Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 207-H.F.No. 1310 
                  An act relating to construction; giving the state 
                  building official final authority for interpreting the 
                  State Building Code and prescribing its enforcement; 
                  regulating construction-related fees; requiring 
                  municipalities to submit annual reports on 
                  construction-related fees; providing for adoption of 
                  certain amendments to the mechanical code; limiting 
                  certain municipal building code ordinances; clarifying 
                  certain terms; modifying provisions relating to 
                  construction warranties; limiting certain waivers of 
                  rights; modifying provisions relating to zoning 
                  ordinances; amending Minnesota Statutes 2000, sections 
                  16B.61, subdivisions 1, 2; 16B.62, subdivision 1; 
                  16B.63, by adding a subdivision; 326.90, subdivision 
                  1; 327A.01, subdivision 2; 327A.02, subdivisions 1, 3; 
                  462.353, subdivision 4; 462.357, subdivisions 2, 5; 
                  proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, 
                  chapters 16B; 462. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 16B.61, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [ADOPTION OF CODE.] Subject to sections 
        16B.59 to 16B.75, the commissioner shall by rule establish a 
        code of standards for the construction, reconstruction, 
        alteration, and repair of buildings, governing matters of 
        structural materials, design and construction, fire protection, 
        health, sanitation, and safety, including design and 
        construction standards regarding heat loss control, 
        illumination, and climate control.  The code must conform 
        insofar as practicable to model building codes generally 
        accepted and in use throughout the United States, including a 
        code for building conservation.  In the preparation of the code, 
        consideration must be given to the existing statewide specialty 
        codes presently in use in the state.  Model codes with necessary 
        modifications and statewide specialty codes may be adopted by 
        reference.  The code must be based on the application of 
        scientific principles, approved tests, and professional 
        judgment.  To the extent possible, the code must be adopted in 
        terms of desired results instead of the means of achieving those 
        results, avoiding wherever possible the incorporation of 
        specifications of particular methods or materials.  To that end 
        the code must encourage the use of new methods and new 
        materials.  Except as otherwise provided in sections 16B.59 to 
        16B.75, the commissioner shall administer and enforce the 
        provisions of those sections. 
           The commissioner shall develop rules addressing the plan 
        review fee assessed to similar buildings without significant 
        modifications including provisions for use of building systems 
        as specified in the industrial/modular program specified in 
        section 16B.75.  Additional plan review fees associated with 
        similar plans must be based on costs commensurate with the 
        direct and indirect costs of the service. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 16B.61, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [ENFORCEMENT BY CERTAIN BODIES.] Under the 
        direction and supervision of the commissioner, the provisions of 
        the code relating to electrical installations shall be enforced 
        by the state board of electricity, pursuant to the Minnesota 
        Electrical Act, the provisions relating to plumbing shall be 
        enforced by the commissioner of health, the provisions relating 
        to high pressure steam piping and appurtenances shall be 
        enforced by the department of labor and industry.  Fees for 
        inspections conducted by the state board of electricity shall be 
        paid in accordance with the rules of the state board of 
        electricity.  Under direction of the commissioner of public 
        safety, the state fire marshal shall enforce the Minnesota 
        Uniform Fire Code as provided in chapter 299F.  The 
        commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner of labor and 
        industry, shall adopt amendments to the mechanical code portion 
        of the State Building Code to implement standards for process 
        piping. 
           [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective the day 
        following final enactment. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 16B.62, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [MUNICIPAL ENFORCEMENT.] The State Building 
        Code applies statewide and supersedes the building code of any 
        municipality.  A municipality must not by ordinance or through 
        development agreement require building code provisions 
        regulating components or systems of any residential structure 
        that are different from any provision of the State Building 
        Code.  A municipality may, with the approval of the state 
        building official, adopt an ordinance that is more restrictive 
        than the State Building Code where geological conditions warrant 
        a more restrictive ordinance.  A municipality may appeal the 
        disapproval of a more restrictive ordinance to the 
        commissioner.  An appeal under this subdivision is subject to 
        the schedule, fee, procedures, cost provisions, and appeal 
        rights set out in section 16B.67.  The State Building Code does 
        not apply to agricultural buildings except with respect to state 
        inspections required or rulemaking authorized by sections 
        103F.141, 216C.19, subdivision 8, and 326.244.  All 
        municipalities shall adopt and enforce the State Building Code 
        with respect to new construction within their respective 
        jurisdictions.  
           If a city has adopted or is enforcing the State Building 
        Code on June 3, 1977, or determines by ordinance after that date 
        to undertake enforcement, it shall enforce the code within the 
        city.  A city may by ordinance extend the enforcement of the 
        code to contiguous unincorporated territory not more than two 
        miles distant from its corporate limits in any direction.  Where 
        two or more noncontiguous cities which have elected to enforce 
        the code have boundaries less than four miles apart, each is 
        authorized to enforce the code on its side of a line equidistant 
        between them.  Once enforcement authority is extended 
        extraterritorially by ordinance, the authority may continue to 
        be exercised in the designated territory even though another 
        city less than four miles distant later elects to enforce the 
        code.  After the extension, the city may enforce the code in the 
        designated area to the same extent as if the property were 
        situated within its corporate limits.  
           A city which, on June 3, 1977, had not adopted the code may 
        not commence enforcement of the code within or outside of its 
        jurisdiction until it has provided written notice to the 
        commissioner, the county auditor, and the town clerk of each 
        town in which it intends to enforce the code.  A public hearing 
        on the proposed enforcement must be held not less than 30 days 
        after the notice has been provided.  Enforcement of the code by 
        the city outside of its jurisdiction commences on the first day 
        of January in the year following the notice and hearing.  
           Municipalities may provide for the issuance of permits, 
        inspection, and enforcement within their jurisdictions by means 
        which are convenient, and lawful, including by means of 
        contracts with other municipalities pursuant to section 471.59, 
        and with qualified individuals.  The other municipalities or 
        qualified individuals may be reimbursed by retention or 
        remission of some or all of the building permit fee collected or 
        by other means.  In areas of the state where inspection and 
        enforcement is unavailable from qualified employees of 
        municipalities, the commissioner shall train and designate 
        individuals available to carry out inspection and enforcement on 
        a fee basis.  Nothing in this section prohibits a municipality 
        from adopting ordinances relating to zoning, subdivision, or 
        planning unless the ordinance conflicts with a provision of the 
        State Building Code that regulates components or systems of any 
        residential structure. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 16B.63, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [INTERPRETATIVE AUTHORITY.] To achieve uniform 
        and consistent application of the State Building Code, the state 
        building official has final interpretative authority applicable 
        to all codes adopted as part of the State Building Code except 
        for the plumbing code and the electrical code when enforced by 
        the state board of electricity.  A final interpretative 
        committee composed of seven members, consisting of three 
        building officials, two inspectors from the affected field, and 
        two construction industry representatives, shall review requests 
        for final interpretations relating to that field.  A request for 
        final interpretation must come from a local or state level 
        building code board of appeals.  The state building official 
        must establish procedures for membership of the interpretative 
        committees.  The appropriate committee shall review the request 
        and make a recommendation to the state building official for the 
        final interpretation within 30 days of the request.  The state 
        building official must issue an interpretation within ten 
        business days from the recommendation from the review 
        committee.  A final interpretation may be appealed within 30 
        days of its issuance to the commissioner under section 16B.67.  
        The final interpretation must be published within ten business 
        days of its issuance and made available to the public.  
        Municipal building officials shall administer all final 
        interpretations issued by the state building official until the 
        final interpretations are considered for adoption as part of the 
        State Building Code. 
           Sec. 5.  [16B.665] [PERMIT FEE LIMITATION ON MINOR 
        RESIDENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS.] 
           A municipality as defined in section 16B.60, subdivision 3, 
        or a town may not charge a permit fee that exceeds $15 or 5 
        percent of the cost of the improvement, installation, or 
        replacement, whichever is greater, for the improvement, 
        installation, or replacement of a residential fixture or 
        appliance that: 
           (1) does not require modification to electric or gas 
        service; 
           (2) has a total cost of $500 or less, excluding the cost of 
        the fixture or appliance; and 
           (3) is improved, installed, or replaced by the home owner 
        or a licensed contractor. 
           Sec. 6.  [16B.685] [ANNUAL REPORT.] 
           Beginning with the first report filed by April 1, 2003, 
        each municipality shall annually report by April 1 to the 
        department, in a format prescribed by the department, all 
        construction and development-related fees collected by the 
        municipality from developers, builders, and subcontractors.  The 
        report must include: 
           (1) the number and valuation of units for which fees were 
        paid; 
           (2) the amount of building permit fees, plan review fees, 
        administrative fees, engineering fees, infrastructure fees, and 
        other construction and development-related fees; and 
           (3) the expenses associated with the municipal activities 
        for which fees were collected. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 326.90, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [LOCAL LICENSE PROHIBITED.] Except as 
        provided in sections 326.991 and 326.90, subdivision 2, and 
        326.991, a political subdivision may not require a person 
        licensed under sections 326.83 to 326.991 to also be licensed or 
        pay a registration or other fee related to licensure under any 
        ordinance, law, rule, or regulation of the political 
        subdivision.  This section does not prohibit charges for 
        building permits or other charges not directly related to 
        licensure. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 327A.01, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [BUILDING STANDARDS.] "Building standards" means 
        the structural, mechanical, electrical, and quality standards of 
        the home building industry for the geographic area in which the 
        dwelling is situated State Building Code, adopted by the 
        commissioner of administration pursuant to sections 16B.59 to 
        16B.75, that is in effect at the time of the construction or 
        remodeling. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 327A.02, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [WARRANTIES BY VENDORS.] In every sale of a 
        completed dwelling, and in every contract for the sale of a 
        dwelling to be completed, the vendor shall warrant to the vendee 
        that: 
           (a) during the one-year period from and after the warranty 
        date the dwelling shall be free from defects caused by faulty 
        workmanship and defective materials due to noncompliance with 
        building standards; 
           (b) during the two-year period from and after the warranty 
        date, the dwelling shall be free from defects caused by faulty 
        installation of plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling 
        systems due to noncompliance with building standards; and 
           (c) during the ten-year period from and after the warranty 
        date, the dwelling shall be free from major construction defects 
        due to noncompliance with building standards. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 327A.02, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [HOME IMPROVEMENT WARRANTIES.] (a) In a sale or 
        in a contract for the sale of home improvement work involving 
        major structural changes or additions to a residential building, 
        the home improvement contractor shall warrant to the owner that: 
           (1) during the one-year period from and after the warranty 
        date the home improvement shall be free from defects caused by 
        faulty workmanship and defective materials due to noncompliance 
        with building standards; and 
           (2) during the ten-year period from and after the warranty 
        date the home improvement shall be free from major construction 
        defects due to noncompliance with building standards.  
           (b) In a sale or in a contract for the sale of home 
        improvement work involving the installation of plumbing, 
        electrical, heating or cooling systems, the home improvement 
        contractor shall warrant to the owner that, during the two-year 
        period from and after the warranty date, the home improvement 
        shall be free from defects caused by the faulty installation of 
        the system or systems due to noncompliance with building 
        standards.  
           (c) In a sale or in a contract for the sale of any home 
        improvement work not covered by paragraph (a) or (b), the home 
        improvement contractor shall warrant to the owner that, during 
        the one-year period from and after the warranty date, the home 
        improvement shall be free from defects caused by faulty 
        workmanship or defective materials due to noncompliance with 
        building standards.  
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 462.353, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [FEES.] A municipality may prescribe fees 
        sufficient to defray the costs incurred by it in reviewing, 
        investigating, and administering an application for an amendment 
        to an official control established pursuant to sections 462.351 
        to 462.364 or an application for a permit or other approval 
        required under an official control established pursuant to those 
        sections.  Fees as prescribed shall must be by ordinance and 
        must be fair, reasonable, and proportionate to the actual cost 
        of the service for which the fee is imposed.  A municipality 
        shall adopt management and accounting procedures to ensure that 
        fees are maintained and used only for the purpose for which they 
        are collected. 
           If a dispute arises over a specific fee imposed by a 
        municipality related to a specific application, the amount of 
        the fee must be deposited and held in escrow, and the person 
        aggrieved by the fee may appeal under section 462.361.  An 
        approved application may proceed as if the fee had been paid, 
        pending a decision on the appeal.  
           Sec. 12.  [462.3531] [WAIVER OF RIGHTS.] 
           Any waiver of rights of appeal under section 429.081 is 
        effective only for the amount of assessment estimated or for the 
        assessment amount agreed to in the development agreement.  An 
        effective waiver of rights of appeal under section 429.081 may 
        contain additional conditions providing for increases in 
        assessments that will not be subject to appeal if: 
           (1) the increases are a result of requests made by the 
        developer or property owner; or 
           (2) the increases are otherwise approved by the developer 
        or property owner in a subsequent separate written document. 
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 462.357, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.] (a) At any time after the 
        adoption of a land use plan for the municipality, the planning 
        agency, for the purpose of carrying out the policies and goals 
        of the land use plan, may prepare a proposed zoning ordinance 
        and submit it to the governing body with its recommendations for 
        adoption. 
           (b) Subject to the requirements of subdivisions 3, 4, and 
        5, the governing body may adopt and amend a zoning ordinance by 
        a majority vote of all its members.  The adoption or amendment 
        of any portion of a zoning ordinance which changes all or part 
        of the existing classification of a zoning district from 
        residential to either commercial or industrial requires a 
        two-thirds majority vote of all its members of the governing 
        body. 
           (c) The land use plan must provide guidelines for the 
        timing and sequence of the adoption of official controls to 
        ensure planned, orderly, and staged development and 
        redevelopment consistent with the land use plan. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 2000, section 462.357, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [AMENDMENT; CERTAIN CITIES OF THE FIRST CLASS.] 
        The provisions of this subdivision apply to cities the adoption 
        or amendment of any portion of a zoning ordinance which changes 
        all or part of the existing classification of a zoning district 
        from residential to either commercial or industrial of a 
        property located in a city of the first class, except a city of 
        the first class in which a different process is provided through 
        the operation of the city's home rule charter.  In a city to 
        which this subdivision applies, amendments to a zoning ordinance 
        shall be made in conformance with this section but only after 
        there shall have been filed in the office of the city clerk a 
        written consent of the owners of two-thirds of the several 
        descriptions of real estate situate within 100 feet of the total 
        contiguous descriptions of real estate held by the same owner or 
        any party purchasing any such contiguous property within one 
        year preceding the request, and after the affirmative vote in 
        favor thereof by a majority of the members of the governing body 
        of any such city.  The governing body of such city may, by a 
        two-thirds vote of its members, after hearing, adopt a new 
        zoning ordinance without such written consent whenever the 
        planning commission or planning board of such city shall have 
        made a survey of the whole area of the city or of an area of not 
        less than 40 acres, within which the new ordinance or the 
        amendments or alterations of the existing ordinance would take 
        effect when adopted, and shall have considered whether the 
        number of descriptions of real estate affected by such changes 
        and alterations renders the obtaining of such written consent 
        impractical, and such planning commission or planning board 
        shall report in writing as to whether in its opinion the 
        proposals of the governing body in any case are reasonably 
        related to the overall needs of the community, to existing land 
        use, or to a plan for future land use, and shall have conducted 
        a public hearing on such proposed ordinance, changes or 
        alterations, of which hearing published notice shall have been 
        given in a daily newspaper of general circulation at least once 
        each week for three successive weeks prior to such hearing, 
        which notice shall state the time, place and purpose of such 
        hearing, and shall have reported to the governing body of the 
        city its findings and recommendations in writing. 
           Sec. 15.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           (a) Sections 5 and 11 are effective January 1, 2002. 
           (b) Sections 8 to 10, 13, and 14 are effective the day 
        following final enactment. 
           (c) Section 12 is effective August 1, 2001, and applies to 
        contracts entered into on or after that date. 
           Presented to the governor May 25, 2001 
           Signed by the governor May 29, 2001, 11:35 a.m.