497.271 Standards for construction and significant alteration or renovation of mausoleums and columbaria.—
(1) All newly constructed and significantly altered or renovated mausoleums and columbaria must, in addition to complying with applicable building codes, conform to the standards adopted under this section.
(2) The licensing authority shall adopt, by no later than July 1, 1999, rules establishing minimum standards for all newly constructed and significantly altered or renovated mausoleums and columbaria; however, in the case of significant alterations or renovations to existing structures, the rules shall apply only, when physically feasible, to the newly altered or renovated portion of such structures, except as specified in subsection (4). In developing and adopting such rules, the licensing authority may define different classes of structures or construction standards, and may provide for different rules to apply to each of said classes, if the designation of classes and the application of different rules is in the public interest and is supported by findings by the licensing authority based on evidence of industry practices, economic and physical feasibility, location, or intended uses; provided, that the rules shall provide minimum standards applicable to all construction. For example, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the licensing authority may determine that a small single-story ground level mausoleum does not require the same level of construction standards that a large multistory mausoleum might require; or that a mausoleum located in a low-lying area subject to frequent flooding or hurricane threats might require different standards than one located on high ground in an area not subject to frequent severe weather threats. The licensing authority shall develop the rules in cooperation with, and with technical assistance from, the Florida Building Commission of the Department of Community Affairs, to ensure that the rules are in the proper form and content to be included as part of the Florida Building Code under part IV of chapter 553. If the Florida Building Commission advises that some of the standards proposed by the licensing authority are not appropriate for inclusion in such building codes, the licensing authority may choose to include those standards in a distinct chapter of its rules entitled “Non-Building-Code Standards for Mausoleums” or “Additional Standards for Mausoleums,” or other terminology to that effect. If the licensing authority elects to divide the standards into two or more chapters, all such rules shall be binding on licensees and others subject to the jurisdiction of the licensing authority, but only the chapter containing provisions appropriate for building codes shall be transmitted to the Florida Building Commission pursuant to subsection (3). Such rules may be in the form of standards for design and construction; methods, materials, and specifications for construction; or other mechanisms. Such rules shall encompass, at a minimum, the following standards:
(a) No structure may be built or significantly altered for use for interment, entombment, or inurnment purposes unless constructed of such material and workmanship as will ensure its durability and permanence, as well as the safety, convenience, comfort, and health of the community in which it is located, as dictated and determined at the time by modern mausoleum construction and engineering science.
(b) Such structure must be so arranged that the exterior of any vault, niche, or crypt may be readily examined at any time by any person authorized by law to do so.
(c) Such structure must contain adequate provision for drainage and ventilation. Private or family mausoleums with all crypts bordering an exterior wall must contain pressure relief ventilation from the crypts to the outside of the mausoleum through the exterior wall or roof.
(d) Such structure must be of fire-resistant construction. Notwithstanding the requirements of s. 553.895 and chapter 633, any mausoleum or columbarium constructed of noncombustible materials, as defined in the Standard Building Code, shall not require a sprinkler system.
(e) Such structure must be resistant to hurricane and other storm damage to the highest degree provided under applicable building codes for buildings of that class.
(f) Suitable provisions must be made for securely and permanently sealing each crypt with durable materials after the interment or entombment of human remains, so that no effluvia or odors may escape therefrom except as provided by design and sanitary engineering standards. Panels for permanent seals must be solid and constructed of materials of sufficient weight, permanence, density, imperviousness, and strength as to ensure their durability and continued functioning. Permanent crypt sealing panels must be securely installed and set in with high quality fire-resistant, resilient, and durable materials after the interment or entombment of human remains. The outer or exposed covering of each crypt must be of a durable, permanent, fire-resistant material; however, plastic, fiberglass, and wood are not acceptable materials for such outer or exposed coverings.
(g) Interior and exterior fastenings for hangers, clips, doors, and other objects must be of copper, copper-base alloy, aluminum, or stainless steel of adequate gauges, or other materials established by rule which provide equivalent or better strength and durability, and must be properly installed.
(3) The licensing authority shall transmit the rules as adopted under subsection (2), hereinafter referred to as the “mausoleum standards,” to the Florida Building Commission, which shall initiate rulemaking under chapter 120 to consider such mausoleum standards. If such mausoleum standards are not deemed acceptable, they shall be returned by the Florida Building Commission to the licensing authority with details of changes needed to make them acceptable. If such mausoleum standards are acceptable, the Florida Building Commission shall adopt a rule designating the mausoleum standards as an approved revision to the State Minimum Building Codes under part IV of chapter 553. When so designated by the Florida Building Commission, such mausoleum standards shall become a required element of the State Minimum Building Codes under s. 553.73(2) and shall be transmitted to each local enforcement agency, as defined in s. 553.71(5). Such local enforcement agency shall consider and inspect for compliance with such mausoleum standards as if they were part of the local building code, but shall have no continuing duty to inspect after final approval of the construction pursuant to the local building code. Any further amendments to the mausoleum standards shall be accomplished by the same procedure. Such designated mausoleum standards, as from time to time amended, shall be a part of the State Minimum Building Codes under s. 553.73 until the adoption and effective date of a new statewide uniform minimum building code, which may supersede the mausoleum standards as provided by the law enacting the new statewide uniform minimum building code.
(4) In addition to the rules adopted under subsection (2), the licensing authority shall adopt rules providing that following all interments, inurnments, and entombments in mausoleums and columbaria occurring after the effective date of such rules, whether newly constructed or existing, suitable provision must be made, when physically feasible, for sealing each crypt in accordance with standards adopted pursuant to paragraph (2)(f).
(5) For purposes of this section, “significant alteration or renovation” means any addition, renovation, or repair which results in the creation of new crypt or niche spaces.
History.—s. 6, ch. 98-268; s. 43, ch. 2000-141; s. 42, ch. 2000-154; s. 53, ch. 2004-301; s. 6, ch. 2007-55; s. 135, ch. 2008-4.