The Department of Building and Zoning Services administers the facade ordinance for the City of Columbus. The department is located at 757 Carolyn Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43224; telephone: 614.645.6090.
The facade ordinance is provided in the Building Code of the City of Columbus. The provisions that relate to exterior walls and appurtenant structures are listed under Chapter 4109 Unsafe Buildings and Conditions.
Buildings Requiring Inspection
Buildings twenty (20) years old or older with a facade located within ten (10) feet of a public right-of-way, open pedestrian walkway, or plaza require a critical observation every five (5) years. The ordinance does not apply to one-, two-, or three-family residential dwellings or their accessory structures. In addition, critical observations for buildings meeting the above requirements that are three stories tall or taller and are within a designated downtown area, are required to be conducted by or under the direct supervision of an architect or registered professional engineer who specializes in structural engineering.
For buildings which attained applicability status before July 1, 1985, the initial critical observation was to have been completed within the first 12 months of that date, with subsequent observations at least one time every five (5) years thereafter.
For buildings which attained applicability status before July 1, 1986, the initial critical observation was to have been completed within the first 12 months of reaching applicability status, with subsequent observations at least one time every five (5) years thereafter.
For buildings which attain or attained applicability status after July 1, 1986, the initial critical observation shall be completed within thirty (30) days of the date on which such building becomes applicable, with subsequent observations at least one time every five (5) years thereafter.
Buildings attain applicability status when they become twenty (20) years old.
Inspection and Reporting
The building owner shall conduct, supervise, or contract for a critical observation of all exterior walls and appurtenant structures. A critical observation report shall be prepared with sufficient detail to allow successive reports to document any changes in the condition of the exterior walls and appurtenant structures. The report must be completed within thirty (30) days of the required critical observation and kept and maintained on-site by the building owner or produced upon request of the building official or chief of the bureau of fire prevention.
Upon the discovery of any imminently hazardous exterior wall or appurtenant structure conditions, the owner shall immediately begin repair, reinforcement, or precautionary measures to abate the immediate hazard and within 24 hours, notify the building official. Subsequently, the building owner shall promptly employ an architect or a registered professional engineer who specializes in structural engineering to perform a critical observation and prepare a report. The building owner shall submit a complete copy of said report to the director of building and zoning.
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