Architect’s Licensing Bill (SB 183) Heard

The House Civil and Commercial Law Committee held a hearing February 2 on SB 183 which would eliminate a grandfather exemption from the requirements of the Architects Law granted to certain corporations.

In sponsor testimony, Sen. Schaffer said that the Ohio Architects Board brought a matter to his attention that needed to be addressed. There exists a grandfathering provision in the law concerning requirements for ownership of architecture firms. The provision allows firms operating for many years to be passed to relatives of original founders without having to meet the strict ownership requirements. The Board of Architecture reported to Shaffer a specific issue concerning an individual who had bought out an existing firm. The person who acquired the firm was not a licensed architect but was able to get around regulatory law by exploiting the loophole.

SB183 would move the grandfathering provision to the section dealing specifically with ownership requirements. “This will narrow the grandfathering provision to make sure that a company can keep passing down a firm from parents to children. However, the new location of the grandfathering provision will still ensure that a company uses licensed architects to provide architecture services,” said Schaffer.