BCAB #1333 - Stairs or Landscaping, Sentences & (2)

January 19, 1994

BCAB #1333

Re: Stairs or Landscaping, Sentences & (2)

Project Description

The project in question is an apartment building with the first floor about 30 inches below grade. The first floor suites have exterior patios at floor level with vertical retaining walls on each side to hold back the surrounding landscaping. The retaining "wall" opposite the patio doors is built of 4" x 4" landscape timbers assembled in the form of a set of steps with a 101.6 mm (4") rise and a 21 mm (81/4") run.

Reason for Appeal

Article contains the design and construction requirements for stairs. Sentence requires treads and risers to conform with Table 3.3.1.B. For stairs serving a dwelling unit the minimum rise must be 125 mm (4.92") and the minimum run must be 230 mm (9.06").

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that these are wood cribbing retaining walls, not stairs, and do not have to conform to the requirements of Article

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the retaining structures are constructed in the form of stairs which serves dwelling units and must conform with Article

Appeal Board Decision #1333

It is the determination of the Board that although the retaining walls are constructed in the form of stairs, they are neither part of the building nor required as part of the means of egress. Therefore, they are not required to conform to the requirements of Article

George R. Humphrey, Chair