The State Building Code Council voted on September 15, 2023, to delay the effective date of the 2021 codes. The new effective date for all building codes is March 15, 2024. Previously, the effective date was October 29, 2023.
Washington State is adopting the Wildland Urban Interface Code with the 2021 code cycle which will affect development projects on the island.
The State’s fire and building codes have been strengthened in successive code adoption cycles with the primary goals of protecting the safety of our citizens and enhancing a home’s ability to survive wildfire. The city of Bainbridge is working with the Bainbridge Fire Department to identify how best to implement this code for our citizens. We are encouraging all our customers to review the new 2021 IWUIC and accompanying state amendments prior to completing their building plan requirements with their project team.
The fire hazard severity level of your property, which is impacted by size, vegetation, and slope, will determine the class of ignition resistant building materials required for your project. The amount of defensible space around your structures heavily plays a role in determining the level of materials required. If the property is not able to achieve conforming defensible space due to parcel size, environmental ordinances, or desire to retain trees then there are other avenues that can be taken to reduce the hazard level, such as a vegetation management plan, or fire hazard severity checklist.
Over the next few months, the Planning Department will be posting information and materials on our website to inform customers how to move forward with including the WUI code in their development projects.