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PHOENIX-Controversial new building codes that developers fear may bring this city’s booming growth to a screeching halt could be on the books within the next few weeks as the Phoenix City Council moves forward with approval of the new measures.

The proposed regulations, known as the National Fire Protection 5000 code, requires developers to follow stricter building codes that opponents say could make the cost of new construction and renovation projects in Phoenix skyrocket. “It could potentially have such a cost impact, that a new builder might not be able to build because it would be cost prohibitive,” Kevin Rude, president of the Phoenix Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association, tells GlobeSt.com.

The city council is expected to vote on the new codes within the next two months with implementation scheduled for early spring, Rude said. A representative from the city council’s office did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Among the more controversial aspects of the proposal is a requirement that would increase the width of office building stairwells by 12 inches. Rude said that if that requirement is enacted, it could mean renovation projects may also be affected.

“There are a lot of issues that are left up to interpretation,” he said. “One of them is that if you had an existing building and did over 10% of your square footage as a remodel, then you would have to bring the entire building up to this current code, which would be impossible.”

Rude said BOMA has been meeting with city council representatives and are hoping to persuade them to compare the city’s existing building codes with the proposed regulations and new codes currently under development by the International Codes Council. “We’re concerned as to the overall impact without having some analysis to see if it will impact us in a negative manner,” Rude said. “We’re trying to slow the process down and take a look at the codes before we make a determination as to whether they are right for us.

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