Board of Appeals

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Board of Appeals - September 6, 2018 Minutes

Members Present: Acting Chairperson, Clay Dietrich, Vice-Chairperson, Mark Honzay, Jeff Furstenau, and Justin Schoenberg.

Others Present: Bruce Taralson, Ryan Erickson, Christine Rose, James Showalter, Mike Blevins, Mike Moss, and Gretchen Morlan, Chris Van Hal, Andy Cooper, Peter Valkov.

Mr. Taralson presented general meeting information to the Board. He introduced new members, notified the Board of retired members, and informed all attendees of the need to elect new Board Members at the next scheduled hearing. He furthered explained the purpose of the Board of Appeals, the timeline of the hearing and adoption process, and the rules of a hearing. Mr. Taralson stated that plumbing and electrical codes are adopted by the State of North Dakota, and therefore, the Inspections Department will not be reviewing those codes. He stated that the next hearing will be held at the New City Hall Commission Chambers, and, as always, all hearings are open to the public, anyone may ask questions, and anyone can recommend amendments. Mr. Taralson then explained the basic layout of the code books to the Board. He stated that City staff members will present all major code changes to the Board and at the conclusion of all hearings, a motion will be requested from the Board to present all proposed amendments to the City Commissioners for approval.

Item 3 – Review of the International Building Code, Chapters 1-7.

Mr. Taralson presented the review of the International Building Code, Chapters 1 and 2 to the Board.

Section 101.1 Staff recommends continuing the existing AMENDMENT insert the text “….Building Code of the City of Fargo hereinafter…”

Section 101.4.3 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT replacing the text: “International Plumbing Code” with “North Dakota State Plumbing Code”.

Section 104.2.1 Staff recommends deleting this section in its entirety.

Section 104.8 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT adding the following language to the final paragraph: “This code shall not be constructed to relieve from or lessen the responsibility of any person owning, operating, or controlling any building or structure for any damages to persons or property caused by defects, nor shall the code enforcement agency or the city be held as assuming any such liability by reason of the inspection authorized by this code or any permits or certificates issued under this code.” Mr. Taralson explained that the City Attorney assisted in creating this language.

Section 104.10.1 Staff recommends deleting this section in its entirety.

Section 105.2 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT to alter the subsections as follows:
2. Fences not over 7 8.5 feet (2134 mm) high.
6. Sidewalks and driveways not more than 30 inches (962 mm) above adjacent grade, and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.
11. Swings and other playground equipment accessory to detached one and two family dwellings.
12. Window awnings in Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall that do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional
14. Reroofing.

Section 107.2.5 A section was added on Exterior Balconies and Elevated Walk Surfaces. Mr. Taralson explained that he was not aware of the reasoning behind adding this to the code.

Section Staff recommends deleting the section relating to flood in its entirety.

Section 107.3.1 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT regarding the plans required to be stamped “approved” and kept on the construction site. The Inspections Department will not be required to return a plan set to the submitter.

Section 109.2 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT to reflect a fee for plan review and information on fee’s for plan review and provides for an additional fee if required.

Section 110.1 Section was clarified in two locations the use of the word ‘accessible’ to ‘visible’ when addressing the need for work to be visible and the need for access to inspectors.

Section 110.3.3 Section was deleted in its entirety and subsequent sections renumbered accordingly.

Section 110.3.6 Section was added that provides for an inspection of an exterior, weather-exposed balcony or walking surface waterproofing. This coordinates with the added Section 107.2.5 previously mentioned.

Section The subsection related to flood was deleted in its entirety.

Section 202 A definition of GREENHOUSE has been added to recognize the unique environment of growing plants and that can be different than habitable spaces.

Section 202 A definition of REPAIR GARAGE has been introduced to the International Building Code to provide clarity in provisions related to repair of motor vehicles.

Section 202 A definition of SLEEPING UNITS has been added to the International Building Code. This will clarify that each individual bedroom within residential suites are not considered a sleeping unit, but rather the entire suite will be one sleeping unit.

Entire Code All definition lists located in each chapter have been removed. This is based on the recognition that all definitions are in Chapter 2 and have been for some time.

Mr. Fursteneau inquired if sunlight in a Greenhouse is assumed as natural light and asked Mr. Taralson how he would rule if a facility did not use natural light. Mr. Taralson stated that the code does not address whether the sun is actually out or not and it is the same with snow, the code addresses surfaces, but not whether a surface is covered with snow. Mr. Honzay inquired if it would be worth making a change so that the code stated a “lit” environment instead of a “sunlit” environment. Mr. Taralson stated that he would review the background of light and ventilation, and if there is not a normal environment of glass, the building would be considered a different environment.

Commercial Building Inspector, James Showalter, presented International Building Code, Chapters 3-7 to the Board.

Section 302.1 For clarification, occupied roofs are now specifically mentioned stating that they shall be classified as the occupancy it nearest resembles inside the building in order to provide the safest building based on the possible hazards.

Section 303.4 Greenhouses that are open to the public and are for the purpose of conservation or exhibition shall be considered a Group A-3. The purpose is to provide a greater level of protection from the hazards created by large groups of people.

Section 305.2 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which increases the limit of 5 children to 12 children.

Section 305.2.2 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which increases the limit of 5 children to 12 children.

Section 305.2.3 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which increases the limit of 5 children to 12 children.

Section 308.5 Staff recommends keeping the existing local AMENDMENT which increases the limit of 5 children to 12 children.

Section 308.5.1 Staff recommends keeping the existing local AMENDMENT which increases the limit of 5 children to 12 children.

Section 308.5.3 Staff recommends keeping the existing local AMENDMENT which increases the limit of 5 children to 12 children.

Section 308.5.4 Staff recommends keeping the existing local AMENDMENT which increases the limit of 5 children to 12 children.

Section 309.1 This section has been clarified to make it clear that greenhouses used for display and sales of plants shall be classified as a Group M.

Sections 310.3 and 310.4 Both sections have been modified: Non-transient uses like dorms, fraternities, or sororities shall be classified as Group R-3 occupancy if under 16 occupants and Group R-2 occupancy if over 16 occupants. Bed and Breakfasts must have 10 occupants or less to be considered a Group R-3 occupancy.

Section 311.1.1 Rooms used for storage that are accessory to another occupancy shall be classified as part of that occupancy. Mr. Showalter stated that there used to be a limit of 100 square feet, but storage specifically related to the use of a room is not typically more hazardous than the room itself, so as long as the storage is related to the room and no more hazardous, there is no maximum size limitation.

Section 311.2 Self-service storage facilities (mini-storage) are now specifically classified as Group S-1 occupancy due to the potential for large amounts of combustible material being stored.

Section 312.1 Communication equipment with an area of less than 1,500 square feet shall be classified as Group U.

Section 312.1.1 Greenhouses shall now be classified as Group A-3 or Group M where applicable, and where they cannot be classified elsewhere, they shall be Group U.

Section 403.2.1.1 Previously, H-2, H-3 and H-5 occupancies were allowed a reduction in the required fire-resistance rating of the elements listed in Table 601, but due to their high hazard level, they no longer receive that reduction.

Section 404.6 An exception has been added to clarify that areas that are not separated from an atrium do not need to be accounted for in the design of the smoke control system if no smoke control is required.

Section 406.1 The Motor-Vehicle-Related occupancies section has been rearranged to bring all of the requirements into one section. Electric vehicle charging stations are now mentioned and need to comply with several different standards.

Section 406.3 This section clarifies that private parking garages can be constructed using the regulations of public parking garages. This would allow much larger garages if the occupancy classification was designed as a Group S-2.

Section 406.3.2.1 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT removing the requirement for doors in private garages in Group R-3 to be self-closing.

Section 406.4.2 Erratum: The section referenced is incorrect: Section 1607.8.3 should be Section 1607.9.

Section 406.6.2 The reference to the mechanical code now specifically mentions Chapters 4 and 5 to make sure that all ventilation and exhaust requirements are met.

Section 407.5 The 2015 International Building Code allowed the maximum smoke compartment size to increase from 22,500 square feet to 40,000 square feet for Group I-2, Condition 2 occupancies. The 2018 International Building Code modifies this through 2 new exceptions and now only allows this increase if the smoke compartment contains only single-patient suites or areas without patient suites.

Section 407.5.4 Text was added to clarify that egress from a smoke compartment can be achieved by providing access to two different and adjacent smoke compartments, or by providing an independent means of egress in a smoke compartment that does not have access to two other compartments.

Section 420.2 Errata: All exceptions that were added as indicated with the side bar have been removed by errata.

Section 420.3 Erratum: The exception that was added as indicated with the side bar have been removed by erratum.

Section 420.7 Shared living and meeting spaces in assisted living facilities are now allowed to be open to a rated corridor provided they meet all six criteria.

Section 420.8 A room or space with a cooking facility is now allowed to be open to a rated corridor provided they meet all nine criteria.

Section 420.10 In Group R-2 dormitories, the use of domestic cooking appliances is now regulated in both shared areas and sleeping rooms.
Section 420.10.2: Cooktops, ranges and ovens are not allowed in sleeping rooms.

Section 422.6 NFPA 99 is now referenced to clarify that ambulatory care facilities are required to have emergency and standby power.

Section 423 This section has been expanded to include requirements for construction (reference ICC 500), required occupant capacity, and location of storm shelters.

Section 424.1 Play structures are now regulated if they exceed 150 square feet regardless of height. Previously, play structures needed to exceed 10 feet in height and 150 square feet.

Section 427 A new chapter has been added which was replicated from the International Fire Code, in order to detail construction regulations of medical gas systems that are related directly to the construction of the building.

Section 428 A new chapter has been added for higher education labs addressing the types of labs specifically instead of grouping them in with the general requirements for hazardous materials storage. These labs can now be considered a Group B as long as they comply with the requirements of the new section.

Section 503.1 Text has been added that modifies when fire walls can be used. The new text reads: “For the purpose of determining area limitation, height limitations, and type of construction, each portion of a building separated by one or more fire walls comply with Section 706 and shall be considered a separate building.”

Section 503.1.4 A new section has been added that clarifies when occupied roofs are not to be included in the number of stories of a building or in the allowable floor area as long as the occupancy of the roof would be allowed on the floor below. Enclosures on the roof are limited in height to 48-inches above the roof surface, but this does not apply to penthouses and other rooftop structures that are regulated by Section 1510. Mr. Honzay inquired if pergolas would be considered in this section. Mr. Showalter stated that he did not believe so and instead a pergola should fall under Section 1510.

Section 505.2.1.1 This section clarifies that a mezzanine cannot exceed the area limitations of a mezzanine alone simply because together a mezzanine and an equipment platform can cover a larger floor area.

Table 506.2 (Footnote i) The maximum allowable area for a Group U greenhouse has been increased from 5,500 square feet to 9,000 square feet to match that of greenhouses of Groups B, F-2, M and E.

Section 507.4 In Group A-4 indoor sporting event buildings that are allowed to be unlimited in area, automatic sprinklers are now required in storage rooms, press boxes, concession booths and other ancillary areas.

Section 507.8.1 Erratum: the word or in the third line from the top of the page is changed to nor by erratum.

Section 508.3.1.2 Clarification by a new section: When considering non-separated uses, if one of the uses is a Group I-2, Condition 2, the most restrictive conditions of Sections 407, 509 and 712 shall apply to the entire fire area. In addition, the most restrictive requirements of Chapter 10 shall apply to the entire path of egress.

Section 508.4.1 and Table 508.4 This section has been clarified and emphasizes that when dealing with occupancies that may be required to be separated for fire area limits or separated for mixed-occupancy purposes, that the most restrictive requirements of Chapter 9 shall apply.

Table 509 The description of stationary storage battery systems has been changed to simply reference the International Fire Code. Also, there is a new item for rooms with electrical installations and transformers with references consistent with the National Electrical Code.

Section 510.2 New text has been added to clarify that when using this section and you have a three-hour separation, vertical offsets are allowed in the rated assembly so long as the supporting structure is also three hour rated.

Table 601 (footnote b). New text has been added in footnote b that now exempts the primary structural frame from protection when the roof construction is more than 20 feet above any floor surface immediately below. Mr. Honzay inquired if columns would now not have to be rated. Mr. Showalter stated that that is correct.

Table 602 (footnotes h and i). Footnote “h” was added to allow Group U garages to have non-rated exterior walls with a minimum 5-feet of fire separation distance. This text is the same as the text in Section 406.3.2 from the 2012 International Building Code. A new footnote “i” was added for Group R-3 buildings that do not need to have fire-rated exterior walls if they have a minimum of 5 feet of fire separation distance.

Section 602.3 and Section 602.4.1 Text was added to specify that in an exterior wall that is at least 6 inches thick, framing and now sheathing are allowed to be fire retardant treated. The wall must not have a fire rating higher than 2 hours.

Section 602.4 This section has been re-worded and most of this section has been moved to Chapter 23.

Section 603.1 Combustible materials are now allowed in balconies, porches, decks and exterior stairs that are not a part of the required means of egress in buildings three stories or less above grade.

Section 704.2 and Section 704.4.1 Columns that are required to be protected but are located entirely within a wall and only extend between top and bottom plates do not need to be individually encased as long as they are protected by the membrane on both sides.

Table 705.2 The minimum clearance between a projection and the line used for fire separation distance has been greatly reduced from 20 feet to 40 inches, which is what the 2012 International Building Code stated. This is a correction since there was not sufficient evidence to support the change in the 2015 International Building Code.

Section 705.2.3.1 This section was relocated from Section 1406.

Section 705.2.4 This section was relocated from Section 1406.

Section 705.8.1 Text was added to clarify that when measuring fire separation distance, the distance for each story must determined individually.

Section 706.1.1 This is related to the change in Section 503.1 and text was removed that described how portions of buildings separated by fire walls shall be considered separate buildings.

Section 706.2 An exception has been added that allows floor sheathing ¾-inches or less in thickness to continue through the firewall of light frame construction in seismic zones D through F.

Section 707.3.10 Fire walls are now included in the list of walls that can create separate fire areas.

Section 706.6 Staff recommends abandoning the existing local AMENDMENT that added an exception to a fire wall’s vertical continuity as there are other existing exceptions that have rendered this amendment redundant.

Section 708.4 and Section 708.4.1 Fire partition continuity has been reorganized into three sections: continuity, supporting construction, and fireblocking and draftstops. Many any of the specific draftstopping requirements were relocated here from Sections 718.3 and 718.4.

Section 708.4.2 The requirements for draftstopping and fireblocking have been consolidated into this section.

Section 713.8.1 All shafts can have membrane penetrations on the exterior side if the penetrations are protected.

Section 715.1 Item 10 is a new exception where joint systems do not need to be rated between exterior curtain walls and the roof slab or roof deck.

Section 715.3 The exception for a joint to be able to be tested from the interior side only has been changed from 5 feet to 10 feet of fire separation distance.

Section 716.2.6.5 This is an addition to the code where delayed action hardware is allowed on self-closing doors as long as the door is not required to be an automatic closing door.

Section 717.6.2 Regarding ceiling radiation dampers, three exceptions have been added to Item 2 and two exceptions have been added to Item 3. These additions provide flexibility in the design of fire resistant rated systems that have been tested and provide an equivalent measure of safety.

Sections 718.4 and 718.4 Both sections have been reduced in detail by moving the specific requirements to Section 708.4.2

Acting Chairperson, Clay Dietrich, called the meeting to order.

Item 1 – Approve the Minutes of the December 1, 2016 Meeting. Mr. Fursteneau moved to approve the minutes of the December 1, 2016 meeting, and Mr. Honzay seconded the motion. All members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried. Mr. Dietrich presented code hearing rules and proceedures to all in attendance.

Item 2 – Unfinished Business.
Mr. Taralson stated that there was no unfinished business at this time.

Item 4 – Staff reports.
Mr. Taralson stated that there were no staff reports at this time.

Fire Marshall, Ryan Erickson, approached the Board and stated that the International Fire Code will coincide with a majority of the codes that will be reviewed during the code hearings and will expand on many of the codes discussed today along with upcoming codes.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bruce Taralson
Board Secretary