DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: DEVELOP AND ADOPT STATE SMART CODE
If HCD does not participate in the development and adoption of the state-wide SMART code for building rehabilitation, HCD will impede capital investment for building rehabilitation in Baltimore City and lose state monetary incentives.HCD currently uses and enforces the BOCA Code (a national building code) with amendments peculiar to Baltimore City. The Code is designed for new construction and is not as germane for rehabilitation of older urban structures. The SMART Code (modeled after the New Jersey building code for rehabilitation) is intended to create a building rehabilitation code which is more sensible and which will encourage rehabilitation of older buildings. There are no sanctions if Baltimore does not adopt the SMART Code, but if the City adopts the Code without amendment, it could benefit from significant financial incentives.
– Participate in the development of the state-wide SMART building rehabilitation code to ensure that the city’s peculiar code interests are met without requiring amendments to the Code.
– Adopt code (without amendments if possible) in order to encourage capital investment in the rehabilitation of City buildings and to qualify for state monetary incentives.
Estimated Annual Impact:
Barriers to Implementation:
Increased Building Permit Fees (to HCD) $ 1,470,000 
Incentive grants from State (DHCD Mortgage Financing program, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Neighborhood Conservation program, MDOT Transportation Enhancement program)$ 1,500,000
 Although permit fees are paid at an average rate of 10% of construction costs, the costs on permit applications are normally understated and not all construction is permitted. As a consequence, we have assumed that construction costs for the purposes of calculating permit fees are 50% less than actual rehab construction costs. Assuming a 30% increase of rehab investment of $29 million ($89 million X 30%) X 50% reported rehab construction costs for permit fee purposes X 10% permit fee rate = $1.5 million.
Net Benefits to HCD $ 3,250,000