BCAB #1236 - Access for Fire Department Equipment; Article

February 22 , 1991

BCAB #1236

Re: Access for Fire Department Equipment; Article

Project Description

An existing single family dwelling onto which an addition is to be built. Vehicular access to the property is by way of a 20 foot wide city lane which narrows to 13 feet at one point due to an encroachment. The lane serves the appellant's property and one other.

Reason for Appeal

The building official has refused to issue a building permit because he feels that adequate access for fire department equipment is not provided by the lane.

Appellant's Position

The appellant is financially committed to the property and if neither an addition or new building is possible without acceptable access, which they cannot provide, then the property's value is significantly reduced. Significant upgrading of the dwelling was required by the City and this work has been satisfactorily completed.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the lane does not meet the definition of a street in the Code. Access for fire department equipment must be provided by way of a street, private roadway or yard and because the access in this case does not meet the Code requirements a permit cannot be issued.

Appeal Board Decision #1236

The Board considers the subject of this Appeal was adequately dealt with under Appeal #1074 / 1074A (copies attached). However we would like to offer a suggestion.

Article requires access for fire department equipment by means of a street private roadway or yard. The Board considers a public lane may warrant consideration as an equivalent to a private roadway or yard. Section 2.5 of the Code permits consideration of equivalents by the authority having jurisdiction and we suggest that this avenue be pursued by the appellant.

George R. Humphrey, Chair