Building department recertified to pursue state-level building projects

PDS has once again demonstrated to Kentucky’s Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction (DHBC) that it maintains the certification and knowledge to handle larger projects within Kenton County. The agency was granted its renewal recently for the expanded jurisdiction program for all of Kenton County absent Erlanger that has its own program.

To gain expanded jurisdiction, local building departments must demonstrate that they have the manpower, certification, and knowledge to handle larger construction projects. These projects are those with an occupant load of at least 100 or more persons. Office buildings of 10,000 square feet, industrial buildings larger than 20,000 square feet, and residential buildings larger than 20,000 square feet or three stories are some examples of buildings that fall under this criterion.

“I’m proud to acknowledge once again that our building inspection team has earned Frankfort’s trust,” said Dennis Gordon, FAICP, PDS’ executive director. “Our office personnel and field inspectors work hard to justify this trust. They also work closely with building contractors to help them achieve their goals within the parameters set by the state building code.”

PDS first acquired expanded jurisdiction from the state in 1998 and has renewed it every three years since through an audit process. The resulting contract gives DHBC control over how the program is run and the ability to terminate the program if the local department fails to live up to state standards.

DHBC personnel visit the local jurisdictions after the application process and verify in the field that all parameters of KRS 198B.060(5) are met. Once the Department is satisfied that the local jurisdiction is maintaining proper procedures and meeting state standards, it makes sure all local ordinances and agreements are in place lawfully and then signs the contract for the next three years.

With PDS performing these larger projects locally, dollars spent on permits are kept locally and not returned back to Frankfort for dispersion throughout the commonwealth. It also allows for projects to occur quicker. Typically, inspections are provided with 24 hours’ notice and plans are reviewed in seven to eight business days if not sooner where it can be up to a month or more for a plan review at DHBC.