BCAB #1803 - Re: Limiting Distance

November 16, 2017

BCAB #1803

Re: Limiting Distance

Project Description

The project is a house constructed on a corner lot bounded by two public road allowances. One of the adjacent public road allowances is 15m wide but is unimproved and is not used for vehicular traffic. This public road allowance dead ends at the oceanfront. The determination of limiting distance in relation to this public road allowance is the subject of this appeal.

Applicable Code Requirement

Definition of limiting distance per Article 1.4.1.2. of Division A of the 2012 British Columbia Building Code

Limiting Distance means the distance from an exposing building face to a property line, the centre line of a street, lane or public thoroughfare, or to an imaginary line between 2 buildings or fire compartments on the same property, measured at right angles to the exposing building face.

Decision being Appealed (Local Authority’s Position)

The local authority has determined that the limiting distance shall be measured from the exposing building face to the property line; not to the center line of the road (public road allowance). The local authorities’ position is that the subject road is an unimproved road that does not meet the definition of ‘street’, or the common definition of ‘lane’ or ‘public thoroughfare’ as it has no outlet.

Appellant's Position

The appellant maintains that the subject road provides public access and that limiting distance may be measured from the center line of the road.

Appeal Board Decision #1803

It is the determination of the Board that the limiting distance shall be measured from the exposing building face to the centre line of the public road allowance.

Reason for Decision

The public road allowance is a public thoroughfare; though unimproved, it is open to the public. The requirements for spatial separation relate to the spread of fire from a building to an adjacent building. The Building Code assumes no building will be built on a public road allowance. The Building Code permits the limiting distance to be measured to the centre line of a public road allowance.

Lyle Kuhnert
Chair, Building Code Appeal Board