Naples will review possible sprinkler system requirements for certain homes

It's impractical to improve water flow to hydrants in parts of Naples that don't meet newly adopted Florida fire codes, council members decided.

Instead, a majority of council members agreed city staff should look at requiring homes of a certain square footage to install sprinkler systems as allowed by the code.

It would cost Naples $1.3 million to improve water flow to the 11 homes that applied for permits to build in 2012 and meet the square footage requirement, according to city staff.

The codes, which went into effect in December, require one- and two-family homes of more than 5,000 square feet to comply.

All new commercial buildings in the city of more than 1,500 square feet now require sprinkler systems.

"This whole thing in my mind is government at its worst," councilman Doug Finlay said of the unfunded mandate.

Councilwoman Teresa Heitmann said council should have a rule in place before issuing any more building permits.

"There's a code in effect and we're not complying," she said.

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