The City of Rawlins, as is common for municipalities, follows international building and fire codes, as well as local legislation regulating building safety and other regulations, building permits, and more. Building and fire codes are used to ensure safe and resilient structures. They are the minimum construction requirements to ensure the quality of structure to protect public health, safety, and general welfare.
A building permit is a license that grants legal permission to construct or alter a structure. Building permits are required for various things such as new buildings, additions, renovations, demolitions, mobile homes, fences, prefabricated structures, decks, and more.
Building permits provide the means for building code officials to protect our community's public health, safety, and welfare by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction. They also allow code officials to inspect construction to ensure that the standards for materials and methods are used per the adopted international codes. Lastly, this allows the code official to help citizens understand local laws and ordinances affecting construction.
Without a building permit, the code officials/inspectors have no knowledge of work taking place. Without the permit and required inspections, they cannot check and ensure code compliance to protect public health, safety, and welfare. Building permits are very important to protect property owners, investors, and homebuyers to ensure work taking place on properties is to code and safe.
If there is ever a question about when or if a building permit is needed anyone, questions regarding building codes, or other questions reach out to Community Development and the Building Office Division at 915 3rd Street, 307-328-4599 or firstname.lastname@example.org
An accessory structure that was built without a permit, was out of compliance with international building and fire codes, and was not compliant with Municipal Code 19.25.050 for total footprint, height, and setback requirements was addressed by the City of Rawlins. Pursuant to a district court decision and after years of communications, the private property owner was required to abate a detached accessory structure.
Although Title 19 has varied throughout this process, this building has never been in compliance with any version of Title 19. Also, although permits were pulled for construction at the residence on the property, none were pulled for the construction or improvement of the accessory structure.
On July 13, 2020, the City of Rawlins notified the private property owner that the accessory structure was non-conforming under both the current Code and the Code at the time it was built. The letter provided three routes to bring the structure into compliance: provide a copy of the building permit, as the City had no record of a permit being granted; apply and receive a variance for the structure in a current or modified size; or modify the structure to bring it into compliance.
On October 22, 2020, the private property owner applied to the Board of Adjustment for a variance. The Board of Adjustments is composed of five members of the public appointed by the council. A variance is an administrative procedure that allows for a one-time exception to the Code. The property owner requested a variance for setbacks, the minimum separation between structures, and the fire code. This variance was denied by the Board of Adjustments, as it did not meet the requirements necessary by law per Rawlins Municipal Code 19.76.040.
After months of non-compliance, the District Court ordered the private property owner to bring his building into compliance by late February 2022. The private property owner then applied for a modified variance for footprint, height, and rear setback. This variance was denied by the Board of Adjustments, as it also did not requirements necessary by law per Rawlins Municipal Code 19.76.040.
On March 29, 2022, the City of Rawlins provided final notification to the private property owner that the building would need to be brought into compliance with the code or it would be removed at their expense.
For more information, please contact Mira Miller, City of Rawlins Community Relations Coordinator, at 307-328-4500 ext. 1022.