HB366: “We should allow the counties to choose their own regulations.”
Today, Delegate Michael A. McDermott proposed amendments to HB 366- Public Safety - Building Performance Standards - Automatic Fire Sprinkler, a bill which would prohibit Maryland counties from adopting local amendments that would “weaken fire and life safety provisions” in the Maryland Building Performance Standards. This bill would also require that all newly constructed residential homes be equipped with sprinkler systems.
“Sixteen of our counties want to opt out of this bill... This isn’t about fire safety because many of these counties that want to opt out of this bill have already adopted ordinances that address this issue. This is about the sovereignty of the counties we represent and their ability to tailor legislation to address the specific issues that affect their own towns and their own neighborhoods. It’s not about fire suppression, it’s not about fire codes - because there are really good reasons for why these counties have chosen another path.” stated Delegate McDermott when discussing his amendment on the House Floor.
“Many counties have modified their own regulations because of the building codes. We all want safe buildings and no one is standing in the one way of fire suppression codes - but developers in rural Maryland are suffering. The people in rural Maryland want to manage their own trades and their own regulations when it comes to building, safety, and fire codes.” continued Delegate McDermott.
Delegate McDermott’s amendment that would have allowed fifteen counties to opt out of this bill failed with a 48-80 vote. “Once again, we see the tyranny of the majority - and it represents a failure, when a minority number of counties dictate to a majority of the counties how they choose to live.” responded Delegate McDermott.