Resolution 2019-05 to install a county roofing permit will protect residents and roofing contractors from having their insurance coverage yanked.

With the adoption of Resolution 2019-05 by the Otero County Board of Commissioners on Feb. 11, the county now has a permit process for the replacement of roofs.

The county has had rules and regulations in place regarding roofing projects, but it's never enforced a roofing permit requirement. Installing a permit process will protect roofing contractors and residents from having their insurance coverage denied due to not having an official permit.

"We're on a 2006 building code, same as the City of La Junta," said Land Use Administrator Lex Nichols. "There are rules and regulations in there as when you put a roof on, the thickness of the plywood and the width between it and how many layers of shingles you can have on."

Nichols pointed out that it's hard to enforce code without a permit process in place. Likewise, without a permit process, insurance agencies can pull their coverage if they learn that the roofing in question had never been through a formal permit process.

"The insurance doesn't have to pay on the claims," said Nichols. "So this is going to help, primarily, the constituents. ... If you guys do approve it and sign it, it would be effective as soon as it's recorded. It would just require all contractors that are roofing in Otero County to pull a permit."

There are no fees for simple reroofing projects associated with the new permit application, said Nichols.

"If it's just a reroof, there will be no fee, if it's just a tear-off and reroof without small shingles," Nichols said.

"If it does require a redeck, then we would have to come out and do two inspections," he continued. "We would do a bare inspection once the decking's on, and then we would come and do a final once the roof is on the decking."

Nichols noted that in the case of something like a hail event, which could damage numerous roofs across the county, it might be tough to keep up with permit application reviews.

"But once contractors know that they'll be required to, they can do cold reporting or something such of that nature. If we can't get to it. at least they can photograph it and send it to us."

The roofing permit application itself is straightforward. The information it requests is limited to the address of the location of the roofing job, contractor's information, a description of the work performed, and the type of roof being worked on.

"It's not a large application to fill out," said Commissioner Keith Goodwin.

The only reason Nichols foresees a permit application being denied is if the applicant isn't using thick enough plywood for its intended use, or something akin to that.

"This, I believe, is going to be a benefit to anybody who's going to get a roof put on," said Nichols. "And that roofing contractor, too.

"The main thing is ... that we have a paper trail that 'Yes, we do have a permit and we do enforce the building code with the permit'."

The permit application process will be available to the public as soon as Resolution 2019-05 is recorded by the county clerk's office, which is expected this week, according to Nichols.

cburney@ljtdmail.com