Washington signs significant legislation regarding IWUIC into law


by Kraig M. Stevenson, CBO, Senior Regional Manager, ICC Government Relations

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signs Senate Bill SB 6109 and House Bill HB 1622 into law on March 22, 2018.
On March 22, 2018, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed into law two significant pieces of legislation.

Senate Bill SB 6109 adopts portions of the 2018 International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC) for statewide applicability and authorizes cities and counties to adopt the entire IWUIC. The Department of Natural Resources is authorized to establish a program of technical assistance and administering a grant program to aid local governments in developing maps establishing the Wildland-Urban Interface areas in accordance with the requirements of the IWUIC.

The campaign to gain IWUIC adoption began in 2003. This significant achievement helps Washington communities located in the wildland-urban interface areas mitigate wildfire risks.

House Bill HB 1622 has been called agency reform legislation. The bill was crafted to address stakeholder's concerns regarding the code adoption process. The clarifications should put to rest efforts to extend the code adoption cycle beyond the normal three-year cycle.

The bill establishes the Building Code Council within the Department of Enterprise Services (DES) and specifies the DES to provide administrative support for code adoption activities under the administrative rulemaking process. The legislation adjusts the fee levels for the first time since 1989. The Building Code Council is funded through fees which are attached to building permits. The Building Code Council will revise its processes to meet new statutory requirements applicable to significant rulemaking.

The Building Code Council, in consultation with the Office of the Chief Information Officer, must assess the costs and benefits of the potential acquisition and implementation of open public access information technologies to enhance the Building Code Council's code adoption process, and report its findings to the legislature by Nov. 15, 2018.

This provides an opportunity for the International Code Council to put forth a request that the Building Code Council consider the Code Council's cdpCMS cloud-based system for a custom code development process.