Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
April 2007
What are Agent Municipalities?
Since 1915, the State of Wisconsin has recognized the valuable role that municipalities can play in promoting a safe built environment to those living, working and visiting the state. Under the Industrial Commission, Department of Industry Labor and Human Relations and currently the Department of Commerce (Commerce), certified municipalities have been providing owners, designers and contractors a single source of plan review and inspection service through their municipal building inspection departments. By certifying local building officials as agents of the State of Wisconsin, duties of limited plan review and inspection by local officials can be provided in a timely manner without duplication of efforts.

Milwaukee is currently the only first class city delegated the plan examination and inspection authority as prescribed by the administrative rules. The first class status of the municipality as defined by state statute is the basis for this delegation, which requires review and inspection of all buildings and structures within the city limits.

The delegation of second class city is based on a municipality accepting second class city status as prescribed by state statute. Under the delegation of second class cit, the municipality acceps plan review and inspection delegation of all buildings and structures located within the city limits. Proposed projects can be submitted to either Commerce or the delegated second class city for review. Current municipalities delegated as second class cities are Madison and Janesville.

Certified municipalities are delegated the following parameters: new buildings not exceeding 50,000 cubic feet, additions to existing buildings that result in the total building volume not exceeding 50,000 cubic feet and alterations not exceeding 100,000 cubic feet. The delegation rules also include review of additions up to 2,500 square feet with maximum roof spans of 18 feet and maximum wall height of 12 feet to all buildings. Proposed projects can be submitted to either the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce or the delegated agent municipality for review.

The delegation of appointed agent provides cities, towns, villages or counties the flexibility to request from the department desired responsibilities of plan examination. A municipality or county may request plan examination delegation based on building size, project scope, construction classification, occupancy classification or any combination of review parameters. Proposed projects can be submitted to either Commerce or the delegated city for review.

The delegation of conducting only inspection of buildings and structures as a deputy of Commerce is also available to our municipalities. A requirement associated with plan examination is the condition that the reviewing authority performs the inspection of those projects reviewed by the municipality.

For more information contact Henry Kosarzycki at 608-212-0138 regarding delegation authority information.

-- Henry Kosarzycki

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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