Board of Appeals

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Board of Appeals - January 10, 2019 Minutes

Members Present: Chairperson, Clay Dietrich, Mark Honzay, Mike Wild, Jeff Furstenau and Dave Obermiller.

Others Present: Christine Rose, Ryan Erickson, John Arens, Peter Valkov and Gretchen Morlan.

Chairperson, Clay Dietrich, called the meeting to order.

Item 1 – Approve the Minutes of the December 13, 2018 meeting.
Dave Obermiller motioned to approve the minutes of the December 13, 2018 meeting. Jeff Furstenau seconded the motion. All members present voted aye, and the motion was declared carried.

Item 2 – Unfinished Business. Clay Dietrich requested to be present for the discussion involving previously covered sections requiring review and requested that the review be postponed until the February 4, 2019 meeting in lieu of the January 24, 2019 meeting. Chris Rose stated that postponing the review until February 4, 2019 would not be an issue.

Item 3 – New Business.

a). Review of International Property Maintenance Code, all Chapters.
Rental Housing Inspector, John Arens, presented the International Property Maintenance Code to the Board.

Chapter 1
Section 101.1 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT inserting the City of Fargo into the name of the jurisdiction:

“These regulations shall be known as the Property Maintenance Code of the City of Fargo, hereinafter referred to as "this code".”

Section 102.3 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states: “Repairs, additions or alterations to a structure, or changes of occupancy, shall be done in accordance with the procedures and provisions of all applicable ordinances adopted by the City of Fargo.”

Section 103.5 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states the following:
The fees for activities and services performed by the department in carrying out its responsibilities under this code shall be as indicated in the following schedule:
A. Initial Inspection. - No charge.
B. First Re-inspection. - No charge.
C. Second Re-inspection. - As to the second re-inspection a fee of $100.
D. Third Re-inspection. - As to the third re-inspection, a fee of $100.
E. Fourth and continuing Re-inspections. - As to the fourth and any subsequent re-inspection, a fee of $100.

Section 105.2 The section title and text have changed to read: “Alternative material, methods and equipment. The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design or method of construction shall be approved where the code official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provision of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, not less than the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety. Where the alternative material, design or method of construction is not approved, the code official shall respond in writing, stating the reasons the alternative was not approved.”

Section 111.2 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states that the board of appeals shall consist of five members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to property maintenance and who are not employees of the jurisdiction.

Section 111.2.1 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states, “The Board of City Commissioners shall appoint one or more alternate members who shall be called by the board chairman to hear appeals during the absence or disqualification of a member.

Section 111.6 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states, “The board shall modify or reverse the decision of the code official only by a concurring vote of four appointed board members.

Section 112.4 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states, “Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be subject to penalties prescribed by law.

Chapter 2
Section 201.3 Where terms are not defined in this code and are defined in the International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, International Fire Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code, International Residential Code, International Zoning Code or NFPA 70, such terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them as stated in those codes. Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT adding the following text:
“Throughout this code, wherever reference is made to the International Plumbing Code, it shall be taken to mean the North Dakota State Plumbing Code. ND Admin Code §62-03.1-01-0 . Throughout this code, wherever reference is made to the NFPA 70, it shall be taken to mean the National Electrical Code together with the North Dakota State Wiring Standards §43-09.”

Section 202 Text has changed in the following definitions:
LABELED. Equipment, materials or products to which have been affixed a label, seal, symbol or other identifying mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory, inspection approved agency or other organization concerned with product evaluation that maintains periodic inspection of the production of the above-labeled items and whose labeling indicates either that the equipment material or product meets identified standards or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.

PUBLIC WAY. Any street, alley or other parcel of land that: is open to the outside air; leads to a street; has been deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use; and has a clear width and height of not less than 10 feet.

STRUCTURE. That which is built or constructed.

Chapter 3
Section 302.4 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states, “All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth as prescribed by the Fargo Municipal Code, including article 11-08. Noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. Upon failure of the owner or agent having charge of a property to cut and destroy weeds after service of a notice of violation, they shall be subject to prosecution in. accordance with Section 106.3 and as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction. Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property.”

Section 304.14 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states, “During the period from [DATE] April 1 to [DATE] October 31 of each year every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of not less than 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.
Exception: Screens shall not be required where other approved means, such as air curtains or insect repellent fans, are employed.”

Chapter 4 - No Changes.

Chapter 5
Section 505.5 The following section was added: Nonpotable water reuse systems. Nonpotable water reuse systems and rainwater collection and conveyance systems shall be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition. Where such systems are not properly maintained, the systems shall be repaired to provide for safe and sanitary conditions, or the system shall be abandoned in accordance with section 505.5.1.
505.5.1 Abandonment of systems. Where a nonpotable water reuse system or a rainwater collection and distribution system is not maintained or the owner ceases use of the system, the system shall be abandoned in accordance with Section 1301.10 of the International Plumbing Code.

Chapter 6
Section 602.3 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states, “Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling units, or sleeping units on terms, either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat during the period from (date) September 15th to (date) June 1st to maintain a temperature of not less than 68ºF (20ºC) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.”

Section 602.4 Staff recommends continuing the existing local AMENDMENT which states, “Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be supplied with heat during the period from [DATE] September 15th to [DATE] June 1st to maintain a minimum temperature of 65°F (18°C) during the period the spaces are occupied.”

Section 603.1 Text and Section title has been changed to read: “Mechanical equipment and appliances. Mechanical equipment, appliances, fireplaces, solid fuel-burning appliances, cooking appliances and water heater appliances shall be properly installed and maintained in a safe working condition, and shall be capable of preforming the intended function.”

Section 603.2 Staff recommends deleting the existing local AMENDMENT and keeping the following exception: Exception: Fuel burning equipment and appliances that are labeled for unvented operation. This recommendation is in order to be consistent with the International Mechanical Code.

Chapter 7
Section 703 - as per the adoption of the 2018 International Fire Code.
Text has been changed in the following sections:
(F)703.1 The provisions of this chapter shall govern maintenance of the materials, systems and assemblies used for structural fire resistance and fire-resistance-rated construction separation of adjacent spaces to safeguard against the spread of fire and smoke within a building and the spread of fire to or from buildings.

(F)703.2 Unsafe conditions. Where any components are not maintained and do not function as intended or do not have the fire resistance required by the code under which the building was constructed or altered, such components or portions thereof shall be deemed unsafe conditions in accordance with Section 111.1.1 of the International Fire Code. Components or portions thereof determined to be unsafe shall be repaired or replaced to conform to that code under which the building was constructed or altered. Where the condition of components is such that any building, structure or portion thereof presents an imminent danger to the occupants of the building, structure or portion thereof, the fire code official shall act in accordance with Section 111.2 of the International Fire Code.

(F)703.3. The required fire-resistance rating of fire-resistance-rated construction, including walls, firestops, shaft enclosures, partitions, smoke barriers, floors, fire-resistive coatings and sprayed fire-resistant materials applied to structural members and joint systems, shall be maintained. Such elements shall be visually inspected annually by the owner and repaired, restored or replaced where damaged, altered, breached or penetrated. Records of inspections and repairs shall be maintained. Where concealed, such elements shall not be required to be visually inspected by the owner unless the concealed space is accessible by the removal or movement of a panel, access door, ceiling tile or entry to the space. Openings made therein for the passage of pipes, electrical conduit, wires, ducts, air transfer and any other reason shall be protected with approved methods capable of resisting the passage of smoke and fire. Openings through fire-resistance-rated assemblies shall be protected by self- or automatic closing doors of approved construction meeting the fire protection requirements for the assembly.

The following sections have been added:
(F)703.3.1 Required fire blocking and draft stopping in combustible concealed spaces shall be maintained to provide continuity and integrity of the construction.

(F)703.3.2 Required smoke barriers and smoke partitions shall be maintained to prevent the passage of smoke. Openings protected with approved smoke barrier doors or smoke dampers shall be maintained in accordance with NFPA 105.

(F)703.3.3 Required fire walls, fire barriers and fire partitions shall be maintained to prevent the passage of fire. Openings protected with approved doors or fire dampers shall be maintained in accordance with NFPA 80.

(F)703.4 Opening protectives shall be maintained in an operative condition in accordance with NFPA 80. The application of field-applied labels associated with the maintenance of opening protectives shall follow the requirements of the approved third-party certification organization accredited for listing the opening protective. Fire doors and smoke barrier doors shall not be blocked or obstructed, or otherwise made inoperable. Fusible links shall be replaced whenever fused or damaged. Fire doors assemblies shall not be modified.

(F)703.4.1 Where required by the code official, a sign shall be permanently displayed on or near each fire door in letters not less than 1 inch high to read as follows:
1. For doors designed to be kept normally open : FIRE DOOR - DO NOT BLOCK.
2. For doors designed to be kept normally closed: FIRE DOOR – KEEP CLOSED.

(F)703.4.2 Hold-open devices and automatic door closers shall be maintained. During the period that such a device is out of service for repairs, the door it operates shall remain in the closed position.

(F)703.4.3 Swinging fire doors shall close from the full open position and latch automatically. The door closer shall exert enough force to close and latch the door from any partially open position.

(F)703.5 The hanging and displaying of salable goods and other decorative materials from acoustical ceiling systems that are part of a fire-resistance-rated horizontal assembly shall be prohibited.

(F)703.6 Horizontal and vertical sliding and rolling fire doors shall be inspected and tested annually to confirm operation and full closure. Records of inspections and testing shall be maintained.

(F)703.7 Staff recommends adding a local AMENDMENT deleting the newly added section in its entirety, which states: “Vertical shafts. Interior vertical shafts, including stairways, elevator hoistways and service and utility shafts, which connect two or more stories of a building shall be enclosed or protected as required in Chapter 11 of the International Fire Code. New floor openings in existing buildings shall comply with the International Building Code.”

(F)703.8 Where openings are required to be protected, opening protectives shall be maintained self-closing or automatic-closing by smoke detection. Existing fusible-link-type automatic door-closing devices shall be replaced if the fusible link rating exceeds 135°F.

(F)704.1 Fire detection, alarm and extinguishing systems, mechanical smoke exhaust systems, and smoke and heat vents shall be maintained in accordance with the International Fire Code in an operative condition at all times, and shall be replaced or repaired where defective.

(F)704.1.1 Fire protection systems shall be maintained in accordance with the original installation standards for that system. Required systems shall be extended, altered or augmented as necessary to maintain and continue protection where the building is altered or enlarged. Alterations to fire protection systems shall be done in accordance with applicable standards.

(F)704.1.2 Fire protection systems required by this code, the International Fire Code or the International building Code shall be installed, repaired, operated, tested and maintained in accordance with this code. A fire protection system for which a design option, exception or reduction to the provisions of this code, The International Fire Code or the International Building Code has been granted shall be considered to be a required system.

(F)704.1.3 Fire Protection systems shall be inspected, maintained and tested in accordance with the following International Fire Code requirements.
1. Automatic sprinkler systems, see Section 903.5.
2. Automatic fire-extinguishing systems protecting commercial cooking systems, see Section 904.12.5.
3. Automatic water mist extinguishing systems, see Section 904.11.
4. Carbon dioxide extinguishing systems, see Section 904.8.
5. Carbon monoxide alarms and carbon monoxide detection systems, see Section 915.6.
6. Clean-agent extinguishing systems, See Section 904.10.
7. Dry-chemical extinguishing systems, see Section 904.6.
8. Fire alarm and fire detection systems, see Section 907.8.
9. Fire Department connections, see 912.4 and 912.7.
10. Fire pumps, see Section 913.5.
11. Foam extinguishing systems, see Section 904.7.
12. Halon extinguishing systems, see Section 904.9.
13. Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms, see section 907.10.
14. Smoke and heat vents and mechanical smoke removal systems, see Section 910.5.
15. Smoke control systems, see Section 909.20.
16. Wet-chemical extinguishing systems, see Section 904.5.

(F)704.2 Fire protection systems shall be inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with the referenced standard listed in Table 704.2 and as required in this section.

Mark Honzay inquired if there was anything moved out of the International Fire Code entirely into the International Property Maintenance Code. Ryan Erickson stated that no, this chapter has been reviewed with the intent to not overlap duties, but to be able to provide cause for the Inspections Department to inspect and enforce when violations are noted.

See Table on page 29
(F)704.2.1 Records shall be maintained of all system inspections, tests and maintenance required by the referenced standards.

(F)704.2.2 Initial records shall include the: name of the installation contractor; type of components installed; location and number of components installed per floor; and manufacturers’ operation and maintenance instructions manuals. Such records shall be maintained for the life of the installation.

(F)704.3 Where a required fire protection system is out of service, the fire department and the fire code official shall be notified immediately and, where required by the fire code official, either the building shall be evacuated or an approved fire watch shall be provided for all occupants left unprotected by the shutdown until the fire protection system has been returned to service. Where utilized, fire watches shall be provided with not less than one approved means for notification of the fire department and shall not have duties beyond performing constant patrols of the protected premises and keeping watch for fires. Actions shall be taken in accordance with Section 901 of the International Fire Code to bring the systems back in service.

(F)704.3.1 Where unplanned impairments of fire protection systems occur, appropriate emergency action shall be taken to minimize potential injury and damage. The impairment coordinator shall implement the steps outlined in Section 901.7.4 of the International Fire Code.

(F)704.4 It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, tamper with or otherwise disturb any fire hydrant, fire detection and alarm system, or other fire appliance required by this code except for the purposes of extinguishing fire, training, recharging or making necessary repairs.

(F)704.4.1 Locks, gates, doors, barricades, chains, enclosures, signs, tags and seals that have been installed by or at the direction of the fire code official shall not be removed, unlocked, destroyed or tampered with in any manner.

(F)704.4.2 The fire code official is authorized to permit the removal of existing occupant-use hose lines where all of the following apply:
1. The installation is not required by the International Fire Code or the International Building Code.
2. The hose line would not be utilized by trained personnel or the fire department.
3. The remaining outlets are compatible with local fire department fittings.

(F)704.4.3 For fire alarm systems required to be monitored by the International Fire Code, notice shall be made to the fire code official whenever alarm monitoring services are terminated. Notice shall be made in writing by the provider of the monitoring service being terminated.

(F)704.5 Where the fire department connection is not visible to approaching fire apparatus, the fire department connection shall be indicated by an approved sign mounted on the street front or on the side of the building. Such sign shall have the letters “FDC” not less than 6 inches high and words in letters not less than 2 inches high or an arrow to indicate the location. Such signs shall be subject to the approval of the fire code official.

(F)704.5.1 Ready access to fire department connections shall be maintained at all times and without obstruction by fences, bushes, trees, walls or any other fixed or movable object Access to the department connections shall be approved by the fire chief.
Exception: Fences, where provided with an access gate equipped with a sign complying with the legend requirements of Section 912.5 of the International Fire Code and a means of emergency operation. The gate and the means of emergency operation shall be approved by the fire chief and maintained operational at all times.

(F)704.5.2 A working space of not less that 36 inches in width, 36 inches in depth and 78 inches in height shall be provided and maintained in front of and to the sides of wall-mounted fire department connections and around the circumference of free-standing fire department connections. This section has been relocated from Section 704.2 in the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code.

(F)704.7 Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms shall be tested and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke alarms that do not function shall be replaced. Smoke alarms installed in one- and two-family dwellings shall be replaced no more than 10 years from the date of manufacture mark on the unit, or shall be replaced if the date of manufacture cannot be determined.

(F)705.1 Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed in dwellings in accordance with Section 1103.9 of the International Fire Code, except that alarms in dwellings covered by the International Residential Code shall be installed in accordance with Section R315 of that code.

The following section did not exist in the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code and has been added to the 2018 International Property Maintenance Code, however, the section was not blacklined to show it is a new section, and there is not a current erratum indicating a correction to the error.
(F)705.2 Carbon monoxide alarms and carbon monoxide detection systems shall be maintained in accordance with NFPA 720. Carbon monoxide alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that become inoperable or begin producing end-of-life signals shall be replaced.

Clay Dietrich inquired if central alarm systems require a report and gave an example of battery operated or one added one to the system. John Arens stated that it would make more sense to add one to the system for notification purposes. He stated that for residential dwellings, one and two family dwellings will only be affected if they remodel, but apartment buildings are required to have systems. He further explained that the average life expectancy of battery operated system is about ten years and it is suggested that a carbon monoxide combo system is added.

Item 4 – Staff Reports. Chris Rose stated that there were no staff reports at this time.

Item 5 – Adjournment. Mark Honzay motioned to adjourn the meeting. Mike Wild seconded the motion. All members present voted aye, and the motion was declared carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Christine Rose, Acting Board Secretary