Elwood nixes 2-year old fire sprinkler mandate

Source: Bigstock

It all started with a text message.

Nearly a year later, the village of Elwood killed a policy mandating costly fire sprinkler systems be installed in all new residential construction.

The move on Wednesday is significant because Elwood stood alone in Will County as having the policy, one which property rights advocates say can add $10,000 or more to the cost of building a home.

REALTOR® Matt Persicketti

In that July 2016 text message to Illinois REALTORS® Member Outreach Manager and Local Government Affairs Director Gideon Blustein, Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® president-elect, Matt Persicketti texted Gideon to see what could be done about the Village’s strict requirement for residential fire sprinklers in all new construction.

Persicketti had a homebuilder client who had run into red-tape with the Village of Elwood in the middle of a construction project. Because of the sprinkler regulation, his future homeowners would ultimately have to pay more than $10,000 in unforeseen costs. The price was especially high because they had to have a special water main installed to accommodate the required sprinkler system.

The situation prompted Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® members and Blustein to repeatedly reach out to then Village President, William Offerman.

Offerman also serves as the Fire Chief in Elwood, and efforts to discuss the policy with him were unsuccessful.

Many weeks later, when Elwood hired a new Village Manager, REALTORS® finally got a meeting with the municipality’s staff.

Gideon Blustein, Illinois REALTORS®

In preparation, Blustein pulled the number of new residential building permits for Elwood and the surrounding communities; the numbers were staggering. While surrounding communities had seen steady growth over the past few years, Elwood’s growth was basically stagnant. Armed with these numbers and the RVOICE brochure, “The Impacts of Mandating Residential Fire Sprinklers,” Blustein met with the village’s staff. While they found the arguments compelling, they relayed that the issue was unlikely to gain favor with the village’s president and board.

In April, Offerman was ousted by a challenger, Todd Matichak, who stressed in his campaign that he wanted to see the sprinkler mandate rolled back.

In advance of Matichak’s first official meeting as Village President, he worked with the village board to shore up the votes necessary to repeal the residential fire sprinkler mandate.

Blustein assisted by sharing the RVOICE brochure and a letter outlining our opposition with Board members. Among the efforts to obtain a repeal:

  • REALTOR® Jim Sim

    Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® Immediate Past President Jim Sim stepped to the podium to speak out against the residential fire sprinkler mandate.

  • Blustein provided updated residential building permit statistics for areas surrounding Elwood which showed their growth as Elwood’s recorded stagnate numbers.
  • And the board was given as evidence the quote from the property owners whose case prompted the debate.

With arguments made, the vote on whether to repeal the residential fire sprinkler mandate was the final item on the June 21 agenda. The measure repealing the sprinkler mandate was adopted with a 5-1 vote in favor of repealing the fire sprinkler mandate.

After the meeting, property owners, builders and Blustein congratulated and thanked Matichak and board members for their leadership.

Matichak urged homebuilders to get to work building in the community.

Paprocki named AIREE Educator of the Year

Paprocki

Wayne Paprocki, of Realty Advisors North in Northbrook and the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, received the 2017 Educator of the Year award Friday from the Association of Real Estate Educators (AIREE).

Paprocki serves on the Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors and has been on several state committees and working groups for the last three years.

He is a member of the International Federation of Professional Speakers. He’s conducted seminars in 38 states and presented to audiences as large as 10,000.

He’s the first Illinois recipient of the Distinguished Real Estate Instructor designation and was appointed to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Real Estate Education Advisory Council. He was national president of the National Association of Marketing Education and was part of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) National Fair Housing Advisory Group.

 

VIDEO: Bicentennial Plaza on Jackson Street

Illinois REALTORS® and the City of Springfield have joined together in a REALTOR®/Community partnership to transform two parking lots on the Illinois REALTORS® property into a pedestrian plaza in celebration of the Illinois Bicentennial in 2018.

To learn more, watch this video:

Illinois REALTOR® committee application process opens today

 

Want to help shape the policies that govern Illinois REALTORS®? President-elect Matt Difanis wants you to get involved.

Beginning today applications are being taken for those interested to be considered for committee appointments. The process closes June 13 and the assignments will be released by Aug. 15.

Illinois REALTORS® has a page that outlines the committees the association has, and has an FAQ with information on why you should get involved.

Committees are for the 2018 year. The page link above will get you to he application form. (Note: You’ll need your NRDS number to apply. If you don’t know it, there’s a link to get it on the page.)