The city of Waxahachie already has a permitting process for fencing. Now the city council is mulling a potential permitting process for roofing.
The city council discussed options for a permitting process during its briefing session before the regular council meeting Monday evening. Council member Melissa Olson recently brought it to the council’s attention after experiencing issues of her own.
“I had people asking to get on my roof,” Olson recalled. “I said ‘No, you’re not getting on my roof, I don’t know if you’ve got insurance or not.’ He said ‘I’ll put three-tab shingles on your roof.’ I asked ‘Are you aware of our ordinance?’ He said ‘Uh, what ordinance?’”
In January, the city council passed an amendment to the city zoning ordinance requiring new roofing materials to be used for roof repair or replacement.
But Olson said some people have not been observing the ordinance.
“I was looking, and there were three-tabs on some roofs,” she said. “They either did a repair, or they put three-tab shingles on roofs. In either case, they should have replaced the roof - the way the ordinance is stated.”
Olson was among those who spoke against the ordinance during its public hearing earlier this year. Yet as a council member, Olson said roofers needed to be committed to following the law as presented.
“If they didn’t follow the rules we set forth, what else aren’t they doing?” she inquired.
The council observed the risks that came with not following the ordinance for their business practices. One possibility is roofing standards not being met on contracting work.
Mayor Pro Tem David Hill said residents are most vulnerable in the aftermath of a major storm – like the one that hit Midlothian in September.
“There are a lot of ways that our residents are getting scammed,” Hill said. “These people will come to the door and ask what’s your deductible. Say it’s $10,000. ‘Oh, I can do it for $9,000.’ That’s how people get talked into it. Usually, that’s a recipe for disaster.”
The council explained that the most effective way to track enforcement would be to require a permitting process, not unlike what the city already does for fencing. Staff elaborated that cost for registration could potentially be $100 annually.
“The main thing is to make sure we have an ordinance that requires architectural standards,” Hill said. “That’s what gives you the enforcement arm to make sure that someone is putting on the correct type of roofing. I don’t care if we permit. I don’t care if we inspect it. As long as that’s what’s going on, that’s all I’m looking for.”
Steve Raney, Synergy Roofing sales and operations director, said he was in support of some type of regulation, to both benefit the community and make sure city standards are being met.
“It protects the community,” Raney said. “It protects homeowners and property owners alike. It ensures that the correct work is being performed – that the correct shingles are being put on.”
Olson said she’s not usually a fan of over regulations. But this is one exception that she believes needs to be made.
“We need some sort of process to do this,” Olson explained. “Not that I really want to put more restrictions on people, but we need some sort of oversight. The ordinance is there. It needs to be enforced.”
City staff was directed to draft a proposal that the council could potentially review at a later meeting.