Tuesday, January 23, 2007

'Panhandle Exemption' Eliminated

According to the latest publicly-available official summary of the special legislative session's hurricane handiwork, the notorious 'Panhandle Exemption' to the statewide building code has been eliminated. At last!

The new bill --
Requires the Florida Building Commission to eliminate all exceptions in the Florida Building Code related to wind-borne-debris protection per the requirements of Section 15 of SB 4-A. Commission shall fulfill obligation before July 1, 2007.
The exemption was the bastard spawn of former state senator Charlie Clary (R-Destin). It never made sense to anyone but builders-on-the-cheap and pols on the make for their money. Over the years before he was term-limited, Clary was paid-off handsomely for his tender treatment.

The New York Times' Abby Goodnough has a readable rundown on the rest of the bill. As Rep. Susan Bucher says, overall what the bill represents is mostly "cosmetic surgery" when what Florida really needs is "heart surgery."

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