adopted, and a provision of the Kalamazoo City Code, or any City resolution, rule or regulation, the state-adopted codes shall control.
References therein to "state" shall mean the State of Michigan; references to "municipality" shall mean the City of Kalamazoo; references to the "municipal charter" shall mean the Charter of the City of Kalamazoo; and reference to "local ordinances" shall mean the Kalamazoo City Code.
Pursuant to the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, MCLA § 125.1501 et seq., as amended, the City of Kalamazoo assumes responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act throughout the corporate limits of the City of Kalamazoo.
Pursuant to the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act, MCLA § 125.1501 et seq., as amended, the Building Official of the City of Kalamazoo is hereby designated as the enforcing agent to discharge the responsibility of the City of Kalamazoo under the Stille-DeRossett-Hale Single State Construction Code Act.
A person may engage in the business of or act in the capacity of a residential builder or a residential maintenance and alteration contractor or salesperson in this state without a license under this section, if the person is one of the following:
A. 
An authorized representative of the United States government, this state, or a county, township, city, village, or other political subdivision of this state.
B. 
An owner of property, with reference to a structure on the property for the owner's own use and occupancy.
C. 
An owner of rental property, with reference to the maintenance and alteration of that rental property.
D. 
An officer of a court who is acting within the scope of that office.
E. 
A person other than the salesperson that engages solely in the business of performing work and services under contract with a residential builder or a residential maintenance and alteration contractor that is licensed under this article.
F. 
A person that is working on one undertaking or project by one or more contracts, if the aggregate contract price for the labor, material, and any other items for the undertaking or project is less than $600. The exemption described in this subdivision does not apply if the work of a construction is only a part of a larger or major operation, whether undertaken by the same or a different residential builder or residential maintenance and alteration contractor, or in which a division of the operation is made in contracts of amounts less than $600 to evade this act.
G. 
An electrical contractor that is licensed under Article 7 of the Skilled trades Regulation Act, MCLA 339.5701 to 339.5739. The exemption described in this subsection applies only to the electrical installation, electrical maintenance, or electrical repair work that is performed by the electrical contractor.
H. 
A plumbing contractor that is licensed under Article 11 of the Skilled Trades Regulation Act, MCLA 339.6101 to 339.6133. The exemption described in this subsection applies only to plumbing installation, plumbing maintenance, or plumbing repair work that is performed by the plumbing contractor.
I. 
A mechanical contractor that is licensed under Article 8 of the Skilled Trades Regulation Act, MCLA 339.5801 to 339.5819. The exemption described in this subsection applies only to mechanical installation, mechanical maintenance, or mechanical repair work that is performed by the mechanical contractor.
A. 
Where the Building Official finds any work regulated by this code being performed in a manner either contrary to the provisions of this code or dangerous or unsafe, the Building Official is authorized to issue a stop-work order.
B. 
A person who is served with a stop-work order, except for work that the person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, subject to the penalty provisions prescribed in this Chapter.
C. 
Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall in violation of this Chapter.
DIVISION 2
Construction Board of Appeals
[B&H Code § BH205; amended 4-28-1980 by Ord. No. 1197; 12-20-1999 by Ord. No. 1691]
A. 
There is hereby established a Construction Board of Appeals consisting of seven members appointed by the City Commission as follows:
(1) 
One member who is principally engaged in commercial construction with at least five years experience, and whose office or residence is within the City.
(2) 
One member who is principally engaged in residential construction, with at least five years experience, whose office or residence is within the City.
(3) 
One registered structural engineer or architect, whose office or residence is within the City.
(4) 
One licensed master plumber or licensed journeyman plumber with at least five years experience as such, and whose office or residence is within the City.
(5) 
One licensed master electrician or licensed journeyman electrician with at least five years' experience as such, and whose office or residence is within the City.
(6) 
One licensed mechanical contractor with at least five years' experience as such, and whose office or residence is within the City.
(7) 
One representative of the City at large who is a property owner and who has resided within the City for at least five years.
B. 
If a representative is not available from each of the categories listed above, the City Commission may appoint others who do not meet all of the specific requirements but, in the opinion of the City Commission, are qualified with experience and training to pass upon pertinent matters.
C. 
Such members shall be appointed for terms of three years except that the initial appointments shall provide for three three-year terms, two two-year terms, and two one-year terms so that subsequent appointments shall not occur at the same time.
The Construction Board of Appeals shall meet at such times as the board may determine. The board shall propose bylaws for approval by the City Commission. All meetings of the board shall be open to the public.
A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum. A majority of the members is required to take action on all matters not of an administrative nature, but a majority of a quorum may deal with administrative matters.
The Building Official shall serve as secretary of the Construction Board of Appeals and shall keep records of its meetings. The minutes of the meetings shall be in writing, but may state the substance of any matter considered.
[Amended 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804]
A. 
The Construction Board of Appeals shall act as a quasi-judicial body in deciding matters brought before it which involve interpretation of any provision of this chapter. The Construction Board of Appeals shall also act as an advisory board to the City Commission. The board shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) 
To provide for reasonable interpretation of the provisions of the City building codes, plumbing codes, mechanical codes, electrical codes, and fire codes. The board shall have no authority to waive requirements of any City codes.
(2) 
To hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official charged with the enforcement of the City building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical and fire codes.
(3) 
To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement or refusal made by an administrative official charged with the enforcement of the Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance pursuant to § 30-12 of the Kalamazoo City Code.
(4) 
To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement or refusal made by an administrative official charged with the enforcement of the City Fire Code pursuant to § 15-46 of the Kalamazoo City Code. 
(5) 
To approve alternate materials and methods of installation.
(6) 
To do acts, make decisions and make such determinations as authorized by state law or the Kalamazoo City Code.
(7) 
After a public hearing, the board may grant a specific variance to a substantive requirement of the codes, if the literal application of the substantive requirement would result in exceptional practical difficulty to the applicant, and if both of the following requirements are satisfied:
(a) 
The performance of the particular item or part of the building or structure with respect to which the variance is granted shall be adequate for its intended use and shall not substantially deviate from performance required by the code of the particular item or part for the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the City and the intent of the code is observed, public safety secured and substantial justice done.
(b) 
The specific condition justifying the variance shall be neither so general nor recurrent in nature as to make an amendment to the code with respect to the condition reasonably practical or desirable.
B. 
The board may attach in writing any condition in connection with the granting of a variance that, in its judgment, is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of the City. The breach of a condition shall automatically invalidate the variance and any permit, license, and certificate granted on the basis of it. In no case shall more than the minimum variance from the code be granted that is necessary to alleviate the exceptional practical difficulty.
A. 
Appeals from the rulings of any official charged with the enforcement of this chapter may be made to the Construction Board of Appeals within 21 days from the date of the determination. The appellant shall file with the official from whose decision the appeal is taken and with the board, a notice of appeal, specifying the grounds therefor and stating the address of the appellant. The Building Official shall set the matter for hearing and give due notice thereof to all interested parties. The board shall hear such matter and decide the same not later than 30 days after submission of the appeal. Failure by the board to hear an appeal and file a decision within the time limit shall be deemed a denial of the appeal, for the purposes of instituting an appeal to the State Construction Code Commission.
[Amended 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804]
B. 
Within the limits of its jurisdiction, as prescribed in this article, the Construction Board of Appeals may reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as, in its opinion, ought to be made in the premises, and to that end shall have all the powers of the official from whom the appeal is taken. The final disposition of such appeal shall be in writing and shall state the grounds therefor and shall be forthwith delivered to the appellant at his last known address.
Any person, including the Building Official, may file with the Construction Board of Appeals requests for interpretation of the codes, approval of alternate methods or materials, or any other matter provided for under the powers and duties of the board, in the same manner as provided for appeals.
Any orders issued by the Construction Board of Appeals shall be set out in full, shall be supported by findings of fact, and shall state the grounds of the order in a manner reasonably calculated to apprize the petitioner of the basis thereof.
In the absence of an appeal pursuant to § 9-40, decisions of the Construction Board of Appeals become effective on the 10th business day after filing of the decision with the Building Official.
[Amended 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804]
An interested person, or his/her authorized agent, may seek review of a decision of the Construction Board of Appeals with the State Construction Code Commission or as otherwise provided by law. An appeal to the State Construction Code Commission must be filed within 10 business days of the filing of the board's decision with the Building Official or within such time period as state law may prescribe. In case of review sought because of failure of the board to act within the time prescribed, an appeal may be filed at any time before filing of the decision of the Construction Board of Appeals or as otherwise provided by law.
[Added 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804]
Any reference in the Kalamazoo City Code to the "Building Board of Appeals" shall be treated as a reference to the "Construction Board of Appeals."
DIVISION 3
Signs[1]
[Amended 7-10-1989 by Ord. No. 1466]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Division 3, Amendments to Uniform Building Code, which was comprised of §§ 9-47 through 9-65, as amended, was repealed 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804. This ordinance also renumbered former Division 4, Signs, as Division 3.
See also App A, Ch. 7, Signs.
[Amended 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804]
A. 
The purpose of this division is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, quality of materials, construction location, electrification and maintenance of all signs and sign structures not located in a building.
B. 
No sign shall be erected in such a manner as to confuse or obstruct the view or interpretation of any official traffic sign or device.
C. 
This division shall not permit a violation of any of the provisions of another lawful ordinance.
A. 
Compliance and permit required. It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, reerect, alter or relocate any sign except as provided by this division unless a permit for the same has been issued by the Building Official. In addition, electrical permits shall be obtained for electric signs. The alteration, repair or remodeling of a sign which requires removal of the sign from its supporting structure or framework shall require a permit from the building section. If such alteration, repair or remodeling can be made without taking the sign down, no permit shall be required; but the division shall be notified of such work.
(1) 
Every permit issued by the Building Official under the provisions of this division shall expire by limitation and become null and void if the work authorized by such permit is not commenced within 60 days from the date it is issued, or if the work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of 60 days at any time after the work is commenced. Before such work can be recommended, a new permit shall be first obtained to do so; and the fee therefor shall be equal to the fee required for a new permit for such work; provided that no changes have been made or will be made in the original scope of work and type of sign.
(2) 
In the instances when delays in starting or continuing work within the described time frames are for circumstances beyond the control of the permittee holding the permit, the Building Official may extend the time for action by the permittee for a period not exceeding 30 days if such extension is requested in writing by the permittee. No permit shall be extended more than once.
B. 
Permit application. Applications for sign permits shall be made in writing upon forms furnished by the City.
[Amended 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804]
C. 
Signs in historic districts. All existing and proposed signs located in local designated historic districts shall be reviewed and approved by the Historic District Commission prior to any installation, alteration, sign-face change or removal.
D. 
Exemptions. No permit is required for the following signs, but this exemption shall not be construed as relieving the owner of the sign from the responsibility of its erection and maintenance or its compliance with this division or any other law or ordinance regulating the same. Also see Chapter 7 of the Zoning Ordinance (Appendix A) of the Code of Ordinances:
(1) 
Memorial tablets and historical markers attached to, embossed or engraved on the facade of a building or incorporated into the architecture of the building.
(2) 
Signs painted on or permanently attached to motor vehicles which are legally licensed for and primarily used for transportation, provided that no such vehicle is parked on the premises for the primary purpose of advertising any product or services offered.
(3) 
Special purpose signs, including:
(a) 
Parking lot identification and directional signs as follows:
[1] 
Two freestanding signs, each not exceeding four square feet in area or four feet in height, which may be located in the setback area at each driveway entrance or exit and not less than three feet from the lot line.
[2] 
Such a sign may be internally illuminated.
[3] 
No obstructions of traffic or other hazardous condition shall be created by such sign.
[4] 
The name of the business offering the parking may be identified on the sign, but in no instance shall it occupy more than 1/3 of the copy area.
(b) 
Residential nameplate and house numbers, either of which may be illuminated, on buildings or poles not exceeding six feet in height.
(c) 
Signs not exceeding two square feet in area containing only noncommercial messages designating such things as rest room locations, telephones and prohibition of trespassing or dumping.
(4) 
Official signs used by governmental agencies, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) 
Legal notices.
(b) 
Traffic signs in accordance with the requirements of the Michigan Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
(c) 
Danger and other emergency signs.
(d) 
Railroad crossings.
(e) 
Signs identifying parks or park rules.
(f) 
Historical markers.
(5) 
Community special event signs as approved by the City Commission.
(6) 
Signs required by law for the operation of a service station, including lettering, insignias, warnings and other information required on each pump.
(7) 
Real estate signs.
(8) 
"Open house" directional signs.
(9) 
Election campaign signs.
E. 
Fees. Sign permit fees shall be as prescribed by resolution of the City Commission.
F. 
Inspections.
(1) 
All signs for which a permit is required under this section shall be subject to inspection by the Building Official.
(2) 
Footing inspections may be required by the Building Official for all signs having footings.
(3) 
All signs containing electrical wiring shall be subject to the provisions of the electrical code of the City (§ 9-98 et seq. of this Code), and the electrical components used shall bear the label of an approved testing agency.
(4) 
Signs which are unsafe shall be ordered removed or repaired immediately, depending wholly upon the condition of the sign. It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to comply with such an order to repair or remove any sign.
(5) 
A sign may be reinspected at the discretion of the Building Official.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 9-72, Sign erector's license, was repealed 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804.
[Amended 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804]
A. 
Signs may be allowed to project into or be erected over the public right-of-way when permitted by Appendix A, the Zoning Ordinance of the Code of Ordinances, and approved by the City. Signs projecting over the public right-of-way shall be erected only by licensed sign erectors.
(1) 
The owner of every sign projecting into the public right-of-way shall be required to obtain from the building section an annual permit for such sign. The fee for such permit shall be as prescribed by resolution of the City Commission.
(2) 
The permit provided for this section shall expire on the first day of November of each year and shall be renewed within 30 days from that date.
(3) 
In case a permit required by this section is not renewed within 60 days after its expiration, the Building Official shall be empowered to remove or cause to be removed the sign covered by such permit. The City may bill the permit holder for any costs associated with removal of the sign.
(a) 
Any wall or flat sign which extends from the building or structure on which it is mounted a distance of 18 inches or more over public property, or which extends over public property and has a space between it and the building of three inches or more shall be considered to be a sign projecting over the public right-of-way.
(b) 
No sign projection over a sidewalk used by the public shall be less than 11 feet in the clear above the sidewalk on streets and not less than 15 feet above the sidewalk in alleys.
(c) 
Signs projecting over a public thoroughfare shall be kept at least three feet back of the curbline unless more restrictive requirements are applicable and set forth elsewhere; in which case, the more restrictive requirement shall control.
A. 
Generally. Signs and sign structures shall be designed and constructed to resist wind and seismic forces as specified in this section. All bracing systems shall be designed and constructed to transfer lateral forces to the foundations. For signs on buildings, the dead and lateral loads shall be transmitted through the structural frame of the building to the ground in such a manner as not to overstress any of the elements thereof.
(1) 
The overturning movement produced from lateral forces shall in no case exceed 2/3 of the dead load-resisting movement. Uplift due to overturning shall be adequately resisted by proper anchorage to the ground or to the structural frame of the building. The weight of earth superimposed over footings may be used in determining the dead load-resisting movement. Such earth shall carefully placed and thoroughly compacted.
B. 
Wind loads. Signs and sign structures shall be designed and constructed to resist wind forces as specified in the adopted building code of the City.
C. 
Seismic loads. Signs and sign structures shall be designed and constructed to resist seismic forces as specified in the adopted building code of the City.
D. 
Combined loads. Wind and seismic loads need not be combined in the design of signs or sign structures; only that loading producing the larger stresses need be used. Vertical design loads, except roofline loads, shall be assumed to be acting simultaneously with the wind or seismic loads.
E. 
Allowable stresses. The design of wood, concrete, steel or aluminium members shall conform to the applicable requirements of the adopted building code of the City. Loads, both vertical and horizontal, exerted on the soil shall not produce stresses exceeding those specified in such code. Working stresses for wind or seismic loads combined with dead loads may be increased as specified in such code.
A. 
Generally. The supports for all signs or sign structures shall be placed in or upon private property and shall be securely built, constructed and erected in conformity with this division.
B. 
Materials. Construction materials for signs and sign structures shall be of the quality and grade as specified for buildings in the adopted building code of the City. All signs that project into the public right-of-way shall be constructed of noncombustible materials, except for approved plastics, and as otherwise provided in the allowable plastics, and as otherwise provided in the allowable materials in the adopted building code of the City.
(1) 
Anchors and supports, when of wood and embedded in the soil or within six inches of the soil, shall be of all heartwood of a durable species or shall be pressure-treated with an approved preservative. Such members shall be marked or branded by an approved agency as recognized under the building code.
C. 
Nonstructural trim. Nonstructural trim may be of wood, metal, approved plastics or any combination thereof.
D. 
Anchorage. Members supporting unbraced signs shall be so proportioned that the bearing loads imposed on the soil in either direction, horizontal or vertical, does not exceed the safe values. Braced ground signs shall be anchored to reset the specified wind or seismic load acting in any direction. Anchors and supports shall be designed for safe-bearing loads on the soil and for an effective resistance to pullout amounting to a force 25% greater than the required resistance to overturning. Anchors and supports shall penetrate to a depth belowground greater than that of the frostline.
(1) 
Signs attached to masonry, concrete or steel shall be safely and securely fastened thereto by means of metal anchors, bolts or approved expansion screws of sufficient size and anchorage to safely support the loads applied.
(2) 
No wooden blocks or plugs or anchors with wood used in connection with screws or nails shall be considered proper anchorage except in the case of signs attached to wood framing.
(3) 
No anchor or support of a sign shall be connected to or supported by an unbraced parapet wall, unless such wall is designed in accordance with the requirements for parapet walls specified for seismic zones in the adopted building code of the City.
E. 
Approved plastics. The Building Official shall require that sufficient technical data be submitted to substantiate the proposed use of any plastic material; and, if it is determined that the evidence submitted is satisfactory for the use intended, the Building Official may approve its use.
A. 
Generally. Signs shall conform to the clearance requirements of this section.
B. 
Clearance from high voltage power lines. Signs shall be located not less than six feet horizontally or 12 feet vertically from overhead electrical conductors which are energized in excess of 750 volts. As used in this subsection, "overhead conductors" means any electrical conductor, either bare or insulated, installed above the ground, except such conductors as are enclosed in iron pipe or other material covering of equal strength.
C. 
Clearance from fire escapes, exits or standpipes. No sign or sign structure shall be erected in such a manner that any portion of its surface or supports will interfere in any way with the free use of any escape, exit or standpipe.
D. 
Openings. No sign shall obstruct any opening to such an extent that light or ventilation is reduced to a point below that required by the adopted building code of the City.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 9-77, Abandoned signs, as was repealed 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 9-77.1, Violations, was repealed 6-19-2006 by Ord. No. 1804.
A. 
The Kalamazoo City Commission may, by resolution, establish reasonable fees for covering the costs of actions taken with regard to a sign or sign structure governed by all or part of this division of the City Code.
B. 
The costs shall be a lien against the real property and shall be reported to the assessing officer of the City who shall assess the cost against the property on which the sign or sign structure is or was located.
C. 
The owner or party in interest in whose name the property appears upon the last local tax assessment record shall be notified of the amount of the costs referred to in Subsection B, by first-class mail at the address shown on the record. If he fails to pay the same within 30 days after mailing by the assessor of the notice of the amount thereof, the Assessor shall add the same to the next tax roll of the City; and the same shall be collected in the same manner in all respects as provided by law for the collection of taxes.