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County Building Codes Get Top Marks

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February 20, 2009

The County Department of Planning and Land Use’s Building Division recently received top grades for its building codes and enforcement system, showing that San Diego County homes are among the safest in the state, according to the Insurance Services Office’s (ISO) review.

The grades could also mean lower flood insurance rates for San Diego County homeowners and businesses. The federal government offers discounted flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. As a participating community, the County of San Diego can receive additional discounts because of the good grades.

“Public safety, which is this County’s number one budget priority, isn’t just about putting deputies on the street,” said Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, County Board of Supervisors District 2. “Our building codes help keep people safe too, and might help save taxpayers a few dollars as well.”

The County’s Building Division earned a “2” on a 1 to 10 grading scale for its residential codes from the ISO. The ISO is an independent rating/advisory organization that serves the property/casualty insurance industry. The “2” grade put the County in the top six percent of 302 graded California agencies. No agency earned a “1” grade and the County was one of just 17 to earn a “2.” The County also received a “3” grade for its commercial building codes, ranking it in the top 17 percent.

The ISO said the grades showed that the County not only has rigorous codes, but that it strictly enforces them using highly qualified and trained staff, which creates safer buildings and better protects people and property from the damages that catastrophes can wreak.

To see results, visit the ISO Web site.  

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