D.C. Law 21-118. Construction Codes Harmonization Amendment Act of 2016.

D.C. Law 21-118. Construction Codes Harmonization Amendment Act of 2016.

AN ACT

To amend the Smoke Detector Act of 1978 to require that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors be installed in conformity with the District’s Construction Codes; to amend An Act To authorize the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to remove dangerous or unsafe buildings and parts thereof, and for other purposes to clarify that the Mayor has authority to abate unsafe conditions and to recover abatement costs through tax liens; to amend An Act To create a board for the condemnation of insanitary buildings in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes to specify that the role of the Board for the Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings is issuing condemnation orders; to amend the Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act of 1986 to align definitions with those in the District’s Construction Codes, clarify the scope of authority and intent of the Construction Codes, the authority of the Building Code Official, the requirements for third party plan reviewers and third party inspectors, and to allow the Building Code Official to set administrative fees; to amend An Act To provide for the abatement of nuisances in the District of Columbia by the Commissioners of said District, and for other purposes to clarify the Mayor’s authority to take summary action without prior notification to the owner where there is an imminent danger; to amend An Act To regulate the height of buildings in the District of Columbia to repeal obsolete fire provisions; and to repeal An Act To require the erection of fire escapes in certain buildings in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Construction Codes Harmonization Amendment Act of 2016".

Sec. 2. The Smoke Detector Act of 1978, effective June 20, 1978 (D.C. Law 2-81; D.C. Official Code § 6-751.01 et seq.), is amended as follows:

(a) Sections 2 and 3 (D.C. Official Code §§ 6-751.01 and 6-751.02) are amended to read as follows.

Amend § 6-751.01

"Sec. 2. Definitions.

"For the purposes of this act, the term:

"(1) "Construction Codes" means the most recent edition of the codes published by the International Code Council, or by a comparable nationally recognized and accepted code development organization, as adopted and amended by the Construction Codes Supplement by the District of Columbia pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 10 of the Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act of 1986, effective March 21, 1987 (D.C. Law 6–216; D.C. Official Code § 6-1409) ("1986 Act"), and in Title 12 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, or any successor regulations.

"(2) "Construction Codes Supplement" means the additions, insertions, deletions, and changes to the Model Codes adopted by the District pursuant to section 10 of the 1986 Act.

"(3) "Dwelling unit" means a structure, building, area, room, or combination of rooms occupied by a person for sleeping or living.

"(4)(A) "Owner" means any person, who alone or jointly or severally with other persons, has legal title to a premises, including:

"(i) An agent, officer, fiduciary, or employee of the owner;

"(ii) The committee, conservator, or legal guardian of an owner who is non compos mentis or otherwise under a disability or who is a minor;

"(iii) A trustee, elected or appointed, or a person required by law to execute a trust, other than a trustee under a deed of trust, to secure the payment of money; or

"(iv) An executor, administrator, receiver, fiduciary, or an officer appointed by a court, or other similar representative of the owner or the owner’s estate.

"(B) The term "owner" does not include a lessee, sublessee, or other person who merely has the right to occupy or possess a premises.

Amend § 6-751.02

"Sec. 3. Duty of owner to install detectors.

"The owner of each new and existing occupied dwelling unit shall be responsible for installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with the Construction Codes.".

Repeal § 6-751.02a, § 6-751.03, § 6-751.04, § 6-751.05, § 6-751.06, § 6-751.07, § 6-751.08, § 6-751.09, § 6-751.10, § 6-751.11

(b) Sections 3a, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9a, 9b, and 9c (D.C. Official Code §§ 6-751.02a, 6-751.03, 6-751.04, 6-751.05, 6-751.06, 6-751.07, 6-751.08, 6-751.09, 6-751.10, and 6-751.11) are repealed.

(c) Sections 10 through 15 (24 DCR 9064) are repealed.

Sec. 3. An Act To authorize the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to remove dangerous or unsafe buildings and parts thereof, and for other purposes, approved March 1, 1899 (30 Stat. 923; D.C. Official Code § 6-801 et seq.), is amended as follows:

Amend § 6-801

(a) Section 1 (D.C. Official Code § 6-801) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 1. Unsafe structure or excavation – public safety.

"(a) If any building or part of a building, staging, or other structure, or anything attached to or connected to any building or other structure ("structure") or an excavation is reported to the District government as unsafe, from any cause, the Mayor shall examine the structure or excavation.

"(b)(1) If the Mayor determines that the condition of the structure or excavation creates an imminent threat to public safety requiring that emergency measures be undertaken immediately, notice to the owner, agent, or other person having an interest in the structure or excavation ("responsible party") shall not be required.

"(2) Where public safety requires immediate emergency action, subject to subsection (c) of this section, the Mayor may enter upon the premises without notice or delay with the necessary number of workmen and assistants to shore-up, take down, or remove, if necessary, or otherwise secure the structure or excavation, including any equipment on the site, and if a necessary safeguard, install a fence or boarding to protect the public.

"(c) If the unsafe structure is a historic landmark or is located in a historic district, as defined in section 3(5) of the Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-144; D.C. Official Code § 6-1102(5)) ("Historic Landmark Act"), the Mayor shall not order or cause the structure, or any portion of the structure, to be taken down or removed unless the Mayor, in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer, as defined in section 3(12) of the Historic Landmark Act, determines that:

"(1) There is an extreme and immediate threat to public safety resulting from unsafe structural conditions; and

"(2) The unsafe condition cannot be abated by shoring, stabilizing, or securing the structure.

"(d)(1) If the Mayor determines the structure or excavation to be unsafe but not an imminent threat to public safety and does not require immediate emergency action, the Mayor shall immediately notify a responsible party and require the responsible party to make the structure or excavation, or both, whichever is applicable, safe by having it shored up, taken down, or removed, if necessary, or otherwise made safe and secure within the time period specified in the notice.

"(2) If the responsible party, having been notified, refuses or neglects to comply with the requirements of the notice within the time period specified, subject to subsection (c) of this section, the Mayor may institute any authorized remedy or corrective action, at the owner’s expense, or impose a penalty or initiate a proceeding; provided, that the Mayor shall not have a structure that is a historic landmark or located in a historic district taken down or removed unless the Mayor determines, in consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer, that the structure has become an extreme and immediate threat to the public safety as a result of the responsible party’s failure to abate the unsafe structural condition and that the unsafe condition cannot be abated by shoring, stabilizing, or securing the structure.

"(3) This subsection shall not apply to a deteriorated structure under Subtitle B of Title IV-A of the Abatement and Condemnation of Nuisance Properties Omnibus Amendment Act of 2000, effective April 19, 2002 (D.C. Law 14-114; D.C. Official Code § 42-3173.01 et seq.). ".

Repeal § 6-802

(b) Section 2 (D.C. Official Code § 6-802) is repealed.

Amend § 6-803

(c) Section 3 (D.C. Official Code § 6-803) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 3. Unsafe structure or excavation -- Failure of owner to make safe.

"Whenever a responsible party to whom notice has been provided pursuant to section 1(d) refuses or neglects to abate the unsafe structure or excavation within the time period specified by the notice, upon expiration of that time period, the Mayor shall proceed to make the structure or excavation safe as authorized by section 1(d)(2), and the responsible party shall not enter, or send anyone to enter, the premises to:

"(1) Make repairs;

"(2) Remove or take down the structure; or

"(3) Interfere in any way with the authorized agents of the District taking action to make the structure or excavation safe, including by removing or taking down the structure, without first having obtained the written consent of the Mayor to enter the premises.".

Amend § 6-807

(d) Section 5(a)(5) (D.C. Official Code § 6-807(a)(5)) is amended by striking the phrase "effected, then if published on 3 consecutive days in a daily newspaper published in the District of Columbia; or" and inserting the phrase "effected, or if no address is known or can be ascertained by reasonable diligence, by publishing the notice on 3 consecutive days in a daily newspaper published in the District of Columbia or by posting a copy of the notice in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by such notice; or" in its place.

Amend § 6-808

(e) Section 8 (D.C. Official Code § 6-808) is amended by striking the phrase "within 5 days after such notice has been served upon such owner or other interested person, such building" and inserting the phrase "within the period of time specified in the notice, the building" in its place.

Sec. 4. An Act To create a board for the condemnation of insanitary buildings in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes, approved May 1, 1906 (34 Stat. 157; DC Official Code § 6-901 et seq.), is amended as follows:

Amend § 6-902

(a) Section 2(a)(1) (D.C. Official Code § 6-902(a)(1)) is amended by striking the phrase "to examine the habitability and sanitary condition of buildings in the District of Columbia, to determine which such buildings are in such insanitary condition as to endanger the lives or health of the occupants thereof or of persons living in the vicinity, and".

Amend § 6-903

(b) Section 3 (D.C. Official Code § 6-903) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 3. Condemnation procedure; occupancy of condemned buildings.

"(a)(1) Whenever the Building Code Official, as defined in section 2(1) of the Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act of 1986, effective March 21, 1987 (D.C. Law 6-216; D.C. Official Code § 6-1401(1)), finds that any building or a part of any building ("building") is in such habitable or sanitary condition as to endanger the health or lives of the occupants or persons living in the vicinity, the Building Code Official is authorized to refer the building to the Board for the Condemnation of Insanitary Buildings ("Board"). Referral to the Board shall be in addition to, and shall not preclude the Building Code Official from pursuing, any other remedies, penalties, or corrective actions authorized by District law or regulation.

"(2) A referral made pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall specify the basis for the Building Code Official’s determination that the building is in a condition to endanger the health or lives of the occupants or persons living in the vicinity.

"(b) Upon referral of a building by the Building Code Official, the Board shall serve the owner of the building with a show-cause notice requiring him to show cause within a specified time, which shall not be less than 5 days, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, after the date of service of the notice, as to why the building should not be condemned.

"(c)(1) If within the time period specified in the show-cause notice, the owner fails to show sufficient cause, in the opinion of the Board, to prevent condemnation, the Board shall issue an order condemning the building and ordering, in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, that the building be put into a habitable and sanitary condition or be demolished and removed within the time specified in the order ("condemnation order").

"(2) The Board shall have the condemnation order served on the owner of the building and a copy affixed to the condemned building.

"(3) After a copy of a condemnation order has been affixed to a building, no person shall occupy the building.

"(d)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, the Board shall give an owner at least 30 days after service of the condemnation order to put the building in habitable and sanitary condition.

"(2) If the Board finds that the condition of the building is such as to cause immediate danger to the health or lives of the occupants or of persons living in the vicinity, the Board may specify a shorter time period than set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection.".

Amend § 6-910

(c) Section 10(a) (D.C. Official Code § 6-910(a)) is amended to read as follows:

"(a)(1) Any notice required by this act to be served shall be deemed served when:

"(A) Forwarded to the last known address of the owner, as recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds, by registered or certified mail, with return receipt if the:

"(i) Receipt is signed either by the owner or by a person of suitable age and discretion located at the address; or

"(ii) Owner refused the notice and the notice was not delivered for that reason;

"(B) Delivered to the person to be notified;

"(C) Left at the usual residence or place of business of the person to be served with a resident or employee, whichever is applicable, of suitable age and discretion;

"(D) If no residence or place of business can be found in the District of Columbia by a reasonable search, left with a person of suitable age and discretion employed at the office of an agent of the person to be served who has any authority or duty with reference to the building or premises to which the notice relates;

"(E) If a notice is forwarded by registered or certified mail and returned for reasons other than refusal, if personal service of the notice cannot be effected, or if no address is known or can be ascertained by reasonable diligence, published on 3 consecutive days in a daily newspaper published in the District of Columbia or a copy of the notice is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the building or premises to which the notice relates; or

"(F) If by reason of an outstanding unrecorded transfer of title, the name of the owner cannot be ascertained beyond a reasonable doubt, served on the owner of record in a manner provided for in this subsection.

"(2) For the purposes of this act:

"(A) Notice to a corporation shall be deemed to have been served on the corporation if the notice is served on the president, secretary, treasurer, general manager, or any principal officer of the corporation in a manner provided for by this section for the service of notice on natural persons holding property in their own right; and

"(B) Notice to a foreign corporation shall be deemed to have been served if the notice is served personally on any agent of the corporation or if left with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at the usual residence or employed at the usual place of business of the agent in the District of Columbia.".

Sec. 5. The Construction Codes Approval and Amendments Act of 1986, effective March 21, 1987 (D.C. Law 6-216; D.C. Official Code § 6-1401 et seq.), is amended as follows:

(a) Sections 2 and 3 (D.C. Official Code § 6-1401 and 6-1402) are amended to read as follows:

Amend § 6-1401

"Sec. 2. Definitions.

"For the purposes of this act, the term:

"(1) "Building Code Official" means the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, or the Director’s designee.

"(2) "Construction Codes" means the most recent edition of the codes published by the International Code Council, or by a comparable nationally recognized and accepted code development organization, as adopted and amended by the Construction Codes Supplement by the District pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 10 and in Title 12 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations or any successor regulations; provided, that where the Construction Codes authorize work to be carried to completion under a previous edition of the Construction Codes, the term "Construction Codes" shall refer to that previous edition.

"(3) "Construction Codes Supplement" means the additions, insertions, deletions, and changes to the Model Codes adopted by the District pursuant to section 10.

"(4) "Construction documents" mean all written, graphic, and pictorial documents prepared or assembled for describing the design, location, and physical characteristics of the elements of a project necessary for obtaining a permit.

"(5) "Council" means the Council of the District of Columbia.

"(6) "Department" means the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

"(7) "Director" means the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, or the Director’s designee.

"(8) "District" means the District of Columbia.

"(9) "Fire protection systems" means the devices, equipment, and systems utilized to detect a fire, activate an alarm, or suppress or control a fire, or any combination thereof.

"(10) "Model Codes" means the codes published by the International Code Council, or by a comparable nationally recognized and accepted code-development organization, that are adopted by the District pursuant to section 10.

"(11) "Project" means construction that is all or a part of one development scheme, built at one time or in phases.

"(12) " Third party plan reviewer" means a person certified by the Director to conduct a third party review of one or more components of construction documents and to certify compliance with the Construction Codes.

Amend § 6-1402

"Sec. 3. Approval.

"The Council approves the Construction Codes pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 10. ".

Amend § 6-1403

(b) Section 4 (D.C. Official Code § 6-1403) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 4. Scope.

"(a) The Construction Codes shall control:

"(1) Matters concerning the construction, reconstruction, alteration, addition, repair, removal, demolition, use, location, equipment, occupancy, and maintenance of all buildings, structures, and premises in the District, whether existing or proposed, including any appurtenances connected or attached to a building or structure;

"(2) The construction, prefabrication, alteration, repair, use, occupancy, and maintenance of detached 1-family or 2-family dwellings not more than 3 stories in height, and their accessory structures;

"(3) The design, construction, installation, maintenance, alteration, conversion, change, repair, removal, and inspection of electrical conductors, equipment, and systems in buildings or structures and on public space within the District for the transmission, distribution, and use of electrical energy for power, heat, light, radio, television, signaling, or other purposes;

"(4) The design, installation, maintenance, alteration, and inspection of mechanical systems, including heating systems, ventilating systems, cooling systems, steam and hot-water heating systems, water heaters, process piping, boilers and pressure vessels, appliances using gas, liquid, or solid fuel, chimneys and vents, mechanical-refrigeration systems, fireplaces, barbecues, incinerators, crematories, and air-pollution systems;

"(5) In addition to their respective connections, devices, and appurtenances, the design, installation, alteration, repair, replacement, relocation, removal, use, or maintenance of plumbing equipment, systems, and materials, including water supply and distribution pipes, plumbing fixtures and traps, water-treating or water-using equipment, soil, waste, and vent pipes, sanitary and storm sewers, and building drains;

"(6) The design, construction, installation, erection, alteration, repair, relocation, replacement, quality of materials, location, operation, use, or maintenance of fuel-gas systems, distribution piping and equipment, and fuel-gas-fired appliances;

"(7) Minimum requirements to safeguard life, property, or public welfare from the hazards of fire and explosion arising from the storage, handling, or use of substances, materials, and devices, and from conditions hazardous to life, property, or public welfare in the use or occupancy of buildings, structures, sheds, tents, lots, or premises;

"(8) Minimum maintenance standards for all structures and premises with regard to basic equipment and facilities for light, ventilation, space heating, and sanitation, safety from fire, space, use, and location, safe and sanitary maintenance of all structures and premises now in existence, minimum requirements for all existing buildings and structures for means of egress, fire protection systems, and other equipment and devices necessary for life safety from fire, and the rehabilitation and reuse of existing structures, allowances for differences between application of the Construction Code requirements to new construction, alterations, and repairs, and fixing the responsibilities of owners, operators, and occupants of all structures;

"(9) The design and construction of energy-efficient building envelopes and the installation of energy-efficient heating, ventilating, air conditioning, service-water heating, electrical distribution and illuminating systems, and equipment;

"(10) Minimum standards for physical things and conditions essential to safeguard the environment, public health, safety, and general welfare through the establishment of requirements to reduce the negative impact and increase the positive impact of the built environment on the natural environment and building occupants; and

"(11) The design, construction, installation, quality of materials, location, and maintenance, or use of aquatic vessels, and related mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

"(b) The Construction Codes may also control the construction, reconstruction, alteration, addition, repair, removal, demolition, use, location, equipment occupancy, and maintenance of interior signs or other items as specified in the Construction Codes;

"(c) The Construction Codes shall apply to those buildings occupied by or for any foreign government as an embassy or chancery to the extent provided for in section 206 of An Act to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 1982 and 1983 for the Department of State, the International Communication Agency, and the Board for International Broadcasting, and for other purposes, approved August 24, 1982 (96 Stat. 286; D.C. Official Code § 6-1306).

"(d)(1) Except for permit requirements for land-disturbing activities, the Construction Codes shall not apply to public buildings or premises owned by the United States government, including appurtenant structures and portions of buildings, premises, or structures that are under the exclusive control of an officer of the United States government in the officer’s official capacity.

"(2) For the purpose of this subsection, "exclusive control" does not include a lessor if the lessor is responsible for the maintenance and repairs to property leased to the United States government.

"(e) No permit required under the Construction Codes shall be issued if it is determined by the Building Code Official that:

"(A) The permit affects an area in close proximity to the official residence of the President or the Vice President of the United States; and

"(B) The United States Secret Service has established that the issuance of the permit would adversely impact the safety and security of the President or the Vice President of the United States.".

Amend § 6-1404

(c) Section 5 (D.C. Official Code § 6-1404) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 5. Intent.

"The Construction Codes shall be construed to secure their expressed intent, which is to ensure public safety, health, and welfare by regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of premises, buildings, and structures, and mechanical, plumbing, fuel gas and electrical equipment and systems, including by providing standards for structural strength, energy and water conservation, accessibility to persons with disabilities, adequate egress facilities, sanitary equipment, light, ventilation, and fire safety, and the issuance of permits, and, in general, to secure safety to life and property from all hazards incident to the design, construction, erection, repair, removal, demolition, maintenance, use, and occupancy of buildings, structures, and premises, and related equipment and systems.".

Amend § 6-1405.01

(d) Section 6a (D.C. Official Code § 6-1405.01) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 6a. Administration of construction regulations.

"(a)(1) The Building Code Official is authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of this act, including provisions regarding the Construction Codes, building permits, and certificates of occupancy, and all regulations issued pursuant to this act.

"(2) In regulating and enforcing building permits and certificates of occupancy, the Building Code Official shall require an employer, as that term is defined in section 2(10) of the District of Columbia Worker’s Compensation Act of 1979, effective July 1, 1980 (D.C. Law 3-77; D.C. Official Code § 32-1501(10)), to produce proof of Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage before the issuance of a construction permit.

"(3) The Building Code Official shall seek to assure that all buildings, structures, and premises in the District are in full compliance with the Construction Codes adopted pursuant to this act and all zoning provisions in An Act Providing for the zoning of the District of Columbia and the regulation of the location, height, bulk, and uses of buildings and other structures and of the uses of land in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes, approved June 20, 1938 (52 Stat. 797; D.C. Official Code § 6-641.01 et seq.), and regulations issued pursuant to those acts.

"(4) The Building Code Official shall seek to administer all building permits, certificates of occupancy, and other provisions of this act and regulations issued pursuant to this act in a manner that is fair, efficient, predictable, readily adaptable to new technologies, consumer-oriented, devoid of unnecessary time delays and other administrative burdens, cost-effective, and directed at enhancing the protection of the public health, welfare, safety, and quality of life.

"(b)(1) The Building Code Official may enforce the regulations issued pursuant to this act by means of covenants or agreements between the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and an affected party. All such covenants or agreements shall have the prior approval of the Office of the Attorney General for legal sufficiency and comply with all other applicable District and federal laws.

"(2)(A) Where the Office of the Attorney General determines that under District law a covenant or agreement may require the review and approval of other District agencies, it shall notify the agencies and establish an inter-agency process for review, and, if required under District law, approval.

"(B) The Building Code Official shall coordinate with the Office of the Attorney General relating to the time required for the review and recommendations by the Office of the Attorney General of any covenant or agreement proposed pursuant to this act.

"(c) The Building Code Official shall have authority over the approval, installation, design, modification, maintenance, testing, and inspection of all new and existing fire protection systems.".

Amend § 6-1405.02

(e) Section 6b (D.C. Official Code § 6-1405.02) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 6b. Third party plan review.

"(a) The Mayor shall allow qualified third party plan reviewers to review construction documents, or components of construction documents, and certify their compliance with the Construction Codes.

"(b) The Mayor may promulgate rules to establish the minimum qualification requirements for third party plan reviewers, procedures for expedited review of construction documents certified by a third party plan reviewer, rules to ensure that a third plan party reviewer does not have any conflicts of interest, and other matters relating to the administration and oversight of third party plan reviewers; provided, that:

"(1) A third party plan reviewer shall possess a valid license as an architect or professional engineer in the District pursuant to Part A or J of Subchapter I-B of Chapter 28 of Title 47.

"(2) To maintain an appointment as a third party plan reviewer, a third party plan reviewer shall maintain the license required by paragraph (1) of this subsection and recommend for submission construction permit applications and construction documents that consistently meet the requirements of the Construction Codes, as determined by a periodic detailed review by the Director of the documents for consistency and thoroughness.

"(c) The Director shall have authority to revoke the certification of a third party plan reviewer for failure to comply with the requirements of this section or rules promulgated pursuant to this section.

"(d)(1) To qualify to work as a third party plan reviewer on a project, the third party plan reviewer shall not be controlled by the owner of the project, or any person or entity with an ownership interest in the project, the general contractor, a subcontractor, or any person or entity responsible for the design, construction, or management of the project.

"(2) The third party plan reviewer shall not serve or have served on the same project as an advisor or consultant to the owner or the design team in connection with Construction Codes matters for which the third party plan reviewer is providing plan review and certification services or provide inspection services for a project that the third party plan reviewer, or a related entity, has certified.

"(e) A person or firm with which the person is affiliated as an owner or employee who has performed any work for a project, including preparing design plans for any construction documents or components of construction documents, including architectural and structural plans, mechanical plans, plumbing plans, and electrical plans, shall not be eligible to serve as a third party plan reviewer for the project.

"(f)(1) The third party plan reviewer shall not enter into a contract to review a project if the individual determines that there may be a conflict with the qualifications specified in this section.

"(2) The third party plan reviewer shall notify the Director for resolution in cases of doubtful interpretation.

"(3) The third party plan reviewer shall disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may arise at any time between the third party plan reviewer and the project or parties connected to the project.

"(g) The Director shall resolve disputes on conflict matters and the decision of the Director shall be final.

"(h) The Director shall maintain a tracking system to monitor the recommendations of third party plan reviewers and the consistency with which construction documents recommended by each conforms to the applicable provisions of the Construction Codes.

"(i) This section shall not relieve a person who prepares and submits construction documents of any obligations or liabilities otherwise existing under law and shall not relieve the District of its obligation to review all construction documents in the manner otherwise prescribed by law.".

Repeal § 6-1405.03

(f) Section 6c (D.C. Official Code § 6-1405.03) is repealed.

Amend § 6-1405.04

(g) Section 6d ((D.C. Official Code § 6-1405.04) is amended to read as follows:

"Sec. 6d. Third party inspections.

"(a) The Mayor shall allow the Department to accept reports of inspection by qualified third party inspectors for work performed pursuant to a building permit.

"(b) The Mayor may promulgate rules to establish the minimum qualification requirements for third party inspectors, the selection of third party inspectors, and other matters related to the administration and oversight of third party inspectors.

"(c) The Mayor may promulgate rules to ensure that a third party inspector does not have any conflicts of interest that could potentially affect the objectivity or reliability of the inspection report, including regarding the following situations:

"(1) Any person or entity who has performed any work for a project for which the property owner or the authorized agent has elected to use third party plan reviewers, including reviewers of architectural and structural plans, mechanical plans, plumbing plans, and electrical plans, shall not be eligible to serve as a third party inspector for any component on the project. This prohibition shall also apply to affiliates of the person or entity who has performed the work.

"(2) A third party inspector shall be hired by the project owner; provided, that the individual shall not have any contractual relationship with the general contractor, construction manager, a subcontractor, or other person who has performed work on the project.

"(3) The third party inspector shall not enter into a contract for inspection of a project if the individual determines that there may be a conflict with the qualifications specified in this section and shall disclose any potential conflicts of interest that may arise at any time between the third party inspector and the project or parties connected to the project.

"(d) The third party inspector certification may be revoked by the Director for failure to comply with the requirements of this section or rules promulgated pursuant to this section.

"(e) This section shall not be construed to violate, cancel, or set aside any provisions of the Construction Codes or to relieve any person of any obligations or liabilities otherwise existing under law. ".

Amend § 6-1406.02

(h) Section 7b (D.C. Official Code § 6-1406.02) is amended as follows:

(1) The existing text is designated as subsection (a).

(2) The newly designated subsection (a) is amended by striking the phrase "The Office of Zoning" and inserting the phrase "Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the Office of Zoning" in its place.

(3) A new subsection (b) is added to read as follows:

"(b) The Building Code Official may amend the administrative fees for the issuance of compliance letters by rulemaking pursuant to Title I of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act, approved October 21, 1968 (82 Stat. 1202; D.C. Official Code § 2-501 et seq.). ".

Amend § 6-1408

(i) Section 9 (D.C. Official Code § 6-1408) is amended by striking the phrase "separately." and inserting the phrase "or be posted electronically on the website of the Secretary of the District of Columbia or other designated District government website." in its place.

Amend § 42-3131.01

Sec. 6. Section 1 of An Act To provide for the abatement of nuisances in the District of Columbia by the Commissioners of said District, and for other purposes, approved April 14, 1906 (34 Stat. 114; D.C. Official Code § 42-3131.01), is amended as follows:

(a) Subsection (a) is amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (1) is amended by striking the phrase "Except as provided in paragraph 2" and inserting the phrase "Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3)" in its place.

(2) A new paragraph (3) is added to read as follows:

"(3) Summary correction of certain violations without prior notice to the owner is authorized pursuant to subsection (c)(1) of this section.".

(b) Subsection (c)(1) is amended to read as follows:

"(c)(1)(A) The Mayor may order the summary correction of housing regulation violations or violations of the Construction Codes where there is imminent danger, as determined by the Mayor.

"(B) Except in the case of a vacant building, the Mayor shall promptly notify the owner or authorized agent that the correction is ordered within a specified time period; provided, that the Mayor is authorized to take emergency action, including putting in temporary safeguards, without prior notification when the Mayor determines there is imminent danger due to an unsafe condition and immediate emergency action is necessary to alleviate the danger.

"(C) Any person ordered to take emergency measures or actions shall immediately comply with any notice or order. Where notice is provided under this section, if at the time of the notice, the owner is engaged in a good-faith effort to make the necessary correction, the Mayor shall not commence corrective action unless and until the owner interrupts or ceases the corrective effort or the Mayor determines that emergency repairs or temporary safeguards are required.

"(D)(i) The owner or authorized agent shall be notified by personal service or by registered mail to the last known address and by conspicuous posting on the property. If the owner or address is unknown, or cannot be located, notice shall be provided by conspicuous posting on the property.

"(ii) The Mayor may assess all reasonable costs of correcting the condition and all expenses incident to the corrective action as a tax against the property.

"(iii) A tax placed against a property pursuant to this subsection shall be carried on the regular tax rolls and collected in the same manner as real estate taxes are collected.

"(iv) The Mayor shall provide an opportunity for review of the summary corrective action without prejudice to the Mayor's authority to take and complete that action.

"(E) Monies in the fund established by subsection (b)(1) of this section shall be available to cover the costs of the summary corrections authorized by this subsection.

"(F) For the purposes of this paragraph, the term:

"(i) "Good faith effort" means one that is likely to cause the correction of the condition at least as soon as it could be corrected by the Mayor.

"(ii)(I) "Imminent danger" means:

"(aa) There is an immediate danger of the failure or collapse of a building or other structure that endangers life;

"(bb) When any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the structure;

"(cc) When there is actual or potential danger to the building occupants or those in the proximity of any structure because of explosives, explosive fumes or vapors, the presence of toxic fumes, gases, or materials; or

"(dd) When the health or safety of occupants of the premises or those in the proximity of the premises is immediately endangered by an insanitary condition or the operation of defective or dangerous equipment.

"(II) The term "imminent danger" may also include:

"(aa) A vacant building, as defined in section 5(5);

"(bb) The interruption of electrical, heat, gas, water, or other essential services, when the interruption results from other than natural causes; or

"(cc) The presence of graffiti.".

Sec. 7. Repealers.

(a) An Act To regulate the height of buildings in the District of Columbia, approved June 1, 1910 (36 Stat. 452; D.C. Official Code § 6-601.01 et seq.), is amended as follows:

Repeal § 6-601.01, § 6-601.02, § 6-601.03, § 6-601.04

(1) Sections 1 through 4 (D.C. Official Code §§ 6-601.01 through 6-601.04) are repealed.

Repeal § 6-601.06

(2) Section 6 (D.C. Official Code § 6-601.06) is repealed.

Repeal § 6-701.01

(b) An Act To require the erection of fire escapes in certain buildings in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes, approved March 19, 1906 (34 Stat. 70; D.C. Official Code § 6-701 et seq.), is repealed.

Sec. 8. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).

Sec. 9. Effective date.

This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.