Paonia council puts time limit on building permits

By Tamie Meck

Town of Paonia building permits will now expire in a year, with an option to renew for 180 days, after trustees voted to ratify a statement on the building permit application form. Trustee Suzanne Watson voted against the change.

Town code reflects the 2003 edition of the International Building Code. The current building permit application form contains a notice that the permit is good for one year. In compliance with IBC language, if work has not commenced within 180 days, or is suspended or abandoned for 180 days after construction is authorized, the permit becomes "null and void."

The town currently charges a base rate of $70 for permits, although the town fee schedule reflects a $35 base rate, with total cost determined under a formula. Trustees also approved the option to renew building permits by 180 days, with a renewal fee of $50.

The vote came following a long and often contentious discussion. Opponents questioned when the one-year restriction language was placed on the permit application form, and by whom, and stated that the one-year restriction hampers citizens' abilities to work on their homes without having to pay costly permit fees or risk of stop orders.