West U’s Short-Lived Sprinkler Requirement

WEST U’S SHORT-LIVED SPRINKLER REQUIREMENT Late last month the West University City Council passed an ordinance requiring all new homes built in the city to have fire-protection sprinklers. This apparently did not sit well with Texas Rep. John Otto, who represents Dayton, a small town in Liberty County more than 40 miles to the northeast. An amendment to a bill sponsored by Otto, which was originally meant to address the licensing of plumbers, takes away the right of a municipality to require sprinklers — retroactive to the first of this year. The bill passed the legislature shortly after the West U ordinance: “The bill, not yet signed by Gov. Rick Perry, was created at the urging of the Texas Association of Builders, citing potentially increased home costs. Monday, [West U Fire Chief Steve] Ralls was flanked by fire chiefs from Austin and Dallas, along with city of Houston Assistant Chief Karen Dupont, at an event one block away from the Governor’s Mansion, which was devastated by fire one year ago. ‘We’ll do whatever it takes to make our ordinance stick,’ said Ralls. [West University Examiner; more at Texas Politics]

One Comment

  • I thought this was rather interesting in light of the fact that Bellaire has had sprinkler requirements for several years. Hasn’t seemed to make the houses more expensive than comperable ones in other jurisdicitions such as Braes Heights or West U. Personally, I like the peace of mind . . . and the fact that it likely LOWERS your insurance premium, so the cost is likely recovered quickly.