(1) Only counties or incorporated cities and towns in Montana have the option of adopting their own code enforcement programs. A city, county, or town code enforcement program must be certified in accordance with ARM Title 24, chapter 301, subchapter 2 before the local government entity may begin enforcing building regulations. Where a county adopts such a program, the county must enforce the building regulations on a county-wide basis, except where an incorporated city or town already has a certified code enforcement program in place or where the city or town is later certified for operation of such programs. Cities, counties and towns may enter into contracts for enforcement of building regulations within their respective jurisdictions, but those contracts must be submitted to the Building Codes Bureau as part of an application for certification, or as an amendment to a previously approved plan before the contract may be performed.

(2) Specific alternative examples of code enforcement jurisdictional relationships and responsibilities are as follows:

(a) As of October 1, 2003, in counties where no certified county code enforcement programs are in effect:

(i) the Building Codes Bureau will continue enforcing Montana's building regulations in all unincorporated cities and towns;

(ii) incorporated cities and towns which also do not have certified code enforcement programs in effect will continue to have Montana's building regulations enforced by the Building Codes Bureau; and

(iii) incorporated cities and towns which do have a certified code enforcement program in effect will continue to operate that program. However, where a program has provided permitting and inspection services outside the boundaries of cities and towns, those extended jurisdictional areas will be invalid as of October 1, 2003.

(A) The Building Codes Bureau will assume jurisdiction over all new and subsequent building projects in those areas on that date.

(B) Where incorporated cities and towns properly issued permits for building projects in areas outside their boundaries prior to October 1, 2003, the city or town will retain jurisdiction over those projects until that building project is completed.

(b) As of October 1, 2003, where an incorporated city or town exists in a county which has a certified building code enforcement program already in effect, but where the Building Codes Bureau has been providing permitting and inspection services to those cities and towns, those permitting and inspection services will become the responsibility of the certified county programs unless the city or town opts to have the Building Codes Bureau continue providing these services.

(c) After October 1, 2003, any city or town, which becomes incorporated, can choose to:

(i) apply for certification to operate its own code enforcement program;

(ii) be regulated by a county code enforcement program, if one is in effect; or

(iii) have the Building Codes Bureau provide permitting and inspection services inside the city limits in accordance with Montana statutes and administrative rules.

History: This rule is advisory only, but may be a correct interpretation of the law, 50-60-203, MCA; IMP, 50-60-103, 50-60-106, 50-60-117, 50-60-301, 50-60-302, MCA; Ch. 443, sec. 25, L. 2003; NEW, 2003 MAR p. 1991, Eff. 10/1/03.