Huntley Reverses Fire Sprinkler Requirment in Single Family Dwellings

Wow. I’ve been watching this for several weeks now and the vote was held tonight in Huntley, Illinois to keep, or not to keep, a requirement for sprinklers in single family dwellings. I read the news on the Huntley Neighbors forum. I would have loved to have been there watching this unfold, but alas, I am in Kansas City and have responsibilities here that prevented me from traveling.

A couple of thoughts . . .

There was a builder on the board of trustees. Even though his vote was not the deciding factor (the vote was 4 to 2) he should have taken himself out of not only the vote but all debate on this issue. His title is Trustee for crying out loud. By definition he should be looking out for the interests of the citizens of his community not his own. I don’t know the man personally, nor do I intend to bash his character I just think that his profession as a builder and his duty to vote in the best interest of the people is a huge conflict of interest. In his defense, the man I’m sure truly believes he voted for the best interest of those who have put their trust in him. We are on polar sides of this issue. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

CORRECTION: My apologies. Turns out that the trustee in question did remove himself from the vote. And, this article indicates he will install sprinklers in his houses no matter how the vote ended up. [Daily Herald]

‘There’s no conflict of interest for me,’ Kanakaris said. ‘I will spend the $60,000 to put the sprinklers in the six homes regardless of the decision tonight.'”

Huntley ran. Pardon the pun, but when the fire got too hot the board of trustees (not all, but collectively) ran on this issue. Sure there are going to be growing pains with such a requirement. But Huntley, like many other progressive communities across the country could have worked all the kinks out of this before a requirement is mandated in the IRC. Think about it. What Huntley has been through most others will go through also at some time in the future. Some cities and towns will go through their growing pains before a mandatory requirement in the code, some will have to catch up after. It’s the difference between being proactive and reactive.

Anything to add? Hit the comments or e-mail me. I’ll continue to keep my eye on this very hot issue not only in Huntley but across the nation.

UPDATE: I defer to the Huntley Blog for commentary from someone directly affected by the reversal. Check it out. There’s a great pic of the supporters and a nice post of the proceedings.

Huntley Vote Tonight

I found another thread on the Huntley Neighbors forum that confirms the vote is tonight (Thursday) at 7:00PM CST. I wish I could travel up there and cover this on my own. I would love to have some pictures/video to post here. Just observing the forums and other discussions on line it sounds like there may be a lot of people at this meeting. If pics/video are allowed and there’s anyone willing to share I’d love to post some of it here at Fire Sprinklers.

Besides the Neighborhood Forum you can find more information regarding the vote at the Huntley Blog.

Here are the meeting minutes from the July Village Board meeting where, I believe, this issue was first brought up.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on this tonight and will post any news I hear as soon as I get it.

Huntley

Blogging is definitely NOT like riding a bicycle. It takes effort, and most of all time, to put some of this stuff together. I am back on track and will continue to post when time allows. I’ve been run ragged over the last couple of weeks and it’s only bound to get worse as my wife and I are expecting any day now. Please be patient.

One of the topics I’ve been paying really close attention to is Huntley, Illinois. The village board is considering rescinding a two year old requirement for sprinklers in single family dwellings. I’m pretty sure the vote by the village board is Thursday night. I know the vote is planned for early September. I’m just not sure if is this week or next. We’ll know by Friday morning if it’s this week.

Huntley Neighbors is a forum where residents are able to post comments, opinions and discuss neighborhood issues. The sprinkler requirement has been one such topic debated in the forum. This thread even has a poll of residents revealing where residents stand regarding the requirement.

I’m following this story closely because I believe it could have wider implications across the nation for those jurisdictions whom have also set sprinkler requirements for single family homes and more importantly for those cities considering such a requirement.