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2006 News from Mecklenburg County


January 5, 2005

JANUARY 2006: NEW CONSTRUCTION CODE PROMOTES RESTORATION AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING STATEWIDE

Mecklenburg County Took Lead In Developing Rehab Code For N.C.

Charlotte, NC - Beginning January 1, 2006, construction professionals across North Carolina can take advantage of an innovative building code developed, tested and promoted by Mecklenburg County. The Rehab Code, now officially known as the "2006 N.C. Rehabilitation Code," promotes the rehabilitation of existing buildings instead of tearing them down.

The new construction rules give builders more latitude in rehabbing older buildings. The N.C. General Assembly authorized the North Carolina Rehab Code in 2001, with Mecklenburg County taking the lead on developing the regulations for the qualifying and participating jurisdictions across the state. In June 2005, the N.C. Building Code Council adopted the "Rehab Code" for use in all jurisdictions.

The rules make it easier and less expensive to rehab existing buildings, thus saving those with character, history and a story to tell. The code can also save money when renovating schools and low-income housing.

The Rehab Code is already responsible for large increases in rehab projects in Mecklenburg County. Just more than 1,100 permits using the Rehab Code have been issued in Mecklenburg County since 2001. Some examples of work include a former mill building turned into office condos on Mint Street, renovations at St. Peter's Catholic Church, the Grier House, North Laurel Avenue condos, and the Packard Building on South Tryon St.

The Rehab Code provides a common sense approach to rehabbing older buildings, using six categories of work.

• Repair: patching and minor replacement
• Renovation: refinishing and replacement, but no space reconfiguring
• Alteration: reconfiguring space by change in walls, partitions or ceiling heights
• Reconstruction: extensive reconfiguring of space affecting exits or exit access and effectively precluding occupancy during construction
• Change of use: change in use requiring change in application of the code
• Addition: increase in building area

In general, the Rehab Code is friendlier to small rehab projects, encouraging rather than discouraging the upgrading of buildings. It also supports affordable housing efforts and is more flexible for historic projects.

More information on the code can be obtained at www.ncrehabcode.com or by calling 704-432-0677. Information is also available at Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement, Hal Marshall County Services Center, 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte.



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