A city in Vermont recently discovered that they aren’t allowed to have stricter fire codes than the state currently allows. Ridgefield has had a code that requires fire sprinklers on all houses that reach 7,500 square feet or more, and they have stuck to that code for years. Recently however, that code was discovered to be breaking the laws of the state of Vermont, as houses must be at least 12,000 square feet in Vermont before they can have fire sprinklers in them.
The worst part about all of the ordinance problems is that Vermont only recently passed their law that had rose the square feet necessary to the 12,000. This means many homes in Ridgefield are in violation of the codes as well. This is why the entire city has hired a lawyer to look over the possibility of rewriting their ordinance so that it isn’t in violation with the state codes, without having to ruin a number of people’s homes.
The whole problem appeared back in the 90s at first but was reaffirmed with written authority only just last year, with mention of a case back at the end of the 80s that proved that state law superseded a city ordinance. The fire safety ordinance is becoming a problem in Vermont because of a current US Senator, who had originally brought the problem up back in 1992, and brings it up again because they want the state to have uniform laws in every city.
Ridgefield is just one of many cities put into a problem situation because of the uniform of laws across the state of Vermont. This may be the wrong way to go though, because there isn’t much wrong with homes that are less than 12,000 square feet to have fire sprinklers. They will help any building.