Pressel's bill cutting red tape for local governments signed into law

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Friday, June 30, 2017 8:50 am

STATEHOUSE (June 30, 2017) – Gov. Eric Holcomb Thursday ceremonially signed into law legislation authored by State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) adding transparency to local building permits and streamlining local zoning ordinance procedures.

Pressel said this new law provides clearer guidelines and certainty to the building permit process. It will ensure any subsequent permits related to an already-approved project must adhere to the standards and regulations in effect at the time of the original permit’s approval for up to at least three years. The law will also require building inspectors to identify the specific feature of a structure or project that is noncompliant while noting the corresponding law or rule their finding is based upon.

“During the construction process, unexpected changes by a local government to a building permit can seriously delay or derail a project,” Pressel said. “This new law will provide certainty to builders and contractors, ensuring the terms and conditions of their building permit will be honored for at least three years. It will also require specific and meaningful feedback to builders when a project is found noncompliant by a building inspector.”

According to Pressel, this new law also provides savings to local governments and taxpayers. Hoosier communities will no longer be required to send out mass mailings alerting landowners of technical, simple corrections to the local zoning ordinance.

“LaPorte County recently updated technical language about the zoning for a flood plain, which required an expensive and unnecessary mass mailing of notifications,” Pressel said. “The county was required by state law to send out certified mail notifying all individuals throughout the adjacent county of this zoning change. This mailing cost LaPorte taxpayers $5,000. This new law takes away the burden of mass mailing notifications to unaffected parties, saving Hoosier taxpayer dollars while maintaining commonsense procedures to contact those truly impacted by zoning changes.”

The new law goes into effect July 1.

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State Rep. Jim Pressel represents House District 20,
which includes portions of LaPorte and Starke counties.

Note to the Editor: Attached and below is a picture of Gov. Eric Holcomb (seated, left) in his office at the Statehouse signing State Rep. Jim Pressel’s (R-Rolling Prairie) (seated, right) bill allowing for a more fluid process to occur when it comes to zoning and building permits.