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§ 7210.503. Changes in Uniform Construction Code

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 35 P.S. Health and SafetyEffective: October 25, 2017

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 40A. Construction Code Act (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 5. Adoption and Enforcement by Municipalities
Effective: October 25, 2017
35 P.S. § 7210.503
§ 7210.503. Changes in Uniform Construction Code
(a) Administration.--
(1) Municipalities may enact ordinances which equal or exceed the minimum requirements of Chapter 1 of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, or successor codes, relating to administration consistent with the provisions of section 501(c).1
(2) An ordinance under this subsection applicable to the exception under section 104(b)(8)2 may require compliance with any of the following standards:
(i) Flame propagation criteria of the applicable edition of NFPA No. 701.
(ii) The ICC Electrical Code.
(iii) International Fire Code criteria as to number of portable fire extinguishers.
(b) Minimum requirement.--Subject to the provisions of this act, no municipality may propose or enact any ordinance which is less than the minimum requirement of the Uniform Construction Code, except as provided in subsection (b.1).
(b.1) Cities of the first class.--
(1) A city of the first class may enact an ordinance that adopts provisions of the 2018 ICC triennial codes for the purpose of regulating the construction, alteration, repair and use of buildings that do not meet the definition of “residential building” under section 103.3
(2) The scope of the provisions that may be adopted under paragraph (1) shall be limited to the scope of what the council is authorized to review and adopt under section 108(a)(1).4
(3) The adoption of an ordinance under this subsection shall be in accordance with subsections (d), (e), (f), (g) and (h).
(4) If an ordinance is adopted under this subsection, the provisions adopted in the ordinance shall remain in effect until the effective date of the regulations promulgated under section 304(a)(1)5 implementing the findings of the 2021 triennial code review.
(5) All statutory exclusions and exemptions shall remain in effect.
(c) Modification of minimum requirement.--Subject to the provisions of this act, the municipal governing body may propose and enact an ordinance to equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code under the law governing the adoption of ordinances in that jurisdiction. An ordinance under this subsection shall not be effective nor enforceable unless subsections (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) have been satisfied. Municipalities may enact ordinances pursuant to this section which adopt additional code requirements for alterations or repairs to residential buildings. Municipalities may enact ordinances pursuant to this section which adopt stricter code requirements than required by this act for the regulation of utility and miscellaneous use structures.
(d) Public hearing.--The municipality shall hold at least one public hearing prior to adoption of the ordinance.
(e) Notice of public hearing.--The municipality shall place notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality at least seven days, but not more than 60 days, in advance of a public hearing to consider the proposed ordinance.
(f) Filing of proposed notice and ordinance with department.--The municipality shall provide notice and file a copy of the proposed ordinance with the department at least 30 days prior to public hearing. The notice shall contain the time and place of the public hearing and a summary of the changes proposed by the ordinance, including code sections affected by the changes. The department shall make proposed ordinances available for public inspection and shall post the notice on its Internet website within seven business days after receipt.
(g) Municipal action.--Following the public hearing, the municipal governing body may enact the ordinance under the law governing the adoption of ordinance in that jurisdiction.
(h) Amendment of proposed ordinance.--If the municipality proposes any substantive amendment to a proposed ordinance, the municipal governing body shall be required to meet the advertising, filing, notice and public hearing requirements of this section before enacting the proposed ordinance.
(i) Department review.--The department shall review all proposed ordinances required to be filed with the department under subsection (f) for compliance with subsection (b). If the proposed ordinance does not comply with subsection (b), the department shall advise the municipality of its findings, setting forth the reasons in writing. The municipality shall then withdraw the proposed ordinance or revise the proposed ordinance to meet the minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.
(j) Challenge of ordinance.--
(1) Aggrieved parties shall have 30 days from date of enactment of the ordinance to file a written challenge with the department and shall serve a copy of the challenge upon the municipality. The challenge shall state the reason or reasons for the challenge. A municipal ordinance may not take effect for a period of 35 days following its enactment. If a challenge is filed in writing with the department within 30 days, the department has five business days from the end of the 30-day filing period to notify a municipality of the challenge. There may be no enforcement of the ordinance until a ruling is issued by the secretary or 45 days after the filing date of the last challenge to the ordinance, whichever occurs first.
(2) The department shall review any ordinance which would equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the Uniform Construction Code based on the following standards:
(i) that certain clear and convincing local climatic, geologic, topographic or public health and safety circumstances or conditions justify the exception;
(ii) the exception shall be adequate for the purpose intended and shall meet a standard of performance equal to or greater than that prescribed by the Uniform Construction Code;
(iii) the exception would not diminish or threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public; and
(iv) the exception would not be inconsistent with the legislative findings and purpose described in section 102.6
The department shall take into consideration, in rendering the determination, the provision, code development process history, purpose and intent of relevant provisions of the 1999 BOCA National Building Code, Fourteenth Edition, ICC International One and Two Family Dwelling Code, 1998 Edition, or their successor codes.
(k) Ruling by secretary.--A ruling on a challenge by an aggrieved party shall be issued by the secretary within 45 days of receipt of the filing of the last challenge to the ordinance or within 30 days of the hearing on the challenge which must be held by the department upon the request of the municipality in the municipality wherein the ordinance is proposed, whichever last occurs. If the secretary approves the ordinance, the municipality may begin to administer and enforce the ordinance. If the secretary disapproves the ordinance, the ordinance shall be null and void. The secretary shall state the reasons for the disapproval in writing to the municipality.


1999, Nov. 10, P.L. 491, No. 45, § 503. Amended 2004, July 15, P.L. 748, No. 92, § 5, imd. effective; 2006, Nov. 29, P.L. 1440, No. 157, § 4, effective Jan. 1, 2007; 2007, July 17, P.L. 132, No. 39, § 1.1, imd. effective; 2017, Oct. 25, P.L. 356, No. 36, § 5, imd. effective.


35 P.S. § 7210.501.
35 P.S. § 7210.104.
35 P.S. § 7210.103.
35 P.S. § 7210.108.
35 P.S. § 7210.304.
35 P.S. § 7210.102.
35 P.S. § 7210.503, PA ST 35 P.S. § 7210.503
Current through Act 13 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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