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CHICAGO-Property owners will be required to have building facades inspected on a less intensive, and less regular, basis than a previous city plan dictated. The city council this week amended a law, calling for inspections every other year rather than annually.

In addition, alternate sections also will be inspected. However, more intensive “critical examinations” will be required every four years. The effect of the changes are expected to lower the cost of complying with the city’s new ordinance, officials say.

Penalties remain the same—fines of up to $1,000 per day.

“After listening to the concerns of key stakeholders within the high-rise building industry, it was determined that some changes to the existing ordinance were appropriate,” says building commissioner John A. Roberson in a statement. “Based on those conversations, we have fashioned an inspection program which will identify latent defects within an acceptable time frame while minimizing the costs for performing the exams.”

Among the incidents that propelled city officials into toughening exterior building standards was terra cotta falling from 188 W. Randolph St.

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