§ 13-196-206

Life safety evaluation of existing high- rise buildings

A.

No later than January 1, 2005, the commissioner of buildings shall adopt by rule and publish criteria for life safety evaluations of all existing buildings exceeding 80 feet in height above grade that are not required by Section 13-196-205 to be protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system. The criteria adopted pursuant to this subsection shall provide sufficient protection to life and safety of building occupants. The criteria shall be developed based on a review of available resources, including standardized building and safety codes and the practices of other municipalities.

B.

The owner of any building qualifying for any exception 3 through 7, inclusive, of Section 13-196-205 shall have the building evaluated for life safety by a licensed professional engineer or by a licensed architect; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to any building which is protected throughout by a previously approved automatic sprinkler system. The licensed engineer or architect shall prepare a life safety evaluation of the building in accordance with the requirements of this section and with any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. The life safety evaluation shall be signed and sealed by the person who prepared it and shall contain an explicit statement acknowledging that the information contained therein is true and complete.

C.

If, based on the use of a scoring system described by rule to conduct the life safety evaluation, the licensed professional engineer or licensed architect determines that the building achieves the minimum score required on the life safety evaluation, the licensed engineer or architect shall certify the evaluation as a life safety compliance plan and shall give the life safety compliance plan to the building owner. No later than January 1, 2006, the building owner shall submit the life safety compliance plan to the department of buildings and the bureau of fire prevention. The life safety compliance plan shall be enforceable against the building owner and against any subsequent owner.

D.

If, based on the use of a scoring system described by rule to conduct the life safety evaluation, the licensed professional engineer or licensed architect determines that the building does not achieve the minimum score required on the life safety evaluation, the building owner shall, no later than January 1, 2006, submit the life safety evaluation to the department of buildings and the bureau of fire prevention along with either: (1) a proposal to protect the building throughout with an automatic sprinkler system meeting the requirements of Chapter 15-16 of this Code unless otherwise provided by Section 13-196-207, notwithstanding any exceptions for which the building may have otherwise qualified pursuant to Section 13-196-205, and using the schedule for installation described in Section 13-196-205; or (2) a proposal for achieving the minimum score required on the life safety evaluation by making specified modifications to the building.

Any proposal submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer or by a licensed architect.  In addition, any proposal submitted pursuant to item (2) of this subsection shall contain (i) an explicit statement by the licensed engineer or architect certifying that if the modifications identified in the proposal are fully implemented, the building will receive the minimum score required on the life safety evaluation; and (ii) a timetable for completion of those modifications to be phased in over a stipulated period of years, but no later than January 1, 2015, at which time the modifications identified in the proposal shall be fully implemented. Any schedule for installation or timetable required by this subsection shall be enforceable against the building owner and against any subsequent owner.

If, after reviewing the certified proposal, the commissioner of buildings and the deputy commissioner of the bureau of fire prevention determine that the certified proposal, when fully implemented, will enable the building to achieve the minimum score required on the life safety evaluation, the commissioner and deputy commissioner shall jointly accept the certified proposal as a life safety compliance plan. The life safety compliance plan shall be enforceable against the building owner and against any subsequent owner.

E.

No permit shall be issued for work on any existing building that is the subject of a life safety compliance plan unless the licensed architect or licensed engineer of record identified in the permit application certifies in writing that the permitted work will not reduce or otherwise negatively impact the score of the life safety evaluation on which the life safety compliance plan is based; nor shall any permit be issued for work on a building whose owner is in violation of any of the requirements of this section unless the permit is necessary to cure the violation.

F.

(1) Disclosure statement required when – Content of statement – Inspection of statement.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (F)(4) or (F)(5) of this section: The owner, condominium association or governing body, as applicable, of any building for which a life safety compliance plan is required under this section shall keep and maintain on file at such building a written disclosure statement containing the following information: (1) whether a life safety compliance plan for such building has been submitted to the department of buildings and bureau of fire prevention; (2) whether such life safety compliance plan has been approved in writing by the department of buildings and bureau of fire prevention; and (3) whether all of the modifications to the building required in the approved life safety compliance plan have been fully implemented at such building.  Such disclosure statement shall (i) be in writing; (ii) be true and accurate; (iii) be kept current; (iv) indicate the date on which the disclosure statement was prepared; (v) bear the printed name and signature of the building’s current owner or authorized agent; and (vi) upon distribution of such disclosure statement or any copy thereof to any person, identify the date on which such distribution occurred, which date shall be signed or initialed by the building’s current owner or authorized agent.  Upon request by any authorized city official, the building’s owner, condominium association or governing body, as applicable, shall immediately make the disclosure statement required under this subsection (F)(1) available for inspection by such authorized city official.

2.

Disclosure to new and renewing tenants – Required when.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (F)(4) or (F)(5) of this section: Before any person initially enters into or renews a rental or lease agreement of any type for a dwelling unit in any building for which a life safety compliance plan is required under this section, the owner of such dwelling unit or such owner’s agent shall provide such prospective or existing tenant with a current copy of the written disclosure statement required under subsection (F)(1) of this section.  Upon distributing the required disclosure statement to such tenant, the dwelling unit owner or such owner’s agent shall write on the disclosure statement the date on which such distribution occurred.  Such date shall be signed or initialed by the dwelling unit owner and tenant or by their respective agent(s).

3.

Distribution of disclosure statement to dwelling unit owners in condominium and cooperative buildings – Required upon request.  If a dwelling unit is located within a condominium building or cooperative building for which a life safety compliance plan is required under this section and the owner of such dwelling unit or such owner’s agent requests a copy of the disclosure statement required under subsection (F)(1) of this section, the condominium association or governing body, as applicable, or such association’s or governing body’s agent, shall, at no charge and within five business days of receipt of a written request from such dwelling unit owner or such dwelling unit owner’s agent, provide such dwelling unit owner or agent with a copy of the written disclosure statement required under subsection (F)(1) of this section.  Provided, however, that if the owner of a particular dwelling unit or such dwelling unit owner’s agent requests more than three copies of such disclosure statement within any 12-month period, the condominium association or governing board, as applicable, or such association’s or governing body’s agent, may charge a reasonable fee, not to exceed $25.00, for any fourth or subsequent copy of such disclosure statement provided to such dwelling unit owner or agent within such 12-month period.

4.

Exemption for fully sprinklered buildings.  If, as of the effective date of this amendatory ordinance of 2012, a building for which a life safety plan was required has been or is subsequently equipped throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system, as evidenced by a written statement to such effect jointly signed by the building commissioner and fire commissioner and issued, as applicable, to the building’s owner, condominium association or governing body, the disclosure requirements set forth in subsections (F)(1), (F)(2) and (F)(3) of this section shall not apply.

5.

Exemption after January 1, 2015 for buildings in full compliance with an approved life safety compliance plan.  If the building commissioner and fire commissioner determine that a building is in full compliance with any life safety compliance plan required under this section, as evidenced by a written statement to such effect jointly signed by the building commissioner and fire commissioner and issued, as applicable, to the building’s owner, condominium association or governing body, then, beginning on January 1, 2015, the disclosure requirements set forth in subsections (F)(1), (F)(2) and (F)(3) of this section shall not apply so long as the building remains in full compliance with such plan.

G.

Construction of Section.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to waive any provision of the Municipal Code of Chicago applicable to existing buildings or to relieve any person from full compliance with those provisions or to limit in any way any affirmative defense available to the City.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Chapter 5-12 of this Code, nothing in subsection (F) of this section shall be construed as material noncompliance by the landlord, within the meaning of Section 5-12-110, with a rental agreement or with Section 5-12-070.

H.

Penalty for violation.  The penalty for violation of any requirement of this section shall be as set forth in Section 13-196-039.

(Added Coun. J. 12-15-04, p. 39962, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 12-14-11, p. 18112, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 3-14-12, p. 23148, § 2)

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