Portland is standing by its rule that requires large nightclubs to have automatic fire sprinklers after a state agency demanded the city rescind the requirement and pay fines.
The state Building Codes Division informed Portland in a July 24 letter that it plans to fine the city at least $20,000 for implementing the sprinkler rule. State officials believe state building codes preempt it.
The Portland City Council on Wednesday unanimously decided to appeal the state's challenge to an administrative judge. Commissioner Nick Fish was absent.
"This is a clear example . . . of a state agency overstepping its bounds and overstepping it in the wrong direction," Fire Commissioner Dan Saltzman said. The state, he said, is "reverting back to an old standard, which could result in a tragedy none of us want to see."