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The Woodstock Fire Department gave a presentation at the most recent Woodstock City Council meeting, putting forth possible changes to the city code and its land development ordinance as it relates to sprinkler standards and fire apparatus roads.

“Before you tonight is a proposed amendment review in partnership with the fire department and community development,” Community Development Director Brantley Day said.

Although the official ordinance changes will not come before the council and the Woodstock Planning Commission until October, Day said everyone involved wanted to go ahead and give the council an overview of the modifications being suggested to have that much better of an understanding when it came time to make a decision.

“I’m bringing before you for consideration tonight what I would call the 2020 Fire Code Updates,” Woodstock Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Eley said.

According to Eley, there are four major goals the fire department want to accomplish with the changes. These goals included bringing the city’s fire sprinkler code more in line with those adopted by both Cherokee County and the State of Georgia, adopting best practices as put forth by the International Fire Code, amending and clarifying issues related to fire apparatus access roads and deleting repetitive codes to clean up the city’s code to make it more usable.

One example of the changes being proposed was changing the current language in the code related to the distance between fire hydrants. Under the code as it stands today, hydrants within the city are required to be no more than 300 feet apart in commercial areas and 500 feet apart in residential areas. Eley said, if the change put forth was adopted, this language would be modified and hydrant spacing would be dictated based on a number of factors, including the size and hazard of the buildings in question. Other changes being suggested included deleting an entire chapter of code due to its content being both covered in other portions of the code and by being contradicted by newer portions of code and changing some of the code’s wording, like replacing “licensed sprinkler installer” with “licensed sprinkler contractor.”

“Chief Eley, thank you for your time. We really appreciate it,” Mayor Pro Tempore Colin Ake said following the presentation.

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