Back To Board Minutes Listing Building Code Chapter 3 | Sunday, May 3, 2009






          The title for Chapter 3 ("General Requirements") indicates that it is broad in scope.  It includes a variety of requirements for the exterior property areas as well as the interior and exterior elements of the structure.  Chapter 3 provides specific criteria for regulating the installation and maintenance of building components.  This chapter also contains requirements regulating the safety, sanitation and appearance of the interior and exterior of structures and all exterior property areas. 

          Section 301 identifies the scope of Chapter 3 as containing provision for maintaining a structure and its exterior property areas, and establishes who is responsible for complying with the chapter's provisions.  This section also provides minimum maintenance requirements for vacant structures and land. 

          Section 302 establishes criteria for maintaining exterior property areas and accessory structures and provides vehicle storage regulations. 

          Section 303 contains the requirements for swimming pools, artificial ponds, spas and hot tubs and provides requirements for protective barriers and gates in these barriers. 

          Section 304 establishes maintenance requirements for the structural, weather resistance, sanitary and safety performance of the exterior of a structure. 

          Section 305 establishes maintenance requirements for the structural, sanitary and safety performance of the interior of a structure. 

          Section 306 provides for the safety and maintenance of handrails and guardrails. 

          Section 307 and 308 establish the responsible parties for exterminating insects and rodents, and maintaining sanitary conditions in various types of occupancies.  When specific requirements are not provided in the code, the following three options for establishing the necessary criteria are available: 

          1.  If the jurisdiction has already established criteria, the Code                               Official can continue to enforce that criteria. 

          2.  The jurisdiction may adopt its own criteria and incorporate them as                  an amendment to the appropriate section of the Code. 

          3.  The Code Official may adopt and enforce criteria already                                      established by the International Building Code (IBC).


          Chapter 3 also provides the Code Official with guidelines for determining who is responsible for maintaining sanitary conditions and eliminating infestations of insects, rodents or other pests. 

          Inadequate sanitation and insect or rodent infestations can have a significant impact on a community.  A poorly kept neighborhood affects the self-image of a community, as well as the impression neighboring communities and visitors have about the area.  Responsible property owners may shy away from neighborhoods that look unkempt.  AS a results, property values decrease and the cycle can continue until the neighborhood is considered a slum. 

          An area that is neat, clean and well maintained attracts owners and occupants who are usually willing to keep the area attractive, if only to protect their own interests.  The Code Official, with vigorous enforcement of sanitation and extermination regulations, can help a community maintain a positive self-image.  This creates a favorable image to the rest of the community and its visitors.



          Chapter 3 provides requirements that are intended to maintain a minimum level of safety and sanitation for both the general public and the occupants of a structure, and to maintain a building's structural and weather-resistant performance.  This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the Zoning Ordinance of the Village of Colfax, Illinois.




          301.1  SCOPE.    The provisions of this chapter shall govern the minimum conditions and the responsibilities of person's for maintenance of structures, equipment and exterior property.  This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the Zoning/Building Ordinance of the Village of Colfax, Illinois. 

                    SCOPE OF THESE REGULATIONS.  Except as provided by this ordinance, it shall be unlawful: 

          (a)  To establish any use of a building, structure, or land either by                         itself or in addition to another use. 

          (b)  To expand, change, or re-establish any nonconforming use. 

          (c.) To erect a new building or structure or part thereof.

          (d)  To rebuild, structurally alter, add to, or relocate any building or structure or part thereof. 

          (e)  To reduce the open space or plot area required for a building or structure, or to include any part of such open space or plot area as that required for an adjoining building or structure.

          (f)  To provide or connect onto water supply or sewage disposal facilities.


          301.2  RESPONSIBILITY.  The owner of the premises shall maintain the structures and exterior property in compliance with these requirements, except as otherwise provided for in this code.  A person shall not occupy as owner-occupant or permit another person to occupy premises which are not in a sanitary and safe condition and which do not comply with the requirements of this chapter.  Occupants of a dwelling unit, rooming unit and housekeeping unit are responsible for keeping in a clean, sanitary, and safe condition that part of the dwelling unit, rooming unit, housekeeping unit or premises which they occupy and control. 

          The owner is responsible for complying with the requirements of Chapter 3, except when the code places the responsibility on the occupants to keep their portion of the premises in a safe and sanitary condition.  Simply stated, owners must provide a safe and sanitary property and premises when they let it for occupancy.  Occupants must continue to keep it safe and sanitary while they occupy, control or use the property and premises. 

          301.3  VACANT STRUCTURES AND LAND.  All vacant structures and premises thereof or vacant land shall be maintained in a clean, safe, secure and sanitary condition as provided herein so as not to cause a blighting problem or adversely affect the public health or safety. 

          When the owner fails to secure a vacant structure, Section 108.2 provides the Code Official with the authority to arrange for securing such buildings.  Additionally, Section 110 authorizes the Code Official to pursue demolition of any structure that is deemed unreasonable to repair.  When a structure is reasonable to repair, the Code Official is authorized to require the necessary repairs. 

          301.4  INCIDENTAL USE. 


          (a)  Unless otherwise prohibited or restricted, a permitted use also allows uses, buildings and structures incidental thereto, if located on the same site or building plot.  However, such incidental uses, buildings, and structures shall not be established or erected prior to the establishment or construction of the principal use or building and these shall be compatible with the character of the principal use. 

          (b)  Uses involving swimming pools or artificial ponds shall require a building permit which shall provide for suitable fences and safety measures.





          302.1  Sanitation.  All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.  The occupant shall keep that part of the exterior property which such occupant occupies or controls in a clean and sanitary condition. 

          302.2  Grading and drainage.  All premises shall be graded and maintained to prevent the erosion of soil and to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon, or within any structure located thereon.




          Improperly graded property areas create health and safety hazards.  Stagnant water provides a home for many nuisance insects, especially the mosquito.  Stagnant water next to a structure can cause mold growth, which can lead to the decay of wooden members.  Ponded water is an attractive nuisance for children and has contributed to numerous drowning deaths.


          Stagnant water is foul or stale water.  Re-grading the premises may be necessary to prevent stagnant water.  If re-grading is not practical, some type of water-diversion system must be installed.  Other solutions include replacing nonabsorbent soil with absorbent soil, installing underground drain tile or building an underground leaching pit.


          Soil erosion can be a nuisance if material is being deposited in drainage systems or on adjacent properties, and is an indication of improper grading.  Planting and maintaining an acceptable ground cover generally prevents erosion. 

          As indicated by the exception, water retention areas or reservoirs are permitted  by the code even though they may contain stagnant water; however, the Code Official must approve their use. 

          302.3  Sidewalks and driveways.  All sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas shall be kept in a proper state of repair, and maintained free from hazardous conditions. 

          The Code Official is authorized to require that all sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces, etc., are usable and kept in proper repair.  Walking surfaces that have deteriorated to a condition that presents a hazard to pedestrians must be repaired or replaced to eliminate the hazard and thus reduce the potential for accidents or injuries. 

          302.4  Weeds/Grass.  All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of eight inches (8").  All noxious weeds shall be prohibited.  Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. 

          Upon failure of the owner or agent having charge of a property to cut and destroy weeds after service of a notice of violation, they shall be subject to prosecution in accordance with Section 106.3 and as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction.  Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the costs of removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property.


          (a)  Definition.  "Weeds" as used in this section shall include the following:  Burdock, ragweed (giant) ragweed (common), thistle, cockle burr, jimson, blue vervain, common milk weed, wild carrot, poison ivy, mild mustard, rough pigweed, lambs quarter, wild lettuce, curled dock, smart weeds (all varieties), poison hemlock and wild hemp, and all other weeds of a like kinds.


          (b)  Owner Required to Cut Weeds/Grass.  Every owner of real estate within the village shall cut weeds on his property at all such times as may be necessary so that such weeds and grass shall not exceed 8 inches in height.  If the owner neglects or refuses to so cut the weeds, the Village Marshall shall cause the weeds to be cut on behalf of the Village.



          (c.)  Cost of Weed/Grass Cutting to be Recorded; Notice of Lien.  If the Village Marshall causes the weeds to be cut, a notice of lien of the cost and expense thereof incurred by the Village shall be recorded in the following manner provided in the Illinois Municipal Code, Section 11-20-7, as  amended from time to time.  The village or the person performing the service by authority of the village, in its or his own name, may file notice of lien in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of McLean County.  The notice of lien shall consist of a sworn statement setting out:         

          (1)  A description of the real estate sufficient for identification thereof,
          (2)  The amount of money representing the cost and expense incurred or payable for the service,        

          (3)  The date or dates when the cost and expense was incurred by the village, and shall be filed within 60 days after the cost and expense is incurred. 

Notice of such lien shall be mailed to the owner of the real estate, provided that failure to file the notice or to mail the notice, or failure of the owner to receive the notice, shall not affect the right to foreclose the lien as provided in subsection (e) below.


          (d)  Payment of Cost of Weed/Grass Cutting; Release of Lien.  Upon payment of the cost and expense after notice of lien has been filed, the lien shall be released by the village or person in whose name the lien has been filed and the release shall be filed of record in the same manner as filing notice of the lien.


          (e)  Foreclosure of Lien.  Real estate subject to a lien for unpaid cutting costs and expenses may be sold for nonpayment of the same (subject to the statutory rights of bona fide purchasers or prior lienors) and the proceeds of such sale shall be applied to pay such costs and expenses, after deducting court costs and legal fees, as in the case of the foreclosure of statutory liens.  The Village Attorney is directed to institute such foreclosure proceedings,  which shall be in equity and in the name of the village, in any court of proper jurisdiction, against any real estate for which the cutting costs and expenses have remained unpaid for sixty (60) days after being incurred.


          (f) Notwithstanding any prior provisions contained in Section 12.06(a) through (e).   The minimum charge for the cutting of weeds/grass by the Village of Colfax on any premises within the village, when the owner or owners of such premises have refused or neglected to cut such weeds as required pursuant to Section 12.06 (b), shall be $100 per first hour or fractional part of an hour of such weed/grass cutting.         

          302.5  Rodent harborage.  All structures and exterior property shall be kept free from rodent harborage and infestation.  Where rodents are found, they shall be promptly exterminated by approved processes which will not be injurious to human health.  After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to eliminate rodent harborage and prevent re-infestation.


          Rodents carry disease organisms in their feces and on their bodies.  The Code Official must require the extermination of all rodents by approved processes.  All harborage areas should be eliminated by removing piles of rubbish, towing or repairing inoperable cars and cutting back weeds.  Garbage should be stored in solid containers with tight-fitting lids and disposed of regularly. 

          302.6 Exhaust vents.  Pipes, ducts, conductors, fans or blowers shall not discharge gases, steam vapor, hot air grease, smoke odors or other gaseous or particulate wastes directly upon abutting or adjacent public or private property or that of another tenant. 

          There are three common problems associated with exhaust vent discharges:

?             Odor problems caused from exhaust gases emanating from business and industrial properties;

?             Noise problems created by exhaust vents; and

?             Health and safety problems created by exhausts that contain hazardous or potentially hazardous discharge.         

          To reduce these problems, exhaust vents are prohibited from discharging directly on abutting or adjacent public and private property. 

          302.7  Accessory structures.  All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls, shall be maintained structurally sound and in good repair.


          Accessory structures must be maintained in accordance with the criteria established by this section.  Property owners often give detached garages, sheds, fences, retaining walls and similar structures a lower maintenance priority than the primary structure; thus, these structures are frequently in disrepair.  A thorough inspection of all property areas and accessory buildings is necessary to identify violations of the code and to improve a neighborhood's appearance.

          302.8  Motor vehicles.  Except as provided for in other regulations, no inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicle shall be parked, kept or stored on any premises, and no vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled.  Painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth.  Reference Ordinances 2005-2 and 2005-3 of the Village of Colfax Municipal Code. 

          302.9  Defacement of property.  No person shall willfully or wantonly damage, mutilate or deface any exterior surface of any structure or building on any private or public property by placing thereon any marking, carving or graffiti.


          Graffiti, carving, and damage is a problem that plagues exterior surfaces of walls, fencing, and sidewalks in cities and towns of all sizes.  This problem begins as an eyesore and can result in serious consequences, including declining property values and degradation of the structures' ability to repel rain and snow.

          It must be the responsibility of the owner to restore said surface to an approved state of maintenance and repair. 

          Chapter 4 of the IBC should be consulted for spray booth approval criteria.  The  code prohibits painting operations outside of spray booths.




          303.1 Swimming pools.  Swimming pools shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, and in good repair.


          Swimming pools, if neglected, can become a health hazard, resulting in insect-attracting stagnant water. 

          303.2  Enclosures.  Private swimming pools, hot tubs, artificial ponds, and spas, containing water more than 24 inches (610 mm) in depth shall be completely surrounded by a fence or barrier at least 48 inches (1219 mm) in height above the finished ground level measured on the side of the barrier away from the pool.  Gates and doors in such barriers shall be self-closing and self-latching.  Where the self-latching device is less than 54 inches (1372 mm) above the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism shall be located on the pool side of the gate.  Self-Closing and self-latching gates shall be maintained such that the gate will positively close and latch when released from an open position of six inches (152mm) from the gatepost.  No existing pool enclosure shall be removed, replaced or changed in a manner that reduces its effectiveness as a safety barrier.



          This performance-based criteria was specifically added to address pool-related problems where a child could possibly drown by gaining entry into a pool through a gate that failed to close and latch property.  Gates that may have deteriorated over time through age, wear and exposure to the elements are now addressed so that they will continue to provide the intended level of protection.  The exception to this section allows for safety covers that comply with ASTM F1346.  This exception is consistent with current provisions in the IBC and the (International Residential Code).  


          ASTM F 1346,  Standard Performance Standard Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for all Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas, Artificial Ponds, and Hot Tubs, contains requirements including  a means of fastening the safety cover to the hot tub or spa, such as key locks, combination locks or similar devices that will keep the cover in place; testing to demonstrate that the cover can support a minimum required weight; limitations on openings in the cover and minimum installation requirements.





          304.1 GENERAL.  The exterior of a structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary so as not to pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.


The exterior of structures must perform four primary functions:


?             It must be in good repair.  There should be no evidence of      deterioration, or damaged or loosed elements.

?             It must be structurally sound.  There should not be any loose or      collapsing pieces.  Stairways, porches, balconies and similar      structural elements must safely perform their intended functions.

?             It must be kept in a sanitary condition.  There shall be no      accumulation of litter or debris on porches and other parts of the      exterior structure.

?             It must be capable of preventing the elements (rains, snow and wind)      and rodents from entering the interior areas.


          304.2  PROTECTIVE TREATMENT.  All exterior surfaces, including but not limited to, doors, door and window frames, cornices, porches, trim, balconies, decks and fences shall be maintained in good condition.  Exterior wood surfaces, other than decay-resistant woods, shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatment.   Peeling, flaking, and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted.  All siding and masonry joints as well as those between the building envelope and the perimeter of windows, doors, and skylights shall be maintained weather resistant and water tight.  All metal surfaces subject to rust and corrosion and all surfaces with rust or corrosion shall be stabilized and coated to inhibit future rust and corrosion.  Oxidation stains shall be removed from exterior surfaces.  Surfaces designed for stabilization by oxidation are exempt from this requirement.





          Easily legible letters or numbers are essential for rapid response of emergency personnel. 


          304.3.a.  Names of Streets. 

          A.  There is hereby established a uniform system for street naming and renaming and for numbering property and buildings on all streets, lanes, roads, highways, and public ways in the Village of Colfax.

          B.  All streets, lanes, roads, highways, and public ways in the Village of Colfax shall be known and designated by the names applied thereto, respectively, on the map of the Village of Colfax kept on file at the office of the Village Clerk.  The street names designated on such map shall continue to be the names of streets unless and until changed by ordinance of the Village Board of Colfax.  The naming of all such streets, lanes, roads, highways, and public ways shall be coordinated by the Village of Colfax, the McLean County Emergency Telephone System Board, and the United States Postal Service. 

          C.  Signs designating the names of public streets, lanes, roads, and highways shall be erected and maintained  by the Village of Colfax. 

          D.  Signs designating the names of private streets, lanes, roads and highways shall be erected and maintained at the expense of the property owner(s) occupying such private streets, lanes, roads, and highways.  Said signs shall be located to be easily visible to emergency personnel traveling from a public access road into the private roadway.  All signs shall be of the same or similar construction as the signs erected by the Village of Colfax and shall be installed within ninety (90) days of notification to the private property owner(s).




          A.  All buildings shall be numbered in accordance with the provisions set forth herein.  All numbers for property shall be assigned in a manner mutually agreed upon by the Village of  Colfax, the McLean County Emergency Telephone System Board, and the United State Postal Service. 

          B.  Each house, building, or other structure (Occupied or unoccupied) shall be assigned a separate number.  A number or alphabetical letter shall be assigned for each separate occupant (I.e. apartment, company etc.) within a building or other occupied structure. 

          C.  Existing numbers shall be changed only as necessary to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Enhanced 911 System in the Village of Colfax, as determined in the judgment of the McLean County Emergency Telephone System Board. 

          D.  Written notification of the proper address of each house, building, or structure shall be given to its owner(s), occupant, or agent in all  instances where a new number has been assigned under the terms of this Ordinance.


          304.3.c.  PLACEMENT OF NUMBERS.


          A.  The owner(s), occupant, or agent of each house, building, or other structure shall be assigned a number under the uniform numbering system provided in this Ordinance and shall place or cause to be placed such number on or near the house, building, or structure within ninety (90) days after receiving notification of the proper number assignment. 

          B.  The cost and installation of the numbers for the house, building, or other structure shall be paid for by the property owner(s).  The numbers shall not be less than three (3) inches in height.  All numbers shall be made of durable and clearly visible material. 

          C.  All numbers shall be conspicuously placed immediately above, on, or at the side of the appropriate door to the house, building, or other structure so that the number is clearly visible from the street.  In cases where the structure is situated so that the numbers placed upon it are not clearly visible from the street, the numbers shall be placed near the sidewalk, driveway, or common entrance to the structure or upon the mailbox, gatepost, fence, or other appropriate place so as to be clearly visible from the street.

          304.4  STRUCTURAL MEMBERS.  All structural members shall be maintained free from deterioration and shall be capable of safely supporting the imposed dead and live loads.


          Building components that must support other building components are considered to be structural.  Structural members must be kept sound and capable of supporting all of the dead and live loads imposed upon them.  Dead loads are the loads created by the structure itself.  The footing must adequately carry the load of the foundation, beams, joists, walls, roof, and other similar members located above it. 

          Live loads are the weights that are added to the finished structure.  Live loads include furniture, appliances, equipment and other items added to the inside of the building.  Snow, rain, ice and wind are environmental conditions that are also considered live loads in the code. 

          When the occupancy of a structure changes, it presents a special concern to the Code Official.  A commercial building converted to an industrial occupancy may have a large increase in the expected live loads the structural members must carry.  The Code Official should work with structural engineers, architects and other design professionals to assess the anticipated load-bearing capacity of the stairways, porches, and other load-bearing members before permitting changes in the occupancy of the building.


          304.5  FOUNDATION WALLS.  All foundation walls shall be maintained plumb and free from open cracks and breaks and shall be kept in such condition so as to prevent the entry of rodents and other pests.  The foundation must safely support the entire structure.  Minor problems left uncorrected can become major.  Major foundation problems can result in their collapse.  The official should order replacement of structural elements when major damage has occurred and should order appropriate maintenance, such as tuck pointing, if the damage is only minor. 

          All conditions that permit entry of rodents or other pests must be corrected.




          304.6  EXTERIOR WALLS.  All exterior walls shall be free from holes, breaks, and loose or rotting materials; and maintained weatherproof and properly surface coated where required to prevent deterioration


          Holes, cracks, decayed wood, or any other condition that permits rain or dampness to enter the structure must be repaired.  Exterior surface materials must be properly coated to prevent deterioration if they are not naturally decay resistant.  Many materials do not require surface coating, including:  certain metals (aluminum, copper, etc.); masonry products (bricks, stone, stucco, etc.); naturally decay-resistant woods (redwood, cedar, etc.); and woods that have been treated with chemicals to prevent decay.


          304.7  ROOFS AND DRAINAGE.  The roof and flashing shall be sound, tight, and not have defects that admit rain.  Roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent dampness or deterioration in the walls or interior portion of the structure.  Roof drains, gutters and downspouts shall be maintained in good repair and free from obstructions.  Roof water shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance.


          Water runoff should be diverted away from the structure to prevent damage to the foundation and other structural elements.  Runoff must be diverted away from neighboring properties, public sidewalks, alleys and streets to prevent nuisance problems.  Two problems that can result from improper water runoff are flooding of basements and standing water or ice buildup on sidewalks, alleys and streets.  Drains, gutters and downspouts must be kept in working order to that water runoff is properly diverted.





          304.8  DECORATIVE FEATURES.  All cornices, belt courses, corbels, terra cotta trim, wall facings, and similar decorative features shall be maintained in good repair with proper anchorage and in a safe condition.


          Exterior decorative features require regular maintenance to prevent their deterioration and to keep them from falling from the building. 

          304.9  OVERHANG EXTENSIONS.  All overhang extensions including, but not limited to canopies, marquees, signs, metal awnings, fire escapes, standpipes and exhaust ducts shall be maintained in good repair and be properly anchored so as to be kept in a sound condition.  When required, all exposed surfaces of metal or wood shall be protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint or similar surface treatment. 

          Most problems related to overhang extensions, especially signs, marquees, fire escapes and awnings, are a result of deterioration at the points where they are anchored to the building.  Anchorage points should be carefully inspected on a regular basis. 

          Fire escapes, standpipes and exhaust ducts serve the critical functions of providing proper exiting, fire protection and the removal of exhaust products.  Regular maintenance is important for their continued compliance with the code. 

          304.10 Stairways, decks, porches, and balconies.  Every exterior stairway, deck, porch and balcony, and all appurtenances attached thereto, shall be maintained structurally sound, in good repair, with proper anchorage and capable of supporting the imposed load. 

          Regular maintenance is required to keep stairs, decks, porches and balconies in good repair so they do not become a hazard to occupants or visitors.  Positive anchorage of elevated decks and exterior stairs that may be subject to collapse is especially important.  The IBC shall be consulted for required live loads that these elements are typically required to support. 

          304.11  Chimneys and towers.  All chimneys, cooling towers, smoke stacks, and similar appurtenances shall be maintained structurally safe and sound, and in good repair.  All exposed surfaces of metal or wood shall be protected from the elements and against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials, such as paint or similar surface treatment.


          Chimneys, towers of all types and other similar appurtenances are frequently ignored until they become nonfunctional or are in danger of collapse.  Because of the corrosiveness of the exhaust gases, chimneys and smokestacks often deteriorate on the inside first.  The code official should examine chimneys and towers for excessive rust, loose or missing mortar and cracked or disintegrating bricks.


          Occasionally, deterioration may become sufficient to prevent the chimney or smokestack from operating properly.  Obstructed chimneys have caused numerous carbon monoxide deaths.  If fuel-burning appliances vent into chimneys or smokestacks, the code official should see that the exhaust gases are being properly conveyed to the chimney, including the connection of the vent to the chimney. 

          Weather-coating materials may be applied periodically to reduce the effects of the elements on these items. 

          304.12  HANDRAILS AND GUARDS.  Every handrail and guard shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and shall be maintained in good condition.


          304.13  WINDOW, SKYLIGHT AND DOOR FRAMES.  All windows, skylights, and doors must be installed in their frames so that they are weather tight (I.e., able to prevent wind, rain, or other elements from entering the structure).  A workmanlike installation will provide appropriate protection while maintaining operational capability.


          304.13.1  GLAZING.  All glass is to be maintained without open cracks or holes, which can admit wind and moisture.  Defective glass poses hazards to occupants. 

          304.13.2  OPENABLE WINDOWS.  Windows that have broken or are missing hold-open hardware create a dual hazard. 

          (A) Windows without hardware are frequently propped open with sticks and other objects.  These objects can be dislodged and cause the windows to fall, causing bodily injuries. 

          (B)  In the event of a fire, occupants are at an increased risk if windows cannot be readily secured in an open position.  People have died because  of inoperable windows, even though they could have easily broken the windows and escaped.  It is advisable for the Code Official to check windows to make sure they open properly and remain open with their own hardware. 

          304.14  INSECT SCREENS.  During the period from May 1st to October 31st,  every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any area where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of not less than 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.




          Screens reduce insect infestations.  Each community must establish the months they will require screens.  In cold climates, insect populations become dormant or die during the cod season; thus, screens would not be required during cold months.  Communities shall establish the number of months screens must be used on windows and doors to accommodate the time period that insects are active. 

          The Code Official shall strictly enforce the use of tight-fitting screens (not less than 16 mesh per 25 mm) in any food preparation, storage or service area.  Improper insect protection in these areas can lead to large-scale contamination of food supplies. 

          As indicated in the exception, air curtains, insect repellant fans, or similar systems may be accepted.  The Code Official must be sure that such a system is operational and employed whenever the doors and windows are open.  Although permitted for any opening, these systems are useful for openings that are difficult to screen properly, such as out-swinging doors.


          304.14  DOORS.  All exterior doors, door assemblies and hardware shall be maintained in good condition.  Locks at all entrances to dwelling units and sleeping units shall tightly secure the door.  Locks on means of egress doors shall be in accordance with Section 702.3. 

          304.14 (A)  DOORS.  Doors providing access to a dwelling unit, rooming unit, or housekeeping unit that is rented, leased or let shall be equipped with a deadbolt lock designed to be readily operable from the side form which egress is to be made without the need for keys, special knowledge or effort and shall have a lock throw of not less than 1 inch (25 mm).  Such deadbolt locks shall be installed according to the manufacturer's specifications and maintained in good working order.  For the purpose of this section, a sliding bolt shall not be considered an acceptable deadbolt lock.


          Everyone has a right to feel safe in their own dwelling; therefore, the installation of locking hardware to secure entry doorways is essential.  When installed for security purposes, however, locks and latches can intentionally prohibit  the use of an egress door and thus interfere with or prevent the egress of occupants at the time of an emergency, such as a fire.  The ability  of occupants to easily egress a building in case of a fire or emergency situation is a primary concern to help prevent the loss of human life.  Examples of special knowledge would be a combination lock or an unlocking device in an unknown, unexpected or hidden location.  Special effort would require unusual and unexpected physical ability to unlock, or make the door fully available for egress.


          304.16  BASEMENT HATCHWAYS.  (a)  Every basement hatchway shall be maintained to prevent the entrance of rodents, rain, and surface drainage water.


          (b)  Basement hatchways that provide access to a dwelling unit, rooming unit, or housekeeping unit that is rented, leased or let shall be equipped with devices that secure the units from unauthorized entry.


          Basement hatchways must prevent rain, water, and rodents from entering the structure.  When maintenance is ignored, wood members (including doors) decay, metal doors and latches rust and hinges break.

          Drainage must be provided to prevent water from accumulating around hatchways and leaking inside the structure.




          Windows to basements are equally problematic from a security point of view and, therefore, need to be equipped with locking devices to provide security for the units.


          304.17  GUARDS FOR BASEMENT WINDOWS.  Every basement window that is operable shall be supplied with rodent shields, storm windows or other approved protection against the entry of rodents.


          Basement windows are especially susceptible to the entry of the Norway rat, one of several rodents that frequently nest in the ground near structures.  Rat proof shields, screens, storm windows, or other protective materials must be installed on windows capable of being opened to eliminate their use as an entry point.


          304.18  BUILDING SECURITY.  Doors, windows, or hatchways for dwelling units, room units, or housekeeping units shall be provided with devices designed to provide security for the occupants and property within.


          This section establishes criteria for providing security for occupants of dwelling units, rooming units, and housekeeping units that are rented leased or let. 


          304.18.2  WINDOWS.  Operable windows located in whole or in part within 6 feet (1828 mm) above ground level or a walking surface below that provide access to a dwelling unit, rooming unit, or housekeeping unit that is rented, leased or let shall be equipped with a window sash locking device. 

          In order to coordinate the provisions of the code with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) housing quality standard requirements for rental properties, a height requirement of 6 feet (1827 mm) above the ground was established for windows.  This could be considered a security concern, thus dictating the need for window locks. 

          304.19  FENCES: 

          A.  Private Fences On Public Property:  No private fences shall be allowed or constructed on public streets or highway rights of way.  Fences may be placed on public utility easements so long as the structures do not interfere in any way with existing underground, ground, or over ground utilities.  Further, the Village or any utility company having authority to use such easements, shall not be liable for repair or replacement of such fences in the event they are moved, damaged, or destroyed by virtue of the lawful use of said easement.  Fences in violation of this section may be summarily removed.

          B.  Prohibited materials of Construction: 

          1.  No barbed wire or bared wire fences shall be allowed on private property in residential zoning districts or on lots in any district being used for single- or multiple-family dwelling purposes.  No barbed wire or barbed wire fences shall be allowed on private property in business or industrial districts where the property lines of such property abut lots or parcels being used or intended for single- or multiple-family purposes or on fences in front yards.  

          2.  No fence shall be constructed of materials obviously intended to inflict great bodily harm should a person or animal attempt to climb or scale it.  Such material includes, but is not limited to, electrically charged wires or other electrical conduit, broken glass, razor blades, and sharp or ragged metal spikes or spears. 

          C.  Maintenance and Repair:  All fences shall be maintained in good, structurally sound repair and in a neat, clean, presentable condition.  If, on inspection by the zoning administrator, any fence, in his determination, does not meet the requirements of this section, he shall order the owner or occupied of the premises, by registered or certified mail, to make the necessary repairs or improvements as directed or he (owner or occupied) shall be in violation of This Code, and the City Attorney shall cause a complaint to be issued and processed against said owner or occupied in accordance with rules of the circuit court of McLean County, Illinois.  If an adjoining property owner will not allow ingress or egress for the purpose of maintaining the fence, then the responsibility for repair and maintenance of that portion of the fence shall transfer to that adjacent owner, and he shall be liable the same as the fence owner.

          D.  Fences In Residential Districts:

          1.  In residential districts, no fence may exceed four feet (4') in height above ground level in front yards.  Fences along the sidelines from the front of the principal building to the rear lot line and along the rear lot line may not exceed six feet (6') in height above ground level.  On lot lines abutting the public right of way or residential property, the fence must face outward with the support posts on the inside. 

          2.  When any fence is installed in the front, side or rear yards, it shall not extend within two feet (2') of the property lines or encroach upon adjoining property. 

          E.  Visibility On Corner Lots:   In residential districts or residential use areas, the location of fences, hedges, and landscaping on corner lots shall be regulated as follows, so as not to obstruct the vision of drivers of motor vehicles:  No fences shall be erected or maintained, nor any hedges or landscaping shall be planted, grown, or maintained, to a height of more than three feet (3') above the adjacent curb/roadway height, within a triangular area determined by a diagonal line connecting two (2) points measured along the property lines of the abutting streets thirty feet (30') equidistant from the intersection of those property lines.

          F.  Commercial and Industrial Districts: 

          1.  In commercial and industrial districts, fences may not exceed eight feet (8') in height above ground level, and the use of barbed wire is prohibited;  except, that one foot (1') additional of any fence along side or rear lot lines in these zones may be constructed of barbed wire.


          2.  When any fence is installed in the front, side, or rear yard, it shall not extend beyond the property line or encroach upon adjoining property.


          G.  Nonconforming Fences:  Fences existing at the effective date hereof which are not in violation of subsection A, B, C, or E of this section may continue to be maintained and to exist but may not be replaced, if destroyed or removed, to the extent that the violations would be continued. 

          H.  Exemptions:  Agricultural fences in agricultural districts and in other districts approved for agricultural uses are exempt from this section except where abutting properties are in residential districts or areas predominantly used for residential use. 

          I.  Permanent Swimming Pools:  All permanent swimming pools whether above or below ground, shall be enclosed by wire mesh or chain link fences capable of denying access to the premises, in a minimum height of four feet (4'). 

          J.  Nuisance Declared:  Abatement:  Any fence which shall be erected or maintained to the provisions of This Code is deemed a nuisance, and it shall be the duty of the Zoning Administrator and the Chief of Police to abate the same by any means allowable under state law or This Code.





          305.1  GENERAL.  The interior of a structure and equipment therein shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and in a sanitary condition.  Occupants shall keep that part of the structure which they occupy or control in a clean and sanitary condition.  Every owner of a structure containing a rooming house, housekeeping units, a hotel, a dormitory, two or more dwelling units, or two or more nonresidential occupancies, shall maintain, in a clean and sanitary condition, the shared or public areas of the structure and exterior property.  The interior of a structure and its equipment must be maintained so that it does not adversely affect the occupant's health and safety.  It must protect occupants from the exterior environment.


          305.2  STRUCTURAL MEMBERS.  All structural members shall be maintained structurally sound, and be capable of supporting the imposed loads.  Improper original construction, unapproved additions and repairs, water damage, deferred maintenance and overloading of structural members will result in structural damage and failure. 

          Common construction and repair defects include:  undersized structural members that, over time, sag, crack and even collapse; inadequately fastened structural members that loosen and separate from each other; poor-quality construction materials; improperly installed or oversized notches and holes in structural members and poorly installed structural members. 

          Water is one of the most destructive elements to structures.  Water damage most frequently occurs from roof leaks; plumbing leaks in bathrooms and kitchens and water penetration into basements and crawl spaces.  Un-repaired leaks can rot and decay structural members.  The Code Official shall inspect the bottom of columns, the outside ends of beams and joists, flooring under bathrooms and kitchens and the underside of roofs for evidence of water penetration and damage. 

          Deferred maintenance is a problem with all buildings.  A structure begins to deteriorate the moment it is completed.  Both outside and inside factors affect structures; water, sun and wind on the outside, as well as furniture, equipment and occupants on the inside.  As equipment wears out or malfunctions, it needs to be repaired or replaced. 

          Overloading is not a frequently encountered problem, but can occur when a building changes use or when new, heavier equipment is added.  For example, in a structure used for retail sales, the live load that the floors, stairs and balconies must carry may change when converted to a manufacturing use. 

          Structural members must be able to bear the loads imposed upon them.  Commercial and industrial buildings present special concerns for the Code Official.  To provide some level of confidence that a structure will safely withstand the anticipated loads, the Code Official may want to require the owner to provide evidence of the load-bearing capacity of the structure, as determined by a registered architect or engineer. 

          This information may be useful every time a structure changes occupancy.  The Code Official cannot be sure structural changes have not occurred since the previous calculations were prepared.


          305.3  INTERIOR SURFACES.  Interior surface damage is frequently the result of tenant abuse or water damage.  Water damage results from leaking roofs, plumbing fixtures and water pipes, and damaged or open windows and doors that permit rain to enter.  The Code Official shall order the repair of any damaged interior surfaces, and require that the cause of the damage be corrected if possible 

          Interior surfaces that contain lead-based paint may present serious health hazards to occupants, especially children,.  Lead is a toxic heavy metal that enters the body by inhalation or ingestion of fine particulate.  Lead affects many organs as well as the central nervous system, and is particularly toxic to young children because it retards brain and central nervous system development. 

          HUD estimates that three quarters of the dwellings built before 1980 contain some lead-based paint.  Because the amount of lead in paint was gradually reduced during the 30 years prior to its prohibition in general application in 1978 (lead-based paint is currently produced for specialized industrial applications), dwellings built before 1950 are more likely to contain lead-based paint and paint with higher concentrations of lead.  HUD surveys show that 90 percent of dwellings built before 1940, 80 percent of dwellings built between 1940 and 1959 and 62 percent of dwellings built between 1960 and 1979 contain lead-based paint.  Lead based paint is often found under newer layers of paint that is not lead based. 

          Intact lead-based paint is not an immediate hazard because the predominant route of lead poisoning is through ingestion or inhalation of fine lead particulate found in contaminated dust.  The risk of poisoning becomes significant when lead-based paint contaminates dust through peeling, chipping, flaking and abraded conditions identified in the code.  Lead contamination may also be caused by lead-based paint that is disturbed during repair and remodeling activities such as scraping, sanding, drilling and cutting. 

          Lead hazard control is achieved by removing lead-contaminated dust and eliminating the source of contamination.  The determination of the type of activities (abatement, interim controls or repair) needed to correct hazardous conditions depends on the extent of paint deterioration and the occupancy.  More protective measures should be taken if children under six years of age are likely to occupy the building because they are more sensitive to lead contamination.  All activities that disturb lead-based paint can generate significant lead hazards.  Precaution should be initiated to protect workers, occupants and the environment.  Precautions include selection of procedures that minimize the creation of dust (such as wet sanding, wet scraping, power tools with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered vacuum attachments and heat guns less than 1,000 F (593 C); containment of dust and debris; covering and securing horizontal surfaces; occupants' furniture and fixtures ( if exterior work, the ground and plants) with polyethylene to prevent contamination; thorough cleaning with HEPA-filtered vacuum and detergent; and clearance testing to prove lead concentrations are below hazardous levels before occupancy. 

          Federal regulations recognize two levels of lead-specific hazard control measures - abatement and interim controls.  Abatement is defined as measures designed to last more than 20 years, while less durable measures are considered interim controls.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations or state regulations approved by EPA require workers and supervisors to be trained and certified to undertake activities specifically intended to abate or control lead-based paint hazards.  The same activities that are undertaken as specific lead abatement or interim controls (demolition, paint removal, door or window replacement, etc.)  may be undertaken by no certified workers and supervisors if they are a part of general repair and remodeling activities. 

          More detailed information on lead hazard evaluation and control is available from state and local agencies, the National Lead Information Center (800-424-5323) sponsored by EPA and the HUD Office of Lead Hazard Control (202-755-1785).  The Code Official can help protect public health and safety by coordinating code enforcement with enforcement of lead regulations and providing lead hazard awareness and hazard control information to contractors and property owners.


          305.4  STAIRS AND WALKING SURFACES.  Handrails, treads and risers must be structurally sound, firmly attached to the structure and properly maintained to perform their intended function safely.  The Code Official should inspect all parts of a stair, including stringers, risers, treads, balusters, guards, and handrails and all walking surfaces such as floors, landings decks, or ramps. 

          305.5  HANDRAILS AND GUARDS.  Every handrail and guard shall be firmly fastened and capable of supporting normally imposed loads and shall be maintained in good condition.  This section provides for the safety and maintenance of handrails and guards.  Chapter 16 of the IBC should be consulted for required loadings of the elements. 

          305.6  INTERIOR DOORS.  The ability of a door to function as the manufacturer intended is one of the key elements in being able to properly exit a building.  In addition to contributing to building egress, doors are also key elements in providing for security and privacy; therefore, all interior doors should be kept in a state of repair that will allow them to function effectively.




          306.1  GENERAL.



          Handrails are required on at least one side of all means of egress stairs more than four risers in height.  Handrails can neither be less than 30 inches (762 mm) nor more than 42 inches (1067 mm) above the nosing of the tread.  Guards are required on the open side of all uneven walking surfaces greater than 30 inches (762 mm) in height that include stairs, landings, balconies, porches, decks or ramps.  The guard must be at least 30 inches (762 mm) above the floor in all cases.  Guards are to contain intermediate rails, balusters or other construction to reduce the chance of an adult or child from falling through the guard.  If the guard is missing some intermediate rails or balustrades, it is recommended that it be repaired to its original condition if it will provide protection equivalent to that provided when originally constructed. 

          The exception is referring to the Building Code currently adopted by the jurisdiction.  If the currently adopted building code would not require a guard for a particular location in a new building, then a guard would not be required in accordance with this exception.




          307.1   GARBAGE AND REFUSE.  (a)  The owner, occupant or lessee of any premises in the village shall remove from his premises or otherwise dispose of all garbage, ashes, rubbish and refuse, and shall keep the premises free and clear of any accumulation of any such refuse.


(b)  Pending disposal of garbage from any premises, the garbage shall be deposited in watertight containers with close fitting covers.  Pending disposal from any premises, cans, bottles, metal ware and similar inorganic household rubbish shall be deposited in rigid containers.  All garbage and refuse shall be so stored as not to invite insects or rodents or be unsightly or a nuisance. 

(c )   No person shall deposit any garbage, rubbish or refuse on any street or public place, or on any public or private property not his own except at any dump site which may be authorized by the Board of Trustees.        

(d)  No person shall bury any garbage within the Village. 

(e)  No person shall deposit at the village dump site any nonburnable garbage, rubbish or refuse, including but not limited to:

                    (1) refrigerators
                    (2) stoves
                    (3) hot water heaters
                    (4) water softeners
                    (5) washers
                    (6) dryers
                    (7) dishwashers
                    (8) kitchen appliances
                    (9) bathroom fixtures
                  (10) vehicles or vehicle parts
                  (11) chemical cans
                  (12) scrap metal. 

(f) Penalty.  Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalty provided for violation of This Code.





          308.1  INFESTATION.  All structures shall be kept free from insect and rodent infestation.  All structures in which insects or rodents are found shall be promptly exterminated by approved processes that will not be injurious to human health.  After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to prevent re-infestation.


          There are two basic types of insect infestations:  nuisance and wood destroying.  Nuisance insects include flies, fleas, bees, cockroaches and silverfish.  Wood destroying insects include termites, powder-post beetles and carpenter ants.


          Nuisance insects are usually found near food sources and in damp areas.


          Wood-destroying insects are sometimes difficult to find.  The Code Official or a professional exterminator may probe wood members for evidence of infestation.  Concrete in contact with the soil should be visually checked for evidence of termite tubes leading from the soil to wood members.  Wood infested with powder-post beetles frequently has the appearance of having been penetrated by shotgun pellets.  A large powder-post beetle infestation leaves many small holes in the wood.  Additionally, active beetles leave a fine wood powder called "frass" on the wood. 


          Eliminating nuisance insects may require treating the building with insect spray on a regular basis.  Eliminating wood-destroying insects may require poisoning the soil around the building.  Severe insect infestations may necessitate replacement of structural members.


          Evidence of a rodent infestation can include droppings, gnaw marks and oily rub stains (imprints left where the rodent's body rubbed against the structure).  Such infestations should be ordered exterminated.  Additionally, corrective measures must be taken to reduce the possibility of a re-infestation.




          308.2  OWNER.  The owner must exterminate all rodents and insects before a building or portion of a building can be rented or leased.  Although it would appear easy to enforce this provision, the reality is that a new occupant may not notice any insect or rodent problems until after the building has been occupied.  It may be difficult and even impossible to determine if an infestation existed before the new occupants moved in.  One practical way to resolve this problem is to require the owner to have the building inspected for infestations before occupancy.


          308.3  SINGLE OCCUPANT.  The occupant of a one-family dwelling or of a single-tenant nonresidential structure shall be responsible for extermination on the premises.  In a single-family dwelling or a single-tenant nonresidential unit, the occupant of the unit - not the owner - is responsible for maintaining the property free of infestation.  Accordingly, the Code Official should cite the occupant for rodent or insect infestations.


          308.4  MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY.  The owner of a structure containing two or more dwelling units, a multiple occupancy, a rooming house or a nonresidential structure shall be responsible for extermination in the public or shared areas of the structure and exterior property.  If infestation is caused by failure of an occupant to prevent such infestation in the area occupied, the occupant shall be responsible for extermination.


          The owners of public or shared areas in multiunit residential and nonresidential buildings must exterminate rodents and insects from the public or shared areas of the structure and exterior property.  If a single unit in one of these buildings is infested it is the occupant's responsibility to provide for the extermination.


          308.5  OCCUPANT.  The occupant of any structure shall be responsible for the continued rodent and pest-free condition of the structure.




          Occupants must maintain their units in a clean and sanitary manner, free of rodents,  If the occupants fail to maintain their unit, then they are responsible for all extermination costs.

          From a practical point of view, this section is difficult to enforce.  Occupants who are going to be charged extermination fees may move out before paying such a fee.  Unfortunately, once the unit is vacant the owner becomes responsible for the termination.  Since the owner is responsible for correcting any defects in the structure (see Sections 301.2, 303.4, and 303.5), he or she is then responsible for any infestation caused by these defects.
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