Town of Bedford, NH
Hillsborough County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Bedford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 130.
Zoning — See Ch. 275.
[Adopted 7-20-1987; amended in its entirety 11-6-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-06]
No approved lot shall have a building permit issued until all angles of the boundaries of such lots are marked by boundary markers of granite, drill holes in granite, or durable ledges. Offset markers may be used where natural or historical obstructions require or during road construction. The markers must be certified as set, as specified on the final plat, by a registered surveyor. All markers must be visible from one another, or, in cases of obstructions, wood stakes shall be placed every 50 feet during construction.
The Building Code Official or the Code Official designee may waive this requirement if, in their opinion, there are no setback encroachments.
[Adopted 10-10-2007; amended in its entirety 11-6-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-06]
The purpose of this article is to establish a local Building Department and associated inspection services to provide verification that all construction-related services meet the minimum requirements for building safety as allowed under RSA 675:2, 674:51 and 673:1, V. This article is adopted for the further purpose of promoting the health, safety, prosperity, convenience, or general welfare, as well as to provide efficiency and economy in the process of development of the Town of Bedford. To further these purposes, building permits shall be required for the new construction of buildings and those activities requiring permits as outlined under §§ 92-8 and 275-85.
As authorized and required under RSA 673:1, V, and RSA 674:51, III(c), the Town of Bedford creates the position of Building Code Official. The position qualifications shall be established by the Town of Bedford personnel policy, and final approval of the position shall be by the Town Manager. The Building Code Official shall report directly to the Bedford Fire Chief.
The Building Code Official shall establish a written policy governing the operation of the Building Department. This policy will cover all aspects of the operation of the Building Department, including but not limited to application procedures, fee collections and refunds, permit-processing guidelines, documentation requirements and other policies or guidelines as deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the staff. The Town Council shall approve these policies and procedures. Town of Bedford ordinances shall supersede the Department policy. The Town Manager is authorized by the Town Council to approve interim changes to the Department handbook. The handbook shall be reviewed and reapproved by Council at its request or at the same time any modifications are made to Chapter 92.
Where terms are not specifically defined in this article, their meaning shall be derived from adopted codes. Where the terms are not defined under any adopted code, their meaning shall be their ordinarily accepted meanings within the context they are used.
ACTIVELY PURSUED
That no more than 180 calendar days have passed without a recorded inspection. The 180 days shall be based upon the permit issuance date or the date the last field inspection was performed and approved.
CODE OFFICIAL DESIGNEE
This shall be the individual holding the position of Town of Bedford Code Inspector.
INACTIVE PERMITS AND APPLICATIONS
Permits and applications not having met the requirements for being actively pursued.
Appeals must be based upon the premise that the Code Official has incorrectly applied the requirements for the enforced codes and shall not be based upon how other communities enforce similar codes or cost constraints. (See complete text of RSA 674:34 for details.)
A. 
Building Code Board of Appeals. As outlined in RSA 673:1, the Bedford Zoning Board of Adjustment shall act as the Building Code Board of Appeals until such time as the legislative body creates a separate and distinctive Building Code Board of Appeals. The Building Code Board of Appeals' authority is governed by RSA 674:34.
B. 
If an owner or builder feels aggrieved by a decision of the Building Code Official, he or she must appeal such decision to the Bedford Building Code Board of Appeals. Thereafter, any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Appeals may appeal to the Superior Court of Hillsborough County.
A. 
Authority. Permits are required as authorized under RSA 676:11 to 676:13 and § 275-85. Property owners or their agents are required to secure the appropriate permits prior to the start of work.
(1) 
The Building Department will not issue foundation-only permits.
(2) 
The Building Department will not issue separate demolition permits for existing commercial or resident space prior to the issuance of the required remodeling permit.
B. 
Types of permits required but not limited to:
(1) 
Building permits are required for activities as outlined in the construction codes referenced in § 92-9A and/or where permits are required under § 275-85B.
(2) 
After-the-fact building permits are required for work described in § 92-8D and shall be subject to all permit fees, fee penalties, and inspections contained in this article.
(3) 
Electrical permits are required for work as defined in RSA 319-C:2, III. A New Hampshire licensed electrician as outlined in RSA 319-C must perform all electrical installations unless excepted as noted in RSA 319:C3 and property owners performing electrical installations within their existing primary dwelling. An electrical permit will only be issued to the license holders themselves unless otherwise approved by the Building Department corporate license approval process.
(4) 
Demolition permits are required when an entire structure is being razed. Such permits must comply with the Department of Environmental Services rules pertaining to hazardous materials evaluation and remediation. Demolition required as part of a remodel project will not be required to secure a separate demolition permit. All demolition shall be subject to Department of Environmental Service and Department of Health and Human Services rules pertaining to hazardous materials evaluation and remediation.
(5) 
Plumbing permits are required for work as defined in RSA 153:27 XIV. A New Hampshire licensed plumber must perform all plumbing installations unless as excepted in RSA 153:36. The Town of Bedford limits the scope of work which can be done by homeowners to minor installations (those that entail relocating or replacing existing plumbing fixtures) within their primary dwelling (where the individual currently resides) only. A plumbing permit will only be issued to the license holders themselves unless otherwise approved by the Building Department corporate license approval process.
(6) 
Mechanical and gas permits are required for activities as outlined in the adopted Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes referenced in § 92-9A(1). (This section also includes permits for fuel piping and appliance installation.) Gas piping and fuel appliance installation permits will only be issued to the license holders themselves, except where licensure is not required for owners of single-family dwellings as noted in RSA 153:36, I or approved by the Building Department corporate license approval process.
(7) 
Septic system permits are required for the installation and repair of septic systems.
(8) 
Sign permits are required for erection of new, installation, refacing, and/or replacing damaged or existing signs governed by Bedford Zoning regulations § 275-68 and Bedford Zoning Article IX.
C. 
Additional permits. Should additional permits be required as a result of code requirement changes, in response to unforeseen project types being experienced by the Town or other unforeseen circumstances, the Town Manager is authorized to approve their implementation along with the appropriate fees. These additional permits shall be noted in the Department handbook, along with the appropriate fee schedule. The Town Council must ratify additional permits and fees within one year of their implementation, or they shall sunset.
D. 
Unauthorized work.
(1) 
Upon discovery and verification that work has been performed without prior approval, the current property owner shall be required to secure appropriate permits from the Building Department and be subject to all requirements associated with the building permit process, including permit applications, plan reviews, fees, penalties and inspections.
EXCEPTION:
If, after a visual inspection by the Code Official, or his designee, and there is no readily apparent imminent danger to the occupants, the requirements of § 92-8D(1) may be waived; providing the Bedford Assessing Department is made aware of the modifications and a memo from the Building Department is included in the property file indicating said work was not approved nor inspected by the Building Department. Should validation documents be requested by any party, then the requirements of § 92-8D(1) shall be enforced.
(2) 
Where unauthorized work results in a violation of an existing septic design, creates additional room(s) designated as sleeping rooms, or Bedford Zoning/Planning regulations, the owner of record at the time of discovery shall be required to remedy the violations by securing appropriate applicable permits/approvals along with required inspections and be subject to all of the requirements needed to remedy the violations.
E. 
Issuance of building permits.
(1) 
The Building Code Official, or his designee, shall not issue building permits under the following conditions: (Note: Statute requires permits to be withheld in certain cases. See full text of RSA 676:12.)
(a) 
If issuance of the permit would constitute a violation of an existing zoning ordinance or would result in violation of an approved site plan.
(b) 
If issuance of the permit would constitute a violation of a proposed zoning ordinance change once they have been duly noticed under the conditions as outlined in RSA 675:7.
(c) 
If issuance of a building permit is in direct conflict with the provisions of RSA 674:41, Erection of Buildings on Streets; Appeals.
(d) 
If the requirements of § 275-85C(1) and (2) have not been met.
(2) 
Applicants are required to allow the issuing agency adequate time, as outlined in RSA 676:13, to review the proposed work when reviews are required by any of the enforced/adopted codes as referenced in § 92-9 of this article.
F. 
Fees.[1] The Building Code Official shall review and submit to the Town Council, at its request, a report evaluating the Bedford permit fee schedule. This evaluation shall be a comparison of fees charged in surrounding communities of similar size and activity. The report shall also examine the needs of the Building Department and evaluate the cost of operating the Department as it relates to permit fees. Interim additional fees or existing fee modifications may be approved by the Town Manager, provided they are ratified by the Town Council within one year of initial imposition.
(1) 
Fees shall be waived for Town of Bedford and for Bedford School District projects. All other fee waivers may only be granted by the Town Council.
(2) 
Refunds. Refunds will be issued for inactive permits upon receipt of a formal request from the permit fee payee. The refunds will be reduced at the rate of 16.6% per month (based upon issue date) for every month the permit has been issued, minus administrative costs.
(3) 
Credits. Where issued permits expire, for not being actively pursued, and are required to reapply[2] for a new permit, a credit in the amount of 75% of the original fees for the project shall be applied to the new permit costs, providing there was no work ever inspected for the project.
[2]
See Department handbook for permit renewal requirements.
(4) 
Town Council-approved fee increases shall be effective on the next business day after Council adoption unless otherwise noted by the Council at the time of adoption. Complete permit applications submitted to the Building Department by the close of business on the day prior to the effective date of the revised fees shall be assessed at the rates in effect at the time of submission.
[1]
Editor's Note: The fee schedule is on file in the offices and website of the Bedford Building Department.
A. 
The Town of Bedford as authorized under RSA 674:51-a and 674:51 I — V shall enforce, adopt and amend the following codes to be used as the minimum requirements for construction in the Town of Bedford to provide for the general welfare and safety:
(1) 
Providing for the issuance of permits, collection of fees, and performing inspections the Town votes to enforce the current edition of the construction codes referenced in RSA 155-A, as published by their respective promulgation agencies or as amended by the State Building Code Review Board, and additional construction/maintenance codes referenced in this chapter; for the purpose of regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, erection, installation, alteration, repair, location, relocation, replacement, addition to, and use of all structures with the following amendments:
(a) 
Amend the IBC section outlining architect/engineer responsibilities during construction by adding the following responsibilities: When the laws of the State of New Hampshire require that construction documents be prepared by registered architects or engineers or when in the opinion of the department plan reviewer the plans do not meet or clearly outline how they meet the prescriptive requirements of the code, then New Hampshire registered design professionals shall prepare plans, computations and specifications for the project. The registered design professionals who have been retained to perform construction phase services shall perform the following tasks for the portion of the work for which they are directly responsible:
[1] 
Review, for conformance to the design concept, shop drawings, samples and other submittals, which are submitted by the contractor in accordance with the requirements of the construction documents.
[2] 
Provide a detailed code compliance analysis narrative which shall include, but not be limited to, means of egress travel distances, height and area compliance calculations, egress capacity calculations, occupancy classification, accessibility compliance and similar items. This narrative shall include specific code editions and section references used in performing the analysis.
[3] 
Review and approval of the quality control procedures for all code-required controlled materials, structural tests and special inspections and provide that information to the Building Department.
[4] 
Be present at intervals appropriate to the stage of construction to become generally familiar with the progress and quality of the work and to determine, in general, if the work is being performed in a manner consistent with the construction documents and accepted engineering practice standards.
[5] 
The design professional shall submit to the Building Department documentation verifying compliance with the above requirements at regular intervals, which shall be noted at the time of permit issuance.
[6] 
The tasks listed in this section are in addition to requirements for structural observation or other duties specified in Section 1704, Section 1709 or elsewhere in the adopted International Building Code.
[7] 
Upon completion of the project and prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy the design professional(s) of record shall provide statements verifying the project has been completed in compliance with plans submitted to the Building Department.
(b) 
Add a new section regarding architect/engineer qualifications. When the requirements of codes dictate there shall be design professionals preparing plans, those professionals shall have their license based upon the discipline required for the plans being prepared. Any design professional wishing to stamp plans for a discipline other than the one his or her license is based upon may be required to submit additional documentation validating his or her competency in the additional area of design.
(c) 
Projects controlled by the International Building Code shall comply with the Architectural Barrier-Free Design Code for New Hampshire (ABFDC-NH) and the Americans With Disability Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG), as adopted by the ABFDC-NH, where required by state law and by code section. The design professional of record shall be required to verify compliance.
(d) 
Add section governing maximum hot-water temperature. Hot-water temperatures supplying fixtures for domestic or personal hygiene use shall be limited to a maximum of 130° F. (55° C.). A tempering device conforming to ASSE 1017 shall be installed to control water temperature. This provision shall not supersede the requirements for protective shower valves as noted in the code or the hot water temperature limitations required for nonresidential occupancies.
(e) 
Energy code compliance verification shall be through the submission of the printouts from the current version of COMcheck software for projects governed by the IBC and IEBC and through REScheck software or NH BCRB-approved energy compliance packages for projects controlled by the IRC.
(f) 
Insert the following values for climatic and geographic design criteria:
[1] 
Wind speed: 90 mph; ground snow load: 70 pounds per square foot; weathering: severe; frost line depth: 48 inches; termite probability: slight to moderate; winter design temperature: 0°; flood hazard: Flood Insurance Rate Maps; seismic design class: C.
(g) 
In structures governed by the International Residential Building Code (IRC) modify the prescriptive dwelling and habitable space/garage fire separations specifications by substituting five-eighths-inch Type X gypsum board for all references to one-half-inch gypsum board.
(h) 
Adopt the appendixes for each of the codes referenced in RSA 155-A and any additional codes referenced within § 92-9. Where any appendix conflicts with any local ordinance or other state code, the more stringent requirement shall take precedence unless state statute or local ordinance prohibits the use of the specific requirements.
(i) 
Providing for the establishment of the minimum regulations governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures; by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use and the demolition of such structures; by adopting the current edition of the International Property Maintenance Code. This Property Maintenance Code shall not apply to those single residential dwelling units that are owner-occupied.
(j) 
Adopt the current edition of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code to govern the design, construction and operation of public and private aquatic vessels.
(k) 
Adopt the current edition of the International Green Construction Code as a supplemental construction code to be applicable on a voluntary basis.
(l) 
Where geotechnical data is not provided, concrete footings supporting poured concrete or masonry block walls shall contain a minimum of two continuous, equally spaced rows of No. 4 rebar. The rebar shall be supported or suspended in the center third of footing depth. Support shall be accomplished by the use of ACI standard "chairs" or by the use of tie wires.
(m) 
Where new residential structures are being supported on concrete piers, each pier shall have a minimum bearing area equivalent to that of a twenty-four-inch-diameter circle.
[1] 
Exception: The bearing area requirement may be reduced where calculations are provided to verify reductions in bearing areas.
(n) 
All HVAC ducts, and other optional systems, installed in concealed locations within stud or joist bays where located less than 1 1/4 inches from the nearest edge of framing members shall be protected by a steel shield plate 0.0575 inch thickness (No. 16 gauge) that shall cover the area subject to physical damage. The shields shall extend a minimum of two inches above sole plates and two inches below top plates.
(o) 
Where system components are installed within framing cavities in a wall or floor that is part of the thermal envelope, a minimum of R-13 rigid insulation shall be installed between the system component and the unconditioned side of the cavity.
(p) 
Where required rated floor/wall/ceiling assemblies are penetrated, the systems installed to restore the continuity for these assemblies shall be inspected by independent third-party-inspection individuals that have been prequalified by the Building Department prior to issuance of the building permit. This prequalification shall also apply to individuals performing independent inspection of joints where these assemblies converge or terminate if required. Such testing shall be by the destructive method.
(q) 
Residential accessory structures having habitable spaces above motor vehicle storage areas shall have the area above and the supporting structure protected by five-eighths-inch Type X drywall.
B. 
The enforcement of the above-referenced State of New Hampshire adopted codes (with state and local amendments) and the International Property Maintenance Code does not preempt the enforcement of the regulations adopted by the State of New Hampshire regulatory agencies responsible for those professions requiring licensing under state law, nor does it preempt the enforcement of current regulations recognized by the New Hampshire Fire Marshal's office. In those situations where code requirements are different, the Town of Bedford reserves the right to enforce those requirements that are more stringent.
C. 
Town enforcement of updated code editions shall be the effective date of adoption by the state. The conditions outlined in Subsection D shall govern those permits to be controlled by the updated codes. The Building Department shall post notices as determined by the Town Council to warn of impending code changes warranted by this section.
D. 
Code changes will become effective for those complete permit applications received on the day of the effective date referenced in Subsection C. Approved permits issued prior to the effective date that have expired due to not having been actively pursued within 180 days of issuance of the permit shall be subject to the change in the codes.
E. 
The Town of Bedford reserves the right to enforce the construction codes and standards referenced in § 92-9A(1) and A(1)(a) as originally published by the promulgating agency when such enforcement is not prohibited by statutory language.
A. 
No person shall use or permit the use for any purpose of any building, structure, or premises or part thereof hereafter erected, relocated, altered, repaired, converted or extended until a certificate of occupancy or a building final is issued by the Building Code Official or his designee.
B. 
No certificate of occupancy or building final shall be issued for projects which are not in compliance with approved site plans, the Town of Bedford zoning and subdivision regulations, local and state building codes, and local and state fire codes.
A. 
Fines are in addition to regular calculated permit fees.
B. 
The penalty for starting work prior to issuance of the required permit shall be a minimum surcharge of $100 or twice the sum of the calculated permit fees for the project, whichever is greater.
Appeals for this fine shall be brought to the Local Building Code Board of Appeals.