On Tuesday, May 2, Governor Mark Dayton signed the housing industry’s bill removing the sprinkler mandate from twin homes, which directs the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) to immediately modify Minnesota’s Building Code to remove the costly sprinkler mandate from twin homes.
As part of the new law, DLI must enter into expedited rulemaking to modify Minnesota Rule Part 1309.0313 to state sprinklers are not required in single family or twin homes, unless otherwise required by law.
The legislation follows the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ directive inBATC v. DLI, where the sprinkler mandate in one and two-family homes was struck down.
BATC staff and a representative from the Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee were present at Wednesday’s stakeholder meeting with DLI officials, where the department provided an overview of the change, including the process, draft language.
During the meeting, DLI determined an edit to the inital draft rule was needed. The revised draft rule was released on Tuesday, May 16.
A stay was issued on May 2, 2017, stating unless otherwise required by law, sprinklers are no longer required in twin homes.
Those building twin homes and are early in the construction process, where sprinklers are not yet installed, should consult their local building officials to see if the mandate still applies. DLI has instructed local officials to use their discretion for permitted buildings not yet completed.
Nicholas Erickson, director of research and regulatory affairs, serves as Housing First Minnesota's point of contact for the housing industry's regulatory agencies and local government entities. He also leads the Housing Affordability Institute's research programs. Follow Nicholas on Twitter: @nserickson