[Adopted 8-13-1991 by Ch. No. 983 as §§ 5-16 and 5-26 through 5-30 of the 1991 Code (as amended through Ch. No. 1220)]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- An architect licensed to practice in the State of Rhode Island.
- BUILDING CODE
- The Rhode Island State Building Code.
- The Town of Westerly.
[Amended 6-4-2018 by Ch. No. 1917]
The State Building Code is hereby adopted as the Building Code for the Town.
The State Property Maintenance Code is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code for the Town.
In accordance with Section 103.5 of the State Property Maintenance Code, entitled "Fees," the Town hereby adopts a fine of $50 per day per violation of the State Property Maintenance Code. Each day is deemed to be a separate offense.
In accordance with Section 302.4 of the State Property Maintenance Code, entitled "Weeds," the Town hereby adopts six inches as the maximum allowable height of weeds.
In accordance with Section 304.14 of the State Property Maintenance Code, entitled "Insect screens," the Town hereby adopts the period of May 1 to September 30 as the time frame for required insect screens.
In addition to those duties and powers of the Building Official that are specifically enumerated in the State Building Code, he shall be responsible for enforcing all of the provisions of each code and any supplement thereto so as to give proper effect and ensure compliance with such codes, except as may otherwise be specifically provided for by statutory requirements.
The Building Official shall also make written reports of all permits and certificates issued to his immediate superior once each month, or more often if requested, which reports shall also be submitted to the Town Council and shall contain such pertinent data as date issued, title or name of permittee, estimated cost of project, fee paid, and any orders promulgated.
A schedule of fees for all permits necessary in compliance with the Building Code is hereby established as follows and any other schedule of fees inconsistent herewith is hereby specifically amended:
Construction or alteration of building or structure. For a permit for the construction or alteration of a building or structure, the fees shall be computed as follows: a fee of $25 for a building with a value of construction up to $5,000; $50 for a building with a value of construction of $5,001 up to $10,000; and $6 per $1,000 or fraction thereof, to no limit, for any value above $10,000. An E-permit application fee of $4 will be charged for each permit application.
[Amended 5-9-2005 by Ch. No. 1536; 5-14-2018 by Ord. No. 1915]
Plumbing, mechanical, and electrical permits. Plumbing, mechanical, and electrical permits shall be computed on the value of completed work based on the chart as follows:
[Amended 5-14-2018 by Ord. No. 1915]
Demolition. The fee for residential demolition work shall be $15. The fee for demolition of commercial, industrial, public and other work shall be $40 for each 10 feet in height of such building or structure. An E-permit application fee of $4 will be charged for each permit application.
Late filing fee. In the event that the owner or agent files an application for a required permit after the work has commenced or has commenced work prior to the issuance of a required permit, a late filing fee shall be added to the normal fee that would otherwise apply. The late filing fee shall be $100 or 1/2 of the permit fee, whichever is more.
[Amended 4-28-2003 by Ch. No. 1437]
Certificate of occupancy inspections. One inspection, no charge; any additional inspections shall be $25.
Partial refunds of permit fees may be made only when the Town Manager determines, upon the recommendation of the Building Official, that exigent circumstances warrant a partial refund. Any partial refund must be approved by the Town Council; any denial of same may be reviewed by the Town Council.
[Amended 7-9-2018 by Ch. No. 1930]
Payment. No permit as required by the Building Code shall be issued until the fee prescribed in this article shall have been paid. Nor shall an amendment to a permit be approved until the additional fee, if any, due to an increase in the estimated cost of the building or structure shall have been paid.
Scope. The provisions of these regulations shall control the division of the jurisdiction into fire limits and the general limitation of height and area of all buildings hereafter erected, and extensions to existing buildings hereafter altered or enlarged as affected by the fire and life hazard incident to type of construction, use group, density of development, exterior exposure and accessibility of buildings and structures to fire-fighting facilities and equipment. Note: Unless otherwise specifically indicated, references to use groups, type of construction, section numbers and tables are from the State Building Code, Regulation SBC-1.
Fire limits defined. The territories defined and limited by the provision of this Code for the restriction of types of construction.
Fire limits generally and outside fire limits.
For the purpose of control of use and construction of buildings to prevent conflagration from fire, the Town may establish limiting districts designated "fire limits" and the "outside fire limits" under the legal procedure of the jurisdiction for creating and establishing fire limits.
The fire limits shall comprise the areas containing congested business, commercial, manufacturing and industrial users or in which such uses are developing. The limits of such areas shall be as described in Chapter 260, Zoning, or as delineated on the Official Zoning Map of the Town as GI, LI, DRAT, DC-1, DC-2, HC, GC, NB, MC, SC-WH and SC-G.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
All other areas not included in the fire limits shall be designated as outside fire limits.
Restrictions within the fire limits.
General provisions. All buildings and structures, and all additions to existing buildings and structures, hereafter erected within the boundaries of the fire limits shall be of Type 1, 2A, 2B, 4 or 3A construction as defined in Article 4 and regulated in Table 401, and shall be constructed within the height and area limitations of Table 501 except as herein provided. Open parking structures may be constructed as permitted based on 2019 International Building Code (see Section 406).
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Type 2C, 3B or 5A construction permitted. Buildings and structures, and additions to existing buildings and structures, hereafter erected within the fire limits may be of Type 2C, 3B or 5A construction as defined in Article 4 and regulated in Table 401 and 501 when constructed and located in accordance with the requirements of Table 504.2.
Storm enclosures. Storm enclosures may be erected of Type 2C or 5 construction not more than 10 feet (3,048 mm) in height and not more than three feet (914 mm) wider than the entrance doors which they serve, provided that they do not project more than six feet (1,829 mm) beyond the building line.
Builders' shanties and reviewing stands. Temporary builders' shanties erected in connection with approved building operations, platforms, reviewing stands and other similar miscellaneous structures may be erected of Type 2C or 5 construction for a limited period of time as approved by the Building Official.
Bins, tanks, towers and roof structures.
Coal and material bins, water towers, tank structures and trestles may be erected of Type 4 construction with dimensions not less than required for Type 4 construction, not over 35 feet (10,688 mm) in height when located 30 feet (9,144 mm) from the interior lot lines or any building, except when located on lot lines along a railroad right-of-way or waterfront.
Erection on buildings. Aerial supports not more than 12 feet (3,658 mm) in height, water tanks and flagpoles may be erected of wood on buildings not more than three stories nor more than 40 feet (12,192 mm) in height and drip bars in cooling towers may be constructed of wood.
Motor fuel service stations. Gasoline service stations, and structures of similar business uses, not including Use Group H may be erected of Type 2C construction within the height and area limits for Use Group B or Table 501, provided that they are located not less than 11 feet (3,353 mm) from the lot line of any building.
Bus and passenger terminals. Roofs over parking lots, bus and passenger terminals may be erected one story and not over 20 feet (6,096 mm) in height and not more than 11,000 square feet (1,023m2) in area of Type 2C or 4 construction.
Wood veneers. Wood veneers of one-inch nominal thickness or exterior grade plywood not less than 3/8 inch thick may be used on exterior walls when facing a fire separation of a minimum of 30 feet (9,144 mm), provided that the veneer does not exceed one story in height and is applied to noncombustible backing or is furred not to exceed 1 5/8 inches (41 mm) and fire-stopped in accordance with Sections 1420.0 and 1425.0. Where all wood veneers comply with Section 1043.5.2 for exterior use, the height may be increased to two stories.
Increases in height and area. It shall be unlawful to increase the height or area of an existing building or structure, unless the building or structure is of a type of construction permitted for new buildings or structures of the increased height and area, and of a use group permitted within the fire limits in which it is located and as regulated by Section 505 and made to conform with the requirements of the State Building Code in respect to means of egress, fire protection, light and ventilation.
Fire-resistive construction requirements.
Fire limit restriction. In buildings of Types 2C, 3B or 5A construction inside the fire limits, the exterior walls or barriers shall extend to the height of the building and shall be so constructed that they will remain structurally in place for the duration of time indicated by the required fire-resistance rating. When the exterior wall or barrier is adjacent to a flat roof, it shall be constructed with a parapet.
Type 2C, 3B or 5A construction. Buildings of Type 2C, 3B or 5A construction located within the fire limits shall have opening protectives in accordance with Section 1414.0.
Construction requirements. All architectural trim, such as cornices, veneers and other exterior architectural elements, attached to the exterior walls of buildings of Types 1 and 2 construction shall be constructed of approved noncombustible materials and shall be secured to the wall with metal or other approved noncombustible brackets. Inside the fire limits, wood veneers are permitted in accordance with Subsection D(8). Combustible architectural trim shall not be located with a fire separation of less than three feet except fire-retardant-treated wood conforming to Section 1403.5 for exterior use.
General provisions. All construction, other than aerial supports, clothes dryers and similar structures less than 12 feet (3,658 mm) high, water tanks and cooling towers as hereinafter provided and flagpoles erected above the roof of any part of any building or structure located within the fire limits shall be constructed of noncombustible materials.
Generally. Cooling towers shall be constructed and installed in accordance with Section 1426.8.
Located in fire limits. Within the fire limits, cooling towers erected on roofs of buildings shall be constructed of noncombustible materials, except that drip bars may be of wood. Cooling towers may be constructed entirely of fire-retardant-treated wood, including drip bars.
Fire limits. Inside the fire limits, a ground sign shall not be constructed of combustible materials, except as provided in Section 1907.4.
Wall signs. Within the fire limits, signs constructed of combustible materials shall not exceed 40 square feet. All combustible signs within the fire limits shall be attached to a noncombustible backing.
Materials. Wall signs which have an area exceeding 100 square feet shall be constructed of metal or other approved noncombustible materials, except for nailing rails and as provided in Section 1407.4. Exception: Within the fire limits, wall signs constructed of combustible material shall not exceed 40 square feet. All combustible signs within the fire limit shall be attached to a noncombustible backing. Projecting signs which have an area exceeding 40 feet shall be constructed entirely of metal or other approved noncombustible materials except as provided in Section 1407.4. Exception: Projecting signs within the fire limits which have an area exceeding 10 square feet shall be constructed entirely of metal or other approved noncombustible materials.
Combustible supports. Within the fire limits, a roof sign which exceeds 40 feet (12,192 mm) in height shall not be supported on or braced to wooden beams or other combustible construction of a building or structure unless otherwise approved by the Building Official.
Illumination. A sign shall not be illuminated by other than electrical means, and electrical devices and wiring shall be installed in accordance with the requirements of NFPA 70, listed in Appendix A. Any open spark or flame shall not be used for display purposes unless specifically approved by the Building Official for locations outside of the fire limits.
[Amended 5-10-2004 by Ch. No. 1490]
Notice of violation. The Building Official shall serve a notice of violation or order as required by Section 23-27.3-122.1 of the State Building Code on the person responsible for the erection, construction, alteration, extension, repair, use or occupancy of a building or structure in violation of the provisions of the State Building Code or in violation of a detailed statement or a plan approved thereunder, or in violation of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this Building Code; and such order shall direct the discontinuance of the illegal action or condition and the abatement of the violation.
Prosecution of violation. If the notice of violation is not complied with promptly, the Building Official shall request the Town Solicitor to institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful use of the building or structure in violation of the provisions of this Building Code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto.
Violation penalties. Any person who shall violate a provision of the Building Code or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who shall erect, construct, alter or repair a building or structure in violation of an approved plan or directive of the Building Official, or of a permit or certificate issued under the provision of the Building Code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
Abatement of violation. The imposition of the penalties herein prescribed shall not preclude the Town Solicitor from instituting appropriate action to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation, or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to stop an illegal act, conduct, business or use of a building or structure in or about any premises.
Stop-work order. Upon notice from the Building Official that work on any building or structure is being prosecuted contrary to the provisions of the Building Code or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, such work shall be immediately stopped. The stop-work order shall be in writing and shall be given to the owner of the property involved, or to the owner's agent, or to the person doing the work; and shall state the conditions under which the work may be resumed. Any person who shall continue any work in or about the building after having been served with a stop order, except such work as he is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be liable to a fine of no more than $500 or one year imprisonment.