New home building in jeopardy?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - What was essentially nothing more than a clerical error could have caused a major dent in Charlotte's housing recovery.

"I was like, this is catastrophic," says Charlotte Homebuilder's Association President Danny Kelly. "This would cost thousands of jobs in Charlotte."

North Carolina's 2012 residential building code goes into effect March 1st (it's updated every three  years). And, legally, it must be available before any new building permits are granted. But the third party who prints the code books made a mistake, and they won't be ready for weeks - potentially, months.

So, on Monday, some Mecklenburg County workers started telling builders to prepare for a freeze.

"No one can understand how this can happen," Kelly says. "It's a typical government problem to have something this simple cause an issue."

A fairly simple solution kept popping up.

If the new rules were available on the Internet, couldn't the powers-that-be make that work until the code books came out?

Late Wednesday afternoon, county officials told WBTV that a web-based version would be temporarily sufficient.

But Thursday morning, builders started calling the station again, saying the compromise was in jeopardy due to a complication with the web draft.

Hours later, officials said they were working it out again.  Uncertainty still surrounds the situation.