City of Fort Wayne Residential Code
The Residential Code outlines standards and guidelines for residential buildings and areas that promote public health and safety and maintain the aesthetics of the community. Click the link below to search for the full text of the code in chapter 152.
Residential Code (Chapter 152): Housing and Building Standards
Summer 2008: The City has proposed changes to the structure and content of the Residential Code in an attempt to mirror the proposed commercial code so that the documents are similar and easy to follow.
UPSTAR supports initiatives that maintain and beautify the community while promoting public health and safety. However, these initiatives should NOT impose overly restrictive regulations and unnecessary financial burdens upon private property owners. Our goal is simply to ensure that there is no duplicity, contradiction with State or Federal standards, or vagueness in language that may lead to confusion or misinterpretation.
As such, the UPSTAR has the following concerns with the Residential Code as written:
- Directing administrative appeals to a single hearing officer instead of the diverse Advisory Board that previously existed diminishes the appeals process.
- Some of the requirements duplicate existing regulation.
- Some of the language is vague making it difficult for property owners to understand what is required.
- Other provisions unreasonably regulate aesthetic concerns unrelated to public health and safety.
- The Code does not provide clear guidance to rental property owners as to when they need to apply to the enforcement authority for permission to rent a unit.
- The 12-month grace period given to properties damaged by fire or natural disaster has been eliminated.
- The Standard Operating Procedures that guide the administration of this code are not in place.
July 2008 to January 2009: The REALTOR® Association seized many opportunities to meet with City officials and discuss the issues and concerns with the Residential Code. As a result, the language in the ordinance was clarified and the Safe Housing and Building Oversight Committee was given an expanded role. The Committee now has the appellate authority to review cases stemming from the hearing officer’s proceedings. The REALTOR Association sees the expanded role of the Committee as a major improvement in the ordinance.
January 27, 2009: The Fort Wayne City Council held a public hearing regarding changes to the proposed Residenial Code. After hearing the testimonies of concern citizens and other entities, City Council decided to hold its decision until City Attorneys were able to draft an amendment that addressed some of the concerns.
February 23, 2009: The City Council unanimously voted to approve the Residential Code with several amendments that addressed the concerns of the REALTORS.
April 28, 2009: City Councilwoman Brown made an amendment to the Commercial and Residental ordinances, which added a reserved seat on the Safe Housing and Building Oversight Committee for a REALTOR® member. This amendment was approved by City Council. Visit the City of Fort Wayne website to view the current Residential Code ordinance, Part 1 and Part II.