Is this a Challenge on Home Rule?
The Texas legislature moved through a final step and will move SB 1410 for the Governor’s signature. This new law will remove a communities ability to adopt an ordinance on residential sprinklers which is retroactive back to January 1, 2009.
SB1410 amends the plumber licensing act to include multiple changes to address residential sprinklers systems and who installs them. An addition was added which reads:
Notwithstanding any other provision of state law, after January 1, 2009, a municipality may not enact an ordinance, bylaw, order, building code, or rule requiring the installation of a multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler system or any other fire sprinkler protection system in a new or existing one or two-family dwelling. A municipality may adopt an ordinance, bylaw, order, or rule allowing a multipurpose residential fire protection sprinkler specialist or other contractor to offer, for a fee, the installation of a fire sprinkler protection system in a new one- or two-family dwelling.
The full text of the bill can be found here and the video of the amendment is found courtesy of you-tube in the upper right hand corner. It seems that the Texas advocates of building and life safety came together on this issue. which included fire, building, management, municipalities, and many more.
The language found in section 12 does not appear to be apart of the original bill and is known as the Otto amendment added at a last minute. It truly appears that the addition of this language was slid in and not heard in committee or deliberated appropriately (beyond what you see in the video). Regardless of residential sprinklers or not, code development belongs in the hands of those experts the community and state have empowered to do so.
There will be more to come from Texas on this issue and we continue to give the code community our support during this time.