Get to know Truckee’s new codes | SierraSun.com

Get to know Truckee’s new codes

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Builders will have a number of new standards to follow in the coming year, including new Truckee development codes and state safety statues.

Some of the bigger changes for Truckee include design improvements for withstanding earthquakes and strong winds, and the creation of defensible zones at the urban/wildland boundary to prevent fire, said Truckee Chief Building official Michael Lavallee.

The fire standards go into effect Jan. 1 in unincorporated areas, and July 1 in town, he said.

“The new fire regulations will extend to building covering materials, and require that defensible space is verified upon final inspection,” Lavallee said.

Lavallee will host a workshop from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday at town hall.

Some of the new mandates include fire-resistant siding, tempered glass windows, the prohibition of eave vents, fire-resistant deck surfaces, class A roofs, and landscaping to reduce the chance of fire.

Mark Tanner, president of the Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe, said the new fire codes will present some challenges, with some requirements that don’t yet have products to meet those needs.

“These could result in a drastic change in the design of a home,” he said.

Lavallee said the rest of the state changes won’t be earth-shattering, and many local builders may already be experienced with them, because they will be similar to existing Nevada codes.

But Tanner said the new codes leave a lot of gray-areas that could create problems for local builders.

“Some of the new code regulations seem unreasonable and impractical, the guys making these at the state are not actually in the field,” Tanner said.

Lavallee said he expects some builders to be leery of the changes.

“I expect a rush toward the end of the year to secure enforcement under the existing code, even though it doesn’t really make a big difference,” he said.