City Charter, Codes, & Ordinances
In West Virginia, cities fall under the authority of both state and local (i.e., adopted by individual cities) laws. Certain state laws must be adopted as local ordinances before they have effect inside a city’s limits, while others apply in all cases, even if not locally adopted. (Access state code here.)
Elkins is a home-rule city, meaning that the city has the ability to apply to the state home rule board for authority to make exceptions to certain state laws.
Elkins City Code
Elkins City Code is the code of locally passed ordinances, i.e., city laws adopted by council. These are what most people commonly think of as “the law,” at least locally. Elkins City Code includes chapters on criminal offenses as well as a host of other topics.
The easiest way to consult Elkins City Code (i.e., the city’s code of laws) is online. The City of Elkins contracts with American Legal Publishing (ALP) to maintain and update our city code on the ALP website. (The video at the bottom of this page offers a brief introduction to using the online code.)
Elkins City Code (External ALP Website)
The city code is also available in bound form for review in the office of the city clerk.
Building, Maintenance, and Related Codes
Via ordinance, and as reflected in the online code described above, Elkins has adopted the International Building Code and various related technical codes applying specifically to construction, property maintenance and upkeep, and other topics pertaining to public health and safety as these are affected by the built environment of our city. These codes are enforced by our building inspector and code enforcement officer. This page on the ICC website lists the codes adopted in West Virginia, all of which Elkins has adopted as well.
The city’s authority to make use of these codes derives from the state’s adoption thereof. Under state law, cities and counties that wish to operate building inspection and code enforcement departments must adopt, via ordinance, the same codes the state has adopted. The city cannot adopt a different version of these codes from what has been adopted by the state legislature. The state sometimes makes small changes to these codes before adopting them. The code adopted by the state is known as the the West Virginia State Building Code. The state agency in charge of building and safety codes is the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Because of copyright restrictions imposed by the International Code Council (ICC), which publishes these codes, we are prevented from reprinting them in whole or in part in our online code or in any other manner. You may consult these codes in paper form at city hall by contacting the building inspector/code enforcement officer. You may also view them online by clicking here. ICC makes these codes available for purchase online here.
(The WV LEAP program at WVU offers an explanation of how cities can use some of these codes to demolish or repair dilapidated structures here.)
How to Access Elkins City Code Online
The following video presents a brief overview of how to access Elkins City Code online. If you have questions, please contact the city clerk.
For More Information
Elkins City Clerk
401 Davis Avenue
Elkins, WV 26241
304.636.1414, ext. 1211 (office)