Last week, the Public Works, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (PWIS) Committee adopted a Proposed CD2 amendment to Bill 69, CD1, FD1. It includes the following revisions:
- Creates an “opt-out” alternative to mandatory automatic fire sprinklers in individual units for high-rise residential buildings by allowing the use of a life-safety evaluation system that all residential high-rises would be required to participate in with licensed design or engineering professionals. Individual condo associations can ‘opt-out’ of the mandatory sprinkler requirement by adopting fire safety improvements appropriate for their buildings, based on HFD’s giving the upgrade a passing score for the required life safety evaluation criteria, and obtaining majority approval of the building’s unit owners.
- The life safety evaluation form that will be used to evaluate fire safety improvements for all residential high-rises is included as Exhibit A to Bill 69, FD1, CD2.
- A building that opts out must disclose this action to all current and future owners and residents through signage on the first floors of the building and in real estate disclosure documents.
These changes were endorsed by the Hawaii Council of Community Associations, which has spearheaded information dissemination among condo associations and owners in the roughly 150+ affected residential high-rises throughout Oahu. Representatives of 999 Wilder AOAO, Sakura Terrace and HCCA testified at the April 12th PWIS Committee meeting.
While Bill 69, FD1, CD2 represents a major step forward from the original mandatory retrofit requirements proposed at the outset, testifiers proposed additional safeguards to insure that condo associations and owners remain an integral part of any future changes to the Fire Code.
Clarifying amendments to add co-operative associations to the ‘opt-out’ provisions, and to require City Council approval for any future changes to the life safety evaluation form and its procedures, will be proposed as an FD1 amendment to Bill 69 as part of the agenda for next week’s Council meeting scheduled for April 25, 2018, when the bill will be considered on Third and Final Reading. Mahalo to condo neighbors who have submitted comments and written testimonies to shape the final versions of this measure!