A November 10, 2015, Delmarva Now article reported that Delegate Christopher Adams has filed a bill for the 2016 Session that would repeal a State requirement that fire sprinklers be installed in new and renovated single-family homes. As previously reported on Conduit Street, several counties have raised concerns about the requirement’s effect on affordable housing in rural areas and MACo opposed the 2012 legislation (HB 366 /SB 602 ) creating the requirement. From the article:
“This is a back door attempt by big city liberals to halt economic growth on the Eastern Shore,” said Adams, the president of Value Carpet One in Salisbury.. “My bill brings a responsible return of critical decision making to the local level, where these decisions are best made.” …
“This new State requirement is the latest in a series of mandates that has all but eliminated the dream of building a home in Caroline County for young families.” said Larry Porter, a Caroline County commissioner.
The article stated that since the sprinkler requirement took effect, both Wicomico and Caroline Counties have only received one home building permit each. However, the article also noted strong support from firefighter groups:
“What I can state with certainty is that allowing for continued construction without sprinklers will eventually lead to needless deaths from fire,” said Mark Cotter, former president of the Wicomico County Volunteer Firefighters Association, in a letter to The Daily Times’ editor. “We in the fire service have sworn to protect the lives and property of our citizens. It would be nice if our elected officials acted in the same interests,”