BCAB #1318 - Fire Separation of Strata Title Townhouses, Sentences 9.10.9.14.(1) & 9.10.11.2.(1)

August 19, 1993

BCAB #1318   

Re: Fire Separation of Strata Title Townhouses, Sentences 9.10.9.14.(1) & 9.10.11.2.(1)

Project Description

The project in question is a 19 unit strata title townhouse complex. The townhouses are all side by side with no dwelling unit above another.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 9.10.9.14.(1) requires suites of residential occupancy to be separated by a 45 min fire separation. Article 9.10.11.1. requires a party wall on a property line to be constructed as a firewall except in a residential building where there is no dwelling unit above another such as this townhouse project. Where there is no dwelling unit above another Sentence 9.10.11.2.(1) permits the party wall to be a fire separation with a 1 hr fire resistance rating. There is a disagreement over which of these two requirements applies to this project.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that Sentence 9.10.9.14.(1) is the appropriate requirement and the fire separations between residential suites should be 45 min.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that because there are strata title "property lines" between the units the appropriate requirement is Sentence 9.10.11.2.(1) which requires a 1 hr fire separation.

Appeal Board Decision #1318

It is the determination of the Board that strata lots are not parcels of land as intended in the definition of party wall. For the purposes of the Code strata title suites should be considered the same as rental suites. Sentence 9.10.9.14.(1) would apply to the fire separation between such suites.

George R. Humphrey, Chair