The Covington, Ga., City Council discussed but took no action Sept. 19 on a proposed ordinance that would prohibit "the use of vinyl siding for new and remodeled housing in neighborhood residential zones 1, 2 and 3," Sandra Brands reports for the COVINGTON NEWS.

Brands writes that a member of Covington's Planning and Zoning department says the "proposed ordinance addresses concerns about the safety of vinyl." Brands further stated that vinyl siding "has a lower fire ignition point than wood and often melts during a fire ... Odors released by vinyl during a fire are also toxic."

The council is considering a ban on vinyl siding to protect homeowners, their neighbors, and firefighters from the fumes, should a house with the siding catch fire. According to the Chair of Planning and Zoning Commission, Lee Aldridge, the council has discussed siding "several years. At first, the topic came up because of housing developments that built houses close together. [The council] wanted to study the safety issues involved."

Brands details which materials could be used in lieu of vinyl siding:

The ordinance would require new or remodeled building projects to have exterior walls consisting of brick, stone, cement fiber board, hardi-wood or wood. However, he said, vinyl siding is cheaper. He reported he talked to a few local builders who said the cost difference ranged from $5,000 to $7,000 for a 1,200-square-foot house to $5,000 to $10,000 for a 3,000-square-foot home.

There was no word in the story as to when the council would discus the issue again.

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