The Proposed (Regulations) Phase of the 2018 Virginia Code Update Cycle kicked off in March of 2019 with the publishing of the Notices of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) for the building and fire regulations. This action officially notified the public that changes to the regulations were being proposed. Publishing of the NOIRA’s also initiated a 30-day public comment period, during which, public comments were received through the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall and code change proposals to amend Virginia’s building and fire regulations and comments on those proposals were submitted through DHCD’s online code development system, cdpVA.
As with previous code change cycles, stakeholder workgroups were utilized during the Proposed Phase to vet each code change proposal and determine a workgroup recommendation for each proposal, to the Board of Housing and Community Development, of consensus or non-consensus. Several proposals, topics and initiatives also went through smaller sub-workgroups of interested stakeholders, prior to being discussed by the full workgroups, to determine a sub-workgroup recommendation. These sub-workgroups included Residential Dock Electrical Safety, Energy, Resiliency, Residential Uses and School Safety. A total of twenty-one workgroup and sub-workgroup meetings were held during the Proposed Phase.
In September 2019, after the conclusion of the Proposed Phase workgroup meetings, 108 code change proposals were approved by the Board of Housing and Community Development’s Codes and Standards Committee for inclusion in the 2018 proposed building and fire regulations. In December 2019, the Board of Housing and Community Development approved the proposed regulations. The regulations were published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on February 3, 2020, initiating the Final (Regulations) Phase and a 60-day public comment period in the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall that ends on April 6, 2020.
The Final Phase, which is currently underway, provides an additional opportunity for amendments to the proposed regulations and consideration of proposals carried over from or not completed during the Proposed Phase.
Workgroups and sub-workgroups will meet again during the Final Phase to review and make recommendations on any carried over code change proposals or new proposals submitted in cdpVA before April 3, 2020. The Board of Housing and Community Development’s Codes and Standards Committee will meet in June to consider all proposals for inclusion in the final regulations and the Board will meet in September to review and approve the 2018 final building and fire regulations. Once approved, the final regulations will be published in the Virginia Register of Regulations with an anticipated effective date of early 2021.
Link to Virginia Regulatory Town Hall https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/ViewBoard.cfm?BoardID=61
Link to cdpVA https://va.cdpaccess.com/login/
Link to the Virginia Register of Regulations http://register.dls.virginia.gov/vol36/iss12/v36i12.pdf