Governor Signs Bill to Exempt High Tunnels from UCC
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
HARRISBURG – Governor Corbett signed into law HB 1440 which exempts high tunnels, and all other agricultural structures in which crops are grown, from the Uniform Construction code.
With his signature on October 22, 2014, HB 1440 became Act 159 of 2014. The act takes effect immediately.
After being stalled in the Pennsylvania Senate for over a year, the bill gained new life after PLNA teamed up with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to convince senators that the bill was needed.
HB 1440 was the third bill dealing with high tunnel issues. The first two bills exempted high tunnels from property tax assessments and were signed by the governor in December of 2013. (See PLNA e-News January 2014.)
Some local governments had recently begun to subject high tunnels to the Uniform Construction Code, requiring fire suppression sprinklers, foundations, handicapped accessibility and other requirements of the UCC. After hearing complaints from PLNA members, PLNA talked to legislators and helped to draft the bills.
If your local government tries to impose UCC requirements on your high tunnels or greenhouses, please tell them about Act 159 and call Gregg Robertson (717.238.2033) or email him.