By Dallas Thiesen, FSPA Government Affairs Manager / Dallas@FloridaPoolPro.com
During the Florida Building Commission (FBC) meeting October 13, the Florida Swimming Pool Association, Florida Natural Gas Association, Florida Propane Gas Association, Florida Home Builders Association, and others vigorously opposed the funding and creation of a Florida Building Code Appendix that would contain optional, extreme and unreasonable building standards for construction in Special Flood Hazard Zones. As a result of FSPA-led opposition, the FBC declined funding for the Code Plus Appendix project. This marked another FSPA victory against unreasonable flood zone regulations.
If the Code Plus Appendix project had been approved, the FBC would have funded the creation of an appendix to the Florida building code containing extreme and excessive flood mitigation building standards. Under the proposal, these unnecessarily strict standards would have been optional statewide at first. However, the extreme Code Plus Appendix standards could have been adopted by local municipalities or counties as local code amendments to the Florida Building Code and been made mandatory.
Adoption of the unnecessary Code Plus Appendix would have threatened FSPA’s recent victories with the Department of Emergency Management and the FBC in reversing requirements swimming pool and spa equipment be installed above base flood elevation in flood zones. The Code Plus Appendix would have also added unnecessary confusion for consumers, contractors, and building officials when navigating construction projects on or near Florida’s 1,350 miles of coastline.
The Code Plus Appendix was first discussed by the FBC at their August 2020 meeting after the project was submitted to the FBC’s Hurricane Research Advisory Committee by the former State Floodplain Manager for the Department of Emergency Management. Following the August 2020 FBC meeting, FSPA hosted a roundtable with construction industry partners in the Florida Construction Coalition to discuss the proposal and formulate a plan to oppose it’s funding adoption. Throughout the months of August and September, FSPA and Florida Construction Coalition partners relentlessly advocated against the extreme Code Plus Appendix proposal to the FBC and the Florida Department of Emergency Management culminating in the defeat of the proposal at the October 2020 Florida Building Commission Meeting.