Commissioner's Corner by John Caywood, Allen County Building Commissioner
John Caywood

By the time this article is published, we will be merely weeks away from the official beginning of spring. It doesn't seem like we even had much of a winter this year. In preparation for another busy year, I have provided some needed changes to ACBD policies. Hopefully they bring clarity and improvement to the building process. I'll start with asking for a favor.

With the renewal of licensing and the requirement that contractors come in person this year, a hardship was brought to my attention among the Amish regarding photo ID cards from the State. I have resolved this after a meeting with key religious leaders in the Amish community. If you have a sub-contractor in this situation, pass this information along so they are compliant by the April 1st date.

The second big issue is making the basement guidelines simple to follow. Please review the attached policy. We will be making changes to the online permit application so you can continue to apply and receive online permits including the basement declarations. The new policy will allow the contractor to offer more options to their clients wanting amenities that can be completed in the future. HBA members and staff have contributed greatly to the end product. I am thankful for their oversight and input.

Finally, I want remind everyone of the existing lock out policy. It is becoming too frequent the number of times ACBD inspectors have been locked out on inspections. There is a lock-box information window on the building permit applications where the contractor can provide access information. This information cannot be viewed by the public. It takes additional time and resources to return to an inspection. ACBD will make reasonable efforts to complete the inspection before there is a penalty assessed. Accommodations were made for HVAC change outs on occupied residential structures where the permit applicant may no longer have control of the jobsite.

That is a lot of information for one article. Don't hesitate to call or stop by the office if you have questions or concerns on these policies or any code questions you may have.

** The forms/articles dealing with the three topics in this article have been emailed to all HBA members. If you have not seen them, please contact Maurine Holle at the HBA office and she will


John Caywood Building Commissioner

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Home Builders Association
of Fort Wayne