BCAB #940 - Carports, Article

October 27, 1987

BCAB #940

Re: Carports, Article

With reference to your letter of August 27, 1987 regarding the construction of a carport.

It is not possible to provide an answer which will satisfy every situation, so we will address what is common with a residential carport, which we understand forms the basis for the appeal.

Dealing with a carport, attached to and forming part of a house, we would make the following points.

1. A carport is a "building" as defined by the Code.

2. On a very general basis it could also fall within the category of a "storage garage", although we would regard this term as relating more to a possible separate occupancy, rather than the situation being reviewed.

3. Article and Sentence both refer to storage garages having storeys constructed as "open air storeys". These are defined as having a minimum 25 percent area of the perimeter walls open to provide cross ventilation. We are unable to relate this to the statement in Article which distinguishes a carport from a garage. We must take the "open air storey" concept as applying to larger structures than that under consideration.

4. In the case of a carport attached to a house, the provisions of Article would ensure that most of the remaining walls would not constitute an enclosure. Under the circumstances if the wall facing the property line is open, we cannot regard it as an "exposing building face" for the purpose of determining limiting distance, although zoning bylaws may well restrict its proximity to a property line.

On a general basis we must disagree with the direction of your letter with respect to combustible contents. A roof over a parked car is little different to a parked car without the roof, in comparing hazard levels. When enclosed by walls in addition to a roof we would regard it as a significant increase in potential hazard.

J.C. Currie, Chair