BCAB #1421 - Egress from Garage, Sentence

July 17, 1996

BCAB #1421

Re: Egress from Garage, Sentence

Project Description

The project is a three storey residential building containing four dwelling units. The first storey consists of four single car garages while the second and third storeys contain two dwellings each. There is a common area in front of the garages that is covered by the storey above and could be considered a four car carport. The garages are separated from each other and there is no internal access between the garages and the dwelling units. Due to site conditions three of the garages have only the overhead vehicle entry door and no man door at the rear.

Reason for Appeal

Article requires egress doors from every room in a building and with one exception Article requires such doors to swing on a vertical axis.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that Sentence applies because each garage serves "not more than one dwelling unit." Therefore, the single egress door permitted by Sentence is exempted from the requirement to swing on a vertical axis.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Sentence applies and requires the exit door to swing on a vertical axis in the direction of exit travel. The garages are not interconnected to the residential suites so the exemption from swinging on a vertical axis provided by Sentence does not apply. Also, if the horizontally hung garage doors were considered exit doors they would lead to a path of travel through the covered parking area and this is considered an obstructed means of egress.

Appeal Board Decision #1421

It is the determination of the Board that each individual garage serves not more than one dwelling unit and Sentence is applicable. The code does not require the garage to be attached to the dwelling it serves and does not require internal access between the garage and the dwelling.

George R. Humphrey, Chair