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BCC Ruling No. 13-01-1329

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Ruling No.: 13-01-1329
Application No.: B-2012-24

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION


IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences 3.7.4.1.(3) and 3.10.2.7.(1) of Division B of Regulation 350/06, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Gary Woodbeck for resolution of a dispute with Des Stolz, Chief Building Official, City of Thunder Bay, to determine whether the proposal to provide sanitary facilities for self-service storage buildings that are not within one of the buildings on the subject property provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 3.10.2.7. and Sentence 3.7.4.1.(3) of Division B of the Building Code at 184 Van Horne Street, City of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Gary Woodbeck
Chief Executive Officer, Armstrong the Mover
Thunder Bay, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Des Stolz
Chief Building Official
City of Thunder Bay, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Alison Orr
Yaman Uzumeri

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

February 7, 2013

DATE OF RULING

February 7, 2013

APPEARANCES

Gary Woodbeck
The Applicant

and
Kal Kangas
Agent for the Applicant

Des Stolz, Chief Building Official
The Respondent

and
Alan Bygate
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 and has relocated the position of existing self-service storage units.
The self-service storage units are shipping containers that are comprised of non-combustible construction material. The units are considered buildings and are classified as Group F, Division 2 industrial occupancy buildings. The facility occupies two parcels of land; an office building and warehouse space is located on one parcel while the other parcel includes multiple self-service storage units.

The self-service storage containers are unheated and are rented by clients who use them for storage of items such as furniture and boxes of household items. The property on which the storage containers are placed is located across the street from the parcel of land on which the office building is located. Sanitary facilities are not provided on the property on which the storage containers are located; however, facilities are available in the office building across the street.

Section 3.10. of the Building Code provides the requirements associated with self-service storage facilities. Article 3.10.2.7. outlines the requirements for the provision of sanitary facilities. Sentence 3.10.2.7.(2) states that except as permitted in Sentences 3.7.4.1.(2) and (3), two washrooms shall be provided within one of the buildings on the property. Sentence 3.7.4.1.(3) provides an exception to the requirement related to washrooms for a self-service storage facility.

The issue at dispute pertains whether the proposal to provide sanitary facilities for self-service storage buildings that are not within one of the buildings on the subject property but rather are located on a nearby property provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 3.10.2.7. and Sentence 3.7.4.1.(3) of Division B of the Building Code.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

3.7.4.1. Plumbing and Drainage Systems
  1. When the installation of a sanitary drainage system is not possible because of the absence of a water supply, sanitary privies, chemical toilets or other means for the disposal of human waste shall be provided.2
  2. Plumbing fixtures need not be provided in building that is not normally occupied by persons where such installations are impractical and other fixtures are available in nearby buildings when the subject building is in use.3

3.10.2.7. Sanitary Facilities
  1. Except as provided in Sentence (2), the requirements of Subsection 3.7.4. shall apply.
  2. Except as permitted in Sentences 3.7.4.1.(2) and (3), two washrooms, each containing a water closet and a lavatory, shall be provided within one of the buildings on the property.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant submitted that the dispute relates to the provision of washroom facilities to the self-service storage buildings. The Applicant admitted that the property on which the storage containers are located is not provided with washroom facilities on site however there are washroom facilities available in the office building which is located across the street. He stressed that access to the property on which the storage buildings are located is restricted to times when the office building is open.
The Applicant added that the office building is an integral part of the operation of the storage facility. He advised the Commission that the storage buildings are not occupied by persons and are unheated. He contended that it would be quite costly to provide washroom facilities and he believes the proposal to be acceptable.

The Applicant described the operation of the self-service storage buildings as being dependent on the operation of the office building located across street. He stated that clients are advised when they sign the agreement to rent a storage container that they will only have access to the storage container during hours when the office building is open and operational. He informed the Commission that access to the storage containers is limited to times when the gate is unlocked to permit access and that the gate is under the control of the staff who work in the office building.
In summary, the Applicant advised that a sign could be posted on the gate to advise that washroom facilities are available in the office nearby and further that a clause could be included in the agreement to advise clients of the availability of washrooms. He reiterated his belief that in this case provided washroom facilities in the office building across the street meets the intent of the Building Code.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent submitted that Sentence 3.10.2.7.(2) of the Building Code requires two washrooms to be provided within one of the buildings on the property. He stated that the self-service facility does not comply with Sentence 3.10.2.7.(2) as none of the buildings on this property have a washroom.
The Respondent maintained that the exemptions provided in Sentences 3.7.4.1.(2) and 3.7.4.1.(3) are not applicable in the matter before the Commission. He contended that, as a public water supply is available, the exemptions permitted by Sentence 3.7.4.1.(2) are not available. In addition, he maintained that, as a washroom is not available in a nearby building on the property, Sentence 3.7.4.1.(3) does not apply.

In response to questions, the Respondent explained that in reading Sentence 3.7.4.1.(3), he believes that the provision reference to a “nearby” building means a nearby building on the same property. He acknowledged that the two properties are currently under the same ownership however, he stressed that if the property containing the proposed washroom location were to be sold separately in the future, the owners/tenants of the self-service storage facility would not have a washroom available to them.

In conclusion, the Respondent reiterated that the proposal to provide a washroom for the self-service storage facility on the property across the street does not comply with Sentence 3.10.2.7.(2) of the Building Code.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposal to provide sanitary facilities for self-service storage buildings that are not within one of the buildings on the subject property provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 3.10.2.7. and Sentence 3.7.4.1.(3) of Division B of the Building Code at 184 Van Horne Street, City of Thunder Bay, Ontario, on condition that:
  1. Permanent signage will be posted on the gate that provides access to the self-service storage buildings advising patrons that sanitary facilities are available at the office across the street.
  2. A clause will be written into leasehold agreements which will advise patrons of the self-service storage buildings that sanitary facilities are available at the office across the street.
  3. Access to the self-service storage buildings is provided through a gate that is under the control of the staff of the office building located across the street.
  4. Access to all storage units shall be available from the central court yard. Storage units 9 and 10 will have access provided from the central court yard.

6. Reasons

  1. The Commission heard that patrons of the self-service storage buildings would be permitted access to the washroom facilities located in the office building across the street.
  2. Access to the self-service storage buildings is limited to the hours of operation of the office building located across the street.
  3. Access to the self-service storage buildings is provided through a gate that is under the control of the staff of the office building located across the street.
  4. The Commission heard that the self-service storage buildings are not equipped with heat and are not normally occupied by persons.
  5. In the opinion of the Commission, the exceptions outlined in Sentence 3.7.4.1.(3) are generally satisfied in this case. Therefore, upon fulfilling the conditions noted above, the Commission is satisfied that sufficiency of compliance is achieved.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 7th day in the month of February in the year 2013 for application number B-2012-24.


Tony Chow, Chair

Alison Orr

Yaman Uzumeri