Stillwater News

City to adopt updated building codes for residential structures

Released:Sep 19, 2016


(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / Sept. 19, 2016) — The City of Stillwater is looking to make changes to its process for permitting and inspecting new one- and two-family residential homes.

According to Development Services Director Paula Dennison, the change is due, in part, to the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission recently adopting the International Code Council (ICC) 2015 International Residential Code (IRC). The City had been following the 2009 code and will now operate under the 2015 version with the rest of Oklahoma.

“We are always looking for ways to update and improve our services,” she said. “It is important for us to be responsive to our customers while maintaining the integrity of the building codes and structures being constructed.”

Since the 1960s, the City of Stillwater has issued permits for all types of building construction, performed inspections on buildings and issued certificates when buildings are ready to be occupied.

That won’t change. While city hall will continue its oversight of these three functions, the proposed change will affect the inspection process the most.

“For the homeowner, there won’t really be a visible change, but for the builder, the change is that he or she will have to hire an independent inspector,” Dennison explained. “Instead of the City providing ICC-certified inspectors, builders will hire private ICC-certified inspectors to take care of structure inspections.”

The City’s inspectors will now focus on inspecting the connections between the structure and the City’s infrastructure and utilities. This includes water, sewer, electric, streets, sidewalks and more.

Dennison said many cities have a similar private inspection process, though not in Oklahoma. Stillwater would be the first to implement this process.

Dennison wanted to assure residents that the City will continue to focus on its primary objective, which is to provide quality housing.

The following will continue to be part of Development Services responsibilities:

  • Drainage, floodplain and zoning compliance: Certification that the City’s residential lot grading requirements, floodplain requirements and the applicable zoning requirements (setbacks, easements, lot coverage) are met.

  • Constructed to state-approved codes: Builder certifies the residential structures will be constructed to the most recent version of the International Residential Code (IRC) adopted by the State of Oklahoma. International Code Council (ICC) certified residential and trades inspector certifies the residential structures/additions/accessory structures are constructed to the State-adopted IRC and that the trades work (electrical, plumbing, mechanical) is performed to the State adopted IRC.

  • Registration of trades: Continue to register all trades conducting work in Stillwater.

  • Connection to city utilities/infrastructure: Builder/trades submit permit application for connecting to city water, sewer, electric, streets and sidewalks.

  • Compliance with federal permits and/or mandates: Continual compliance with erosion and sediment control from construction sites, development in the flood hazard area, stormwater quality and quantity.

“Through this process change, there is the potential for improved quality of construction and it will also allow your local government to be more efficient,” she added.

The proposed changes to permitting and inspecting of one- and two-family residential structures will be voted on by the Stillwater City Council at an upcoming meeting.

The City of Stillwater’s Proposed Process:

  • Builder submits permit application packet to City. Packet verified by city staff as to zoning, floodplain and completeness.

  • City issues permit to builder.

  • Builder/trades call for inspection when connection made to public water, sewer, street, sidewalk and electric.

  • ICC certified residential inspector inspects house/duplex throughout construction. Inspector is private, third party and not an employee of the builder/construction company.

  • When completed, builder submits occupancy application packet to City. City staff verifies packet is complete.

  • City issues Certificate of Occupancy.

For more information concerning this proposed change in development, contact Dennison at 405-742-8214 or


For media inquiries, contact the Office of Marketing and Public Relations at 405-742-8362 or email


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