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Cedar-Shake Shingles Prohibited in Idaho City to Stop Spread of Wildfires

December 17, 2013

The Hailey City Council voted Monday to prohibit the use of cedar-shake shingles on rooftops, following the Beaver Creek Fire, which destroyed several buildings in the Wood River Valley last summer.  

The council also approved several building-permit fee changes, including one associated with the Build Better Program, which became mandatory on May 1. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Baledge told the City Council Monday that the city was set to update to the 2012 International Fire Code on Jan 1, including the Wildland Urban Interface Code, which the city adopted several years ago.The Wildland Urban Interface Code sets restrictions on building design to increase safety from wildfires, including the use of Class 3 ignition-resistant materials on rooftop shingles.The City Council went one step further and prohibited the use of cedar shingles on rooftops entirely.

   The City Council also approved a $75 hourly rate for roof inspections, replacing the former policy of charging inspection fees based on a percentage of the cost of the project. Community Development Director Micah Austin said the change would save some people money, and would be more equitable to the public. “Almost all roof inspections take about an hour,” he said. In addition, the council will sign into law changes to the fee rates for building-permit applications associated with the Build Better Program. The city will no longer provide a 50 percent discount to comply with performance guidelines within the Build Better Program, but will continue to offer an 8 percent discount on building permits if the applicant uses a third-party “HERS” rating inspector to test for heating loss through leakage.

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