Loveland Magazine photo from the May, 2017 Memorial Day Weekend fire
Loveland, Ohio – At their October 23 meeting, City Council approved a program that would incentivize owners of commercial, office, and industrial structures to retrofit existing buildings with fire sprinkler systems by waiving connection, permit, and inspection fees.
The purpose of this program is to protect structures within the City by offsetting a portion of the expenses related to installing a sprinkler system into an existing building. City Manager David Kennedy said, “Any added fire protection to the City’s commercial, industrial, or office building stock is added safety to the community, it’s occupants, and our firefighters.”
Following the May, 2017 Memorial Day Weekend fire in Historic Downtown that almost destroyed the two affected buildings that did not have sprinklers, City Council waived all fees associated with the installation of sprinkler systems including water connection and inspection fees for the damaged buildings when they were remodeled.
After the fire, Loveland/Symmes Fire Chief, Otto Huber reinforced the importance of sprinkler systems and the need to incentivize more building owners within the Downtown Historic District and the adjacent West Loveland Historic District to retrofit their buildings to include sprinklers. This led to discussions of the feasibility of creating a Fire Sprinkler Installation Assistance Program. At a recent City Council meeting, Huber said that a sprinkler system typically utilize a six-inch water tap/connection which based on the City’s current fee schedule would cost $21,500. Additional city costs include a building permit fee of $210 plus $.63 per square feet. Huber said that these city fees, along with the owner’s installation costs are largely the reason why very few existing buildings are retrofitted with sprinkler systems.
The intent of the proposed program would be to waive city fees for existing commercial, office, and mixed-use structures if approved Fire Sprinkler Systems are installed within the designated area.
The program is not for new construction.
Anyone can apply. To qualify for participation in the assistance program, a completed application is required and submitted to the Office of the City Manager. All applications for participation in the city’s Fire Sprinkler Installation Assistance Program are to be reviewed by a three (3) person panel consisting of the following:
- Assistant City Manager
- Fire Chief
- Chief Building Official (CBO)
Applications will be reviewed based upon the age and condition of the building and its economic contributions to the City. Appeals of the decisions made by the three (3) person panel shall be submitted within forty-five (45) days in a written form to the City Manager.
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