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Houston – Property Directory Requirement

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

New Houston Property Directory Requirement – This isn’t required until January 1, 2011, but Houston properties will be required to have a property directory at every vehicular entrance (you should already have one at your “principle entrance”). Put it within 8 feet of your driveway, where ambulance drivers and pizza delivery guys can see it.

This may apply to multifamily apartment properties and also general commercial properties. 

  There could be significant monetary fines and possible civil lawsuits from persons injured during an emergency if property is not in compliance.

Here below is the ordinance

 

Ordinance Guide – Numbering of Buildings and Units

Numbering

ARTICLE V. NUMBERING

Sec. 10-211. Definitions.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(1) Commercial building shall mean and include any building used in whole or in part for any trade, business, the provision of services for remuneration, or for any commercial purpose, but the term commercial building shall not include any building used for residential or lodging purposes.
(2) Commercial unit shall mean and include the portion of any commercial building that is used by any corporation, partnership, association or sole proprietorship which does not occupy the entire building.
(3) Family shall mean and include one or more individuals living together in a single housekeeping unit.
(4) Identifying number shall mean the address number assigned by the director of planning and development, or where no such number has been assigned by the director of planning and development, any number, letter, or number and letter combination which is distinct from any other number, letter, or number and letter combination used on the same premises.
(5) Lodging unit shall mean and include any room, other than one in a residential unit, which is generally used for sleeping purposes.
(6) Premises shall mean any tract or tracts of land under common ownership. Premises shall also include the total area of any condominium or town house development where the owners of individual units hold all or part of the land in common.
(7) Residential unit shall mean and include any building or portion thereof designed as a dwelling for a family.
(Code 1968, § 10-200; Ord. No. 79-863, § 1, 5-22-79; Ord. No. 82-902, § 1, 6-1-82; Ord. No. 93-514, § 25, 5-5-93; Ord. No. 98-613, § 25, 8-5-98)

Sec. 10-212. Directory for apartments, etc.
Whenever there are four or more residential units on the same premises, there shall be a directory posted and maintained near the principal entrance to the premises unless an identifying number posted on each unit is clearly visible from the public street. Such directory shall indicate by a map or clearly worded directions the exact location of each residential unit on the premises. This section shall not apply if all units on the premises are located in one building which must meet the requirements of subsection (b) of section 10-213 of this Code.
(Code 1968, § 10-201; Ord. No. 79-863, § 1, 5-22-79)

Sec. 10-213. Posting of numbers and directions.
(a) Each residential unit and each lodging unit shall have an identifying number posted and maintained on or within 18 inches of the principal entrance to the unit.
(b) If a building contains more than two residential or lodging units which cannot be entered directly from outside, directions shall be posted and maintained outside the principal entrance to such building or inside such building where it is clearly visible upon entering the principal entrance to the building. Such directions shall indicate one of the following:
(1) The location of all units in the building by arrows, by a map, or by clearly worded directional information.
(2) The location of all units on the same floor as the principal entrance and the floor on which each other unit is located. When the directions at the principal entrance simply indicate the floor on which some units are located, directions shall be posted and maintained at the elevator entrance to each floor, or if there is no elevator, at the principal stairwell entrance. Such directions shall show the location of all units on that floor by arrows, a map, or clearly worded directional information.
If it is not obvious which entrance to a building is the principal entrance, a sign clearly indicating the location of the principal entrance shall be posted and maintained on all entrances which might be confused with the principal entrance; however, two or more entrances may be considered principal entrances if the person in control of the property so desires. Where two or more entrances are considered principal entrances, all numbers and directories must be posted and maintained at each such entrance asasasasasasthough it were the only principal entrance.
(c) If a building contains four or more residential or lodging units, identifying numbers shall be posted and maintained at each end of said building indicating the units contained therein. If the numbers posted at one end of the building are clearly visible from a public street or private driveway, and the opposite end of the building is not visible from either a public street or a private driveway, numbers shall be required only on the end of the building that is clearly visible from the public street or private driveway. It shall not be necessary to post the identifying numbers of all units contained in the building at the ends of said building if the numbers posted at the ends indicate the units contained in the building. (Example: Where a building contains units numbered 1 to 20, it shall be adequate to post “1–20” on the end of the building.) The numbers required by this subsection shall be at least four inches in height, shall be permanently affixed to the outside of the building, and shall be of a color which is in contrast to the background.
(Code 1968, § 10-202; Ord. No. 79-863, § 1, 5-22-79; Ord. No. 79-1544, § 1, 9-11-79)
Cross references: Painting or posting house numbers on curbs, § 40-16.

Sec. 10-214. Listing of occupants.
It shall not be necessary to list the occupants of any unit on any sign or directory used to comply with this article.
(Code 1968, § 10-203; Ord. No. 79-863, § 1, 5-22-79)

Sec. 10-215. Specifications for numbers–Generally.
All numbers which are to be posted and maintained on or within 18 inches of an entrance shall be:
(1) Permanently affixed to the outside of the door or on the outside wall of such building or unit.
(2) Of a color which is in contrast to the background.
(3) At least three inches in height, except:
a. On residential or lodging units which had numbers posted on May 22, 1979, numbers at least two inches in height shall meet the requirements of this section.
b. On units contained in buildings where numbers are posted pursuant to section 10-213(c), numbers posted on or within 18 inches of the entrance of the unit shall be at least two inches in height.
(Code 1968, § 10-204; Ord. No. 79-863, § 1, 5-22-79; Ord. No. 79-1544, § 2, 9-11-79)

Sec. 10-216. Same–For commercial units and buildings.
(a) Each commercial building shall have an identifying number posted and maintained on or within 36 inches of the principal entrance.
The identifying number of the building shall also be posted and maintained on any sign which:
(1) Sets out the name of the building; and
(2) Is located on the same premises as the building; and
(3) Is visible to persons traveling on the street from which the address is derived.
Each commercial unit having its principal entrance in such a location that it can be entered directly from outside the building shall have an identifying number posted and maintained on or within 36 inches of the principal entrance.
If it is not obvious which entrance is the principal entrance of a commercial building or a commercial unit, a sign clearly indicating the location of the principal entrance shall be posted and maintained on all entrances which might be confused with the principal entrance. However, two or more entrances may be considered principal entrances if the person in control of the property so desires. Where two or more entrances are considered principal entrances; all numbers must be posted and maintained at each such entrance as though it were the only principal entrance.
(b) All numbers which are to be posted and maintained on commercial units and commercial buildings pursuant to this article shall be:
(1) Permanently affixed to the outside of the door or on the outside wall of such building or unit;
(2) Of a color which is in contrast to the background; and
(3) At least three inches in height.
All numbers which are posted and maintained on a sign or marker pursuant to this section shall be permanently affixed to the sign or marker and meet the same color and size requirements as specified in subsections (b)(2) and (b)(3) above.
Provisions of this section shall not be construed to authorize the erection or maintenance of any sign or marker in contravention of any applicable provisions of chapter 46 of the Building Code.
(Code 1968, § 10-205; Ord. No. 82-902, § 2, 6-1-82; Ord. No. 89-917, § 1, 6-21-89)

Sec. 10-217. Compliance with article provisions notice; penalties for noncompliance.
(a) It shall be the responsibility of each owner of the property and of each person having control over the property to ensure that any number required to be posted and maintained on such property is so posted on such property at all times.
(b) Charges may be filed in municipal court for any violation of this article upon proper complaint under the following conditions:
(1) Written notice has been given the person charged, by an officer or employee of the city, either by hand delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such notice shall inform the person that identifying numbers must be posted on each building, lodging, residential or commercial unit and/or, in the case of residential units, that a directory must be maintained, as applicable. The notice shall also set out the requirements for such numbers and/or, if applicable, such directory, as specified in thisarticle and shall be accompanied by a copy of applicable provisions of this article.
(2) The person charged did not comply with the applicable provisions of this article within ten days of the date such person received notice pursuant to subsection (b)(1) hereof.
(c) Any person who fails to ensure that all numbers or, if applicable, directories required by this article are posted and maintained on property under his control after receiving notice as provided in subsection (b) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense. Each day a number or, if applicable, directory, required to be posted under this article is not so posted shall constitute a separate offense.
(Code 1968, § 10-206; Ord. No. 82-902, § 3, 6-1-82; Ord. No. 92-1449, § 22, 11-4-92)
Charter references: Penalty for ordinance violations, Art. II, § 12.
Cross references: Assessment of fines against corporations, § 16-76; payment of fines, § 16-78; credit against fine for incarceration, § 35-6 et seq.
Secs. 10-218–10-230. Reserved.

Whenever there are four or more residential units on the same premises, there shall be a directory posted and maintained near the principal entrance to the premises unless an identifying number posted on each unit is clearly visible from the public street. Such directory shall indicate by a map or clearly worded directions the exact location of each residential unit on the premises. This section shall not apply if all units on the premises are located in one building which must meet the requirements of subsection (b) of section 10-213 of this Code.

(Code 1968, § 10-201; Ord. No. 79-863, § 1, 5-22-79)

Commentary

This ordinance requires multifamily housing owners to post and maintain identifying numbers on buildings and units. This is not only required by law, it is a tremendous help to police, fire and ambulance personnel who may be trying to save your residents or your property.

For properties having more than four units, a directory must be posted near the principal entrance. If there is more than one principal entrance, a directory is required at each one. The directory may be either a map or clearly-worded directions. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words probably applies here.

A directory is not required if all unit numbers are visible from a public street.

Buildings with units that cannot be entered directly from the outside need building directories as well. Main-floor building directories must show what floor each unit is on. If a building contains 4 or more units, building numbers must be posted and maintained at each end of the building (only one end if that end faces a street or driveway, and the other end isn’t visible) indicating the units contained in that building. If the units are numbered consecutively, you don’t have to list each unit number. Just put “Units 1 – 20” to indicate units numbered 1 through 20. Building numbers must be at least 4 inches high, permanently affixed and of a contrasting color with the background.

None of these directories need to show names of residents.

Note that unit numbers generally need to be 3 inches high, but that you can keep 2-inch high unit numbers that have been in place since this ordinance passed in 1979.

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Categories: Legislation, Uncategorized
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