Denison city officials are discussing changes to the city’s building code in relation to artificial stucco materials.


The Denison Planning & Zoning Commission recently discussed the possibility of updating the city’s highway overlay district relating to masonry materials for non-residential construction.


Denison Planning Director Steven Doss, who presented the city’s findings to the commission, reported there had been a number of developers seeking exceptions to use an increased mixture of an artificial stucco product known as exterior insulation and finish system, which is commonly referred to as EIFS. Doss said Denison recently amended its ordinances to state the product could only be used as accents and trim for new construction.


In October of last year, the City Council unanimously approved a set of restrictions on the types of materials that would be allowed for multifamily, commercial and industrial buildings. P&Z Chairman Charlie Shearer said he doesn’t have a problem with the material, as long as it is applied correctly.


“The problem with the product is it was being installed by non-certified installers who couldn’t make it air tight,” Shearer said. “A lot of cities have restricted the use to trim materials only. To me, that is a little over-zealous. It is a nice looking product when applied correctly.”


Shearer said among the requests by developers to use the product was the new construction taking place at Texoma Medical Center. In the same meeting, the commissioners approved a building where the developer had requested to use the product.


Shearer said city staff will review the current code and bring back a revised amendment at a future meeting. From there, the commission will provide its feedback before sending a final amendment to the city council for approval.


As it currently stands, no more than 10 percent of a building can contain the product, which is limited to trims and accents. Shearer said he believed with a lot of the new development taking place, more projects would be taking on a modern look with glass or steel materials becoming more common rather than just masonry. He said Denison is trying to adjust to those changes.


Richard A. Todd is the Denison-area reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at rtodd@heralddemocrat.com.