More building owners may be asked to pay for their own quake-strengthening assessments within the next year.
Churches, school halls, sports club rooms, marae and community centres could be included in Napier City Council's revamped earthquake-prone buildings policy if proposed changes are adopted.
The original policy stated that every commercial building of two storeys or more, built before 1976, would need to be assessed by an engineer for earthquake risk, at the expense of the owner.
However, after a submission from Strata Group engineer Guy Lethbridge, council staff are recommending that the policy also include all pre-1976 single-storey buildings classified as an assembly point with an eaves height of 4 metres.
An eaves height is measured to the roof gutter. Most houses have an eaves height of 2.4m to 2.7m.
Without the proposed changes, a single-storey church would be exempt, even though it might be taller than many two-storey buildings.
"We were concerned that some of the buildings were slipping through the catchment," Mr Lethbridge said.
Most of Napier's art deco buildings would not reach the 4m eaves height, so would be exempt from an earthquake-strengthening assessment.
Council senior building consent officer John Brydon did not know how many buildings would need to be assessed if the changes were adopted. He believed there would be fewer than 100.
The change would affect any building where people meet, including church halls, public libraries, amusement arcades, clubrooms, funeral directors' chapels, gymnasiums, pavilions, indoor sports facilities, community centres and marae.
The building owner would pay for the assessment, which must be supplied to the council within a year of the policy's adoption. Any building deemed quake-prone would receive a notice requiring work to be completed within 10 years.
Graeme Rhind, who owns the single-storey building that houses Napier's Beth Shan Funeral Directors, said he would not quibble if he had to pay for a building assessment.
"I think these sorts of things have to be done. Forget about the cost."