ICC I-CODE IPMC COMM
I-Codes with Commentaries: IPMC – International Property Maintenance Code with Commentary
|Publication Date:||1 January 2015|
The law of building regulation is grounded on the police power of the state. This power is the source of all authority to enact building regulations. In terms of how it is used, police power is the power of the state to legislate for the general welfare of its citizens. This power enables the passage of laws such as a property maintenance code. It is from the police power delegated by the state legislature that local governments are able to enact building regulations. If the state legislature has limited this power in any way, the municipality may not exceed these limitations. While the municipality may not further delegate its police power (e.g., by delegating the burden of determining code compliance to the building owner, contractor or architect), it may turn over the administration of building regulations to a municipal official, such as a code official, provided that he or she is given sufficient criteria to clearly establish the basis for decisions as to whether a proposed building conforms to the code.
Chapter 1 is largely concerned with maintaining "due process of law" in enforcing the provisions contained in the body of the code. Only through careful observation of the administrative provisions can the code official reasonably hope to demonstrate that "equal protection under the law" has been provided. While it is generally assumed that the administrative and enforcement sections of a code are geared toward the responsibilities of the code official, the provisions also establish the rights and privileges of the design professional, contractor and building owner.
Chapter 1 establishes the necessary legal basis for enforcement of the code by the authority having jurisdiction. All of the police powers inherent in enforcing minimum standards for the use and maintenance of buildings must follow the line of authority, from the U.S. Constitution to the state to the actual enforcer. Chapter 1 defines the role and responsibilities of the authority having jurisdiction. To protect all parties from an unfair enforcement action, this chapter also sets forth the due process that requires corrective actions to be accomplished in a constitutional manner. Police powers are not unlimited, and this chapter identifies those limitations.