Delegate Adams Remains Opposed to Sprinkler System Mandate

Delegate Christopher Adams
Delegate Christopher Adams (Photo Source: Maryland Manual On-Line)

A Star Democrat article (2016-01-13) reported that mid- and lower- Eastern Shore Delegate Christopher Adams repeated his opposition to a 2012 sprinkler system mandate for all new residential single family homes during a January 11 “meet and greet” function in the Town of Hurlock. Citing concerns over costs to residents in rural areas on well water, Adams has introduced legislation (HB 19) that would let local jurisdictions modify the sprinkler mandate but also require homebuilders to offer homebuyers a choice to have them installed in jurisdictions where they are not mandated. From the article:

[Hurlock] Councilman Charles Cephas asked Adams if there will be debate during the 2016 legislative session regarding a sprinkler mandate, which was adopted in 2012, before Adams took office in 2015, and which went into effect this past July 1. …

“What I’ll tell you is I’m not debating whether the sprinkler systems are effective,” Adams said. “Rather, I’m interested in giving the control on whether we’re going to make this a mandate to the county councils and local jurisdictions.” …
Adams said in rural areas with no public water or sewer, “the cost of $8,000 for a 1,200-square-foot house is far too much to overcome.”

Adams said, in many cases, if a first-time homebuyer intends to install a sprinkler system in a newly-constructed home, the homebuyer would either have to create a second mortgage for the house or the expense would need to come out of the homebuyer’s pocket.

“That halts affordable, single-family home construction and that’s going to be your first-time homebuyer, or people looking to downsize and come to the Eastern Shore,” Adams said. “These are hurdles and I’m very hopeful and anxious that I can pass this bill.”

Useful Links

HB 19 of 2016 (Delegate Adams Sprinkler System Legislation)

HB 366 /SB 602 (2012 Sprinkler System Mandate)

Prior Conduit Street Coverage on Sprinkler Mandate