City Council Passes Heating & Cooling Ordinance

At the end of June, City Council passed the Heating & Cooling Ordinance following the death of multiple women in a senior home in the city.

Prior to this ordinance, buildings were required by law to keep the heat at 68° until June 1, due to the difficulty of switching from heating to cooling mode in some buildings. The nursing home deaths happened before the June 1 switch. Following the deaths, an ordinance was drafted and heard by the Zoning Committee, and the REALTORS® were the only industry association to provide testimony during this hearing.

The ordinance was passed by the Zoning Committee, and then by City Council. This ordinance requires that:

  • Licensed facilities, adult family care centers, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities, adult family care home and both housing for older persons and high rise buildings need to provide residents with cooling centers.
  • If the internal heat index exceeds 80° F (27° C), or the temperature is warmer than 75° F (24° C) with 50% relative humidity, a cooling center must be established in the building and be accessible to all tenants.
  • Individual rooms in nursing homes must be cooled if the outside temperature is 100° F or warmer.
  • In the case of housing for older persons and large residential buildings, portable equipment may be used to meet this requirement prior to May 1, 2024.
  • In large residential buildings (occupancy of more than 100 dwelling units or sleeping units) when the outside temperature is 92° F or warmer, a cooling center must be provided.
  • Cooling and dehumidification equipment must be independent of heating equipment or be capable of switching form heating to cooling mode within one hour.

This ordinance is now in affect. Follow up legislation is expected to discuss if the deadline for portable equipment will be extended and/or if permanent machinery will be required.