Springfield City Council approves ‘phase-in’ residential building code

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield City Council approved Council Bill 2019-260, which could make building homes in the city less energy efficient in the short-term but also could level out in the long-term.

Louise Wienckowski, President of the White River Group, says this is a less energy-efficient code than the one Springfield operates under now.

“I don’t think that kicking the can down the road for three years is the way to do it,” Wienckowski said.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield pushed to adopt this step-by-step approach for over a year and a half.

“What we’ve worked with them over the last 18 months, is kind of a phased-in approach to work our way up to the 2018 or the 2021 codes,” said Jason Bekebrede, HBA member and Owner of Monticello Custom Homes and Remodeling.

Bekebrede says adopting the full code all at once, which the White River Group was pushing for, would actually be more expensive for home buyers.

“All the modeling we ran for a 1,500 square-foot home, it went up, to go to the full 2018 model it went up almost $5 ,000 which that pulls a lot of people out of the market to be able to even afford that house,” Bekebrede said. “You go up to $5,000, there’s a lot of people that can now are going to have to go rent or go to a surrounding community.”

Wiencowski says under the full code, while it may have been more expensive when buying a house up-front, it would’ve been less expensive in utilities.

“Small incremental costs, it’s going to be spread out and on the price of a home it’s really pretty incidental,” Wiencowski said. “A couple thousand dollars is not going to make or break a deal on a house.”

About 30 minutes of discussion between council members passed before the bill was voted on.

The bill passed 7-2 with Hosmer and Schilling opposing.

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