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Westover Council discusses ordinance for city building permits and fees

WESTOVER — Westover city council discussed and voted on the first reading of an ordinance to amend and reenact two articles of the city’s codebook during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The articles the ordinance addressed are part of the building permits and fees section of the codebook. The ordinance includes article 1711.02(b) regarding applications and fees, and article 1711.07, compliance with article. 

The proposed amendment to article 1711.02(b) is an addition which stated “in proper cases, with all such building permits, plans certified by a qualified design professional as may be required by the building inspector.” Ralph Mullins, first-ward councilmember, said this amendment would require residents or business owners to supply building plans directly from an official such as an architect or an engineer. 

The amendment to article 1711.07 states the code officer can direct permit applicant’s to provide one or more independent inspection reports as may be required by the building code. These reports would be paid by the applicant.

Jason Stinespring, director of public works, said these amendments would apply to new construction and anything structural.

“What we are trying to do here is incorporate the international building code into our city code because that’s what the state says we’re to use for our building code,” said Tim Stranko, city attorney. 

Following the first reading of the ordinance, councilmember-at-large Steven Andryzcik and Mullins agreed the ordinance would need adjustments. Both said the wording in the ordinance could create confusion as to what or who the ordinance applies.

“The ‘may be’ is the part that seems ambiguous,” Andryzcik said. “It does need to be made black and white so that people do know…It should be the same for everybody.” 

Councilmembers unanimously agreed to approve the first reading of the ordinance. Any changes to the ordinance will be addressed and voted on during the next council meeting. 

Other Business

Mayor Dave Johnson said he and Stranko have started discussing repairs to Holland Avenue in Westover with the Morgantown Utility Board and The Thrasher Group. Johnson said there is additional infrastructure needed to be made to the road before it can be paved.  

Council unanimously voted to approve payment for an emergency salt purchase. Johnson said the purchase was made due to recent inclement weather.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Mar. 1.

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