BCAB #1787 - Occupancy Classification of Building, Article 3.1.3.2.

July 21, 2016

BCAB #1787

Re: Occupancy Classification of Building, Article 3.1.3.2.

Project Description

The appellant proposes to operate a micro-distillery in a detached workshop on a residential property. The detached building is about 30 m2, and is presently used as a storage garage/workshop.

The proposed micro-distillery is intended to be a commercial operation with a projected production of about 500 litres annually and will be the primary use of the detached building.

Reason for Appeal

The local authority has refused a business license for the micro distillery, based on Article 3.1.3.2. of the BC Building Code that prohibits an F1 High Hazard Industrial occupancy located in a building with an occupancy classification of Group C Residential.

Appellant's Position

The appellant considers the British Columbia Building Code definitions of “building” and “major occupancy” to allow a detached building with no sleeping accommodation to be classified as a Group F, Division 1 major occupancy.

Local Authority’s Position

The local authority considers accessory buildings on residential zoned property to be classified as Group C, Residential Occupancy. The local authority has determined that a micro distillery, classified as Group F, Division 1, cannot be located in the detached building classified as Group C , as restricted by Article 3.1.3.2.

Appeal Board Decision #1787

It is the determination of the Board that the separate building shall be classified according to its major occupancy. The micro-distillery shall be classified as a Group F industrial major occupancy.

Reason for Decision

Sentences 3.1.2.1.(1) and 9.10.2.1.(1) both state that every building shall be classified according to its major occupancy. The only use of the building is a micro-distillery.

Part 9 makes considerations for accessory buildings serving a single dwelling unit, however in this circumstance, the commercial micro-distillery should not be considered accessory to the dwelling unit.

It is outside of the Board’s mandate to comment on land use or zoning matters.

Lyle Kuhnert
Chair, Building Code Appeal Board