Council To Repeal Residential Sprinkler Ordinance
West U. City Council decided in a closed executive session Monday night to vote at their next regular meeting to repeal the recently enacted city ordinance requiring residential sprinklers in new home construction. Council chose to repeal the law because it would be unenforceable after Senate Bill 1410 goes into effect Sept. 1. The bill, which concerns regulations of plumbers, includes an amendment that disallows municipalities from requiring the sprinkler systems.
West U. Fire Chief Steve Ralls, who traveled to Austin in June to join others in encouraging Perry to veto the bill, said recently he didn’t expect Governor Rick Perry to veto Senate Bill 1410, despite opposition from fire chiefs and others around the state, but its passage was still “disheartening.” Councilman George Boehme said the bill is an “assault on local control” and prior to the passage wrote a letter along with Mayor Bob Kelly asking Perry to veto the bill.
Many in opposition to the bill say the builders’ lobbyists are to blame for the success of the amendment, and say builders were against residential sprinkler requirements because of the additional cost the sprinkler systems add to new home construction.
“They (builders) have a strong lobby in Austin,” said Ralls. “What the builders want, they usually get out of the legislature and the governor. It is a shame they had misinformation handed to them, the legislature, and they voted for the amendment to Senate Bill 1410. They were working on some bad information that sprinklers cost a lot of money. They really don’t when it’s compared to the saving of lives.”