Fourteen homes in the Midtown development in southwest Adams County were found to be in violation of fire code.
During a routine inspection on Dec. 27, the county’s chief building official discovered a home was built four-inches too close to the adjoining home. Subsequent inspections found that 13 other homes were also too close.
Six of those homes were occupied, and those homeowners were issued occupancy permits erroneously by the county.
“Although the ultimate responsibility to build to code resides with the builder, the former county building inspector was clearly in error by approving the final residential inspections without performing his due diligence,” Chief Building Official Jim Williamette said. “As soon as we identified the problem, we began working on a solution.”
Officials with the developer, David Weekly Homes, the county, Southwest Adams Fire District and Rondinelli Life Safety, an independent fire safety engineering firm, have agreed on a solution to bring the properties into code compliance. The exterior walls will be modified with fire-resistance windows, which when added to the already installed fire-resistance siding, will satisfy the international building code, say county officials.
Rich Neumann, communications manager with the county, said that finding these types of issue is the role of code enforcement. He pointed out that once the county uncovered the problems, officials worked to fix them.
“We place the highest value of the safety of our residents,” he said.
County Manager Todd Leopold apologized for the error the county made issuing the certificates of occupancy.
“While we acknowledge that six certificates of occupancy were issued erroneously by a former employee, at no time were the occupants of the affected homes in imminent danger,” he said. “In fact, by identifying the problem when we did, we were able to catch an unfortunate oversight and prevent future homes in the community from being built too closely together.”
Midtown is a retail and residential mixed project being developed on 184 acres at West 67th Avenue and Pecos Street.
More than 1,000 homes, with five different layout options, are being built on the site. The homes prices start in the high $200,000s. Five acres of retail is also planned for the project.
“It’s an exciting addition to the Adams County fabric,” Neumann said. “It’s a plus any time you can reclaim an abandoned industrial site and now it’s being transformed into a beautiful community.”
The site used to house Hamilton Sundstrand, an airplane parts manufacturer, from 1955 to 2004.