Kevin Price’s warehouse comes chock full of dishwashers, microwave ovens, and assorted other appliances and furniture.
Price’s Right Price Resale, a resale appliance company, opened Monday in a white metal building on U.S. 377N in Pilot Point. Price received a certificate of occupancy from the city a few days after he went before the City Council to explain how a city code was preventing him from opening.
“To be honest, I was at the point of, am I going to get to stay or am I going to have to leave?” said Price during an interview Monday.
Price, who moved in during March, rents his building from Allison Dane, and both he and Dane spoke to the Pilot Point City Council on April 9 about his building’s square footage, explaining they thought the building was under 6,000 feet, according to both personal and professional measurements
A building at or over 6,000 must have a sprinkler system, based on local fire code. The code requires buildings with 6,000 square feet or more to have sprinklers in either new construction or when an owner or occupancy changes in an existing building, City Manager Alan Guard said. The city’s fire marshal has discretion based on the use of the building. The current fire codes in town are based on the 2015 International Fire Code, which was adopted by the council in 2016.
Price told the council he could not afford to install a $40,000 sprinkler system, especially not for a 22-month lease.
Guard said at the meetwith Price to get a CO. Price said Monday he was able to prove to the city the building is less than 6,000 square feet, so the company doesn’t have to install a sprinkler system. “I’m just glad we got it resolved and that the city stuck by what they said,” Dane said.
“The city asked me to get two professional opinions, and I did. ... It’s good to see that the city is trying to work with new businesses.” Pilot Point fire Chief Heath Hudson explained the policy at the council meeting last week.
“We have a minimum standard of you’ve got to be below 6,000 square feet,” Hudson said. “Anything 6,000 or greater has to be sprinkled. Now we don’t enforce that until the building changes occupancies or owners. Let’s say the building is 4,000 square feet and they are a furniture store or something that’s more hazardous and they want to digress to something less hazardous, [then] they wouldn’t have to change to updated codes.”
If a current building is 6,000 square feet or greater and nothing has changed with it, the fire department does not take any action, Hudson said. But if the building changes owners or occupancy, the building has to be sprinkled, according to the current code. Dane told the council her building came under 6,000 based on several people’s measurements, including two professionals.
However, Hudson and Bryan Cox, assistant fire chief, found it was not under the 6,000 feet. Dane said Cox and Hudson were mistaken in their measurement.
On Monday, Dane, who lives in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Pilot Point, said she does not agree with t
he city policy, as she said making a retroactive policy hurts businesses that were already here as it places a financial burden on them.
“The occupancy hasn’t changed as far as I’m still the owner and I always have been; that’s never changed,” Dane said. “Use hasn’t changed as far as it being commercial. It’s always been commercial and that hasn’t changed.”
Before the resale business set up shop, the building had been formerly used as a cabinet shop owned by Bobby Dane, Allison Dane’s father. She acquired the building and has had it for 18-plus years. “I’ve got my tenant in there, and we’ve got a new business, and that’s really all that matters at the moment,” she said.
Price likes his location and said Right Price Resale fills a need in the area, as he said there are no other appliance businesses around here. “I’m glad to be here, and I look forward to [business],” Price said. “It’s going to get pretty busy. I don’t think we’ll be a secret for very long.”