BCAB #1022A - Building Height, Appeal #1022

March 3, 1989

BCAB #1022A

Re: Building Height, Appeal #1022

With reference to your letter of February 14, 1989 regarding our decision on February 6, 1989 dealing with the height of this complex. In view of the circumstances we are treating this as a separate appeal.

In the original Appeal #1022, it was established that we are dealing with three buildings, separated by firewalls; this situation is unchanged, but the as-built drawings now submitted differ from those originally considered, necessitating a review of our earlier decision. For ease of reference, we will refer to the most northerly building as No. 1 the central as No. 2, and the most southerly as No. 3.

On the basis of the new drawings - Building No. 3 remains a three-storey building. Building No. 2, by virtue of the levels shown at the north end, is a four-storey building. Building No. 1, because of the north and west elevations, is a four-storey building. We would note that since this building is now four storeys, the question regarding a 12 foot landscaped width becomes academic, it is not acceptable for fire fighting purposes.

Your letter refers to concern over the use of landscaped areas adjacent to buildings to establish "grade". On this point we have no problem with the artificial manipulation of grade, and the final finished surface constitutes "grade" for the purposes of addressing building height in the Code. It is however essential that any manipulation, or even original surfaces, provide the necessary base for fire fighting which is the reason for Code concerns in this type of situation. Such surfaces may, or may not, be paved; we are not dealing with vehicle access for this issue. Accepting that we are looking at the establishment of a base for fire fighting purposes, we were concerned over what we could only regard as planters, against the exterior walls.

J.C. Currie, Chair