Boulder will begin inspections Monday of flood-damaged homes to determine quickly which ones are safe for occupancy.
Inspectors from the city of Boulder and the Colorado chapter of the International Code Council will look for structural and mechanical issues visible from the exterior of the home. They'll start with the areas that were most affected by the recent flooding and focus on properties in the 100-year floodplain, in the conveyance zone and in the high-hazard zone.
If your property isn't in one of those designated areas and you want an inspection, call 303-441-1880.
"They'll be looking for any potential safety threats, anything that indicates it's unsafe for people to occupy," said city spokesman Nick Grossman. "It could be related to the integrity of the structure itself, a problem with the electrical system, a broken gas line."
Inspectors will place one of three colored placards on the houses. A green placard indicates the house is safe to occupy.
A yellow "restricted use" placard indicates there is a safety issue with the structure, the electrical system or the mechanical system that warrants restricting how the property is used. The placard will explain how and why the use is limited. Those properties will need a more detailed evaluation before occupants can return to regular use of the building.
A red "unsafe" placard indicates significant work is needed to make the home safe. In the meantime, no one should enter the property. A red card is not a demolition order.
Property owners are asked to leave the placards up for at least a week, unless a city representative tells them they can take it down.
Grossman said the city will be following up to ensure that necessary repairs are made to buildings.
The city is waiving permit fees for most flood-related repair work.
Owners of flood-damaged property can ask for a "2013 Flood Recovery, Restoration and Repair Permit." Customers can download the application from boulderplandevelop.net, submit the paperwork and get an over-the-counter permit during the same visit.
Some types of work are exempt from this permit.
There will be no fee for the permit or the subsequent inspection, though customers still will have to pay taxes.
If you have questions about the process, you can visit the Disaster Assistance Center, 5495 Arapahoe Ave., from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, or the Planning and Development Services Center, 1739 Broadway, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
A permit is required for repairs to plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems. A permit is not required to replace drywall or carpeting.
Properties in the floodplain may be subject to additional requirements.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.