In Opposition to LD 1392 “An Act To Allow Municipalities To Opt Not To Enforce the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code”

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine, in opposition to LD 1392 “An Act To Allow Municipalities To Opt Not To Enforce the Maine
Uniform Building and Energy Code”
April 26, 2017

Senator Volk, Representative Fecteau and members of the Joint Standing Committee on, Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development, my name is Nancy Smith, I live in Monmouth, and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. We are a statewide non-partisan, membership-based organization whose mission is to create lasting prosperity without sacrificing the quality of life that defines Maine.

I apologize for being unable to attend today’s hearing with my former committee, and offer this written testimony based on my eight years of service on the BRED, now LCRED committee.

The Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code was created during my final year of legislative service to provide for a single standard for consistent, reasonable statewide regulation. The debate over a statewide building code was intense back then, and what prevailed was one of the basic concepts of smart growth: Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective. One set of codes for all to follow. It simply makes sense.

MUBEC has been under fire ever since it was created but GrowSmart has been there advocating for its continuation along the way. For a quick history lesson, visit our 2011 and 2013 Blog posts about it!

Adoption of a single set of building codes was highlighted in the 2006 Brooking’s Report, “Charting Maine’s Future”. In our role as instigator of this report, GrowSmart Maine continues to support a statewide building code. LD 1392 would only create confusion and prolong uncertainty for building contractors as it creates an added layer of complexity in varying versions of codes in different municipalities.

With respect, I recommend the committee dismiss this bill and encourage communities to actively work with the MUBEC board and allied professionals to implement a single integrated set of codes.

GrowSmart Maine represents you at the state house in Augusta – please support us an allow us to continue this good work!