[5/6/22] County Commission Holds Hearing Tuesday

Posted in Local Government & Meetings, Wildfire

Chelan County commissioners will hold a public hearing next Tuesday on May 10 to take comments on the proposed Wildland-Urban Interface Code, a new building regulation that aims to help prevent the spread of fire in those developed areas of the county that intermingle with undeveloped wildlands.

Chelan County Fire Marshal Stephen Rinaldi, who was directed by commissioners last year to draft the code, reviewed similar codes passed by the cities of Wenatchee and Leavenworth, whose codes already apply to construction in the cities’ urban growth areas.

The draft code focuses on fire-resistant building materials and building practices that can better prevent wildfires. It has conditions for eaves, gutters, soffits, exterior walls, siding, chimneys and more. It would prohibit the new installation of wood shake and wood shingle roofs throughout the county.

The draft code also calls for structures that are more than 150 feet off of an access road to have driveways and those that exceed 150 feet to have turnarounds at the end for emergency response vehicles, such as fire engines.

As the draft code is written currently, it would apply to any new construction in the county coming after the adoption date. It would also apply to any buildings undergoing renovations that would replace over 12 months 50 percent or more of a component to the structure. For example, if a roof was being replaced, the new roofing material would have to meet the proposed code.

The hearing will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, at 400 Douglas St. Commissioners are not expected to take action on the code at that time.