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BCC Ruling No. 16-16-1444

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Ruling No.: 16-16-1444
Application No.: B 2016-02

 

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 OFSubsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Jeff Reid, for the resolution of a dispute with John DeVries, Chief Building Official, to determine whether the the location, widths and frames of the as-constructed interior doors, and the as constructed “extension wall” located on the 2nd floor of a 3 storey, single family dwelling, provides sufficiency of compliance with Subsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, 1992 at 9193 and 9193A Bathurst Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Jeff Reid
Homeowner
Richmond Hill, Ontario

RESPONDENT

John DeVries
Chief Building Official
Town of Richmond Hill, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Leslie Morgan
Yaman Uzumeri

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

April 21, 2016

DATE OF RULING

April 21, 2016

APPEARANCES

Jeff Reid
Homeowner
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Applicant

Morris Lucchetta
Manager of Inspections
Town of Richmond Hill
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has received an Order to Comply under the Building Code Act, 1992, to remedy certain alleged deficiencies at 9193 and 9193A Bathurst Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario.

The subject buildings are newly constructed semi-detached dwellings that are 3 storeys in building height and are comprised of combustible construction.

The construction in dispute relates to the location, widths and frames of the as-constructed interior doors, and the as-constructed “extension wall” located on the 2nd floor at each of the above single family dwellings and further, whether the construction is in accordance with the approved building permit drawings.

In written submissions received by the Commission, both parties indicated that the dispute is in relation to Subsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, 1992. No provisions of the Building Code were indicated as being in dispute. As a result, at the outset of the hearing the Commission requested the parties to address the issue of jurisdiction.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

Subsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992.
No person shall construct or demolish a building or cause a building to be constructed or demolished except in accordance with the plans, specifications, documents and any other information on the basis of which a permit was issued or any changes to them authorized by the chief building official. 1992, c. 23, s. 8 (13).

3. Applicant’s Position

In a written submission to the Commission, the Applicant indicated that the dispute with the Respondent related to Subsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

In his application for hearing, the Applicant submitted that during a final interior inspection of the two newly constructed semi-detached dwelling units, technical deficiencies were cited by the Respondent which included: the location, widths and material of certain interior door frames. The Applicant explained that the location of the interior door openings in question were constructed in the same location as indicated on the approved building permit drawings. He stated that as the materials used to construct the door frames were not indicated on the approved permit drawings, the permit was not issued based on plans, specifications, or documents specifying the material to be used for the subject door frames. The Applicant submitted that it is his position that the as-constructed wood/and or metal door frames provide a higher standard for life safety than the inferior material substitution requested by the Respondent and thus, not only sufficiently complies with the requirements set out in the Building Code but exceeds those requirements.

In his written submission, with respect to the width of one of the door openings, the Applicant submitted that the Building Code regulates the minimum width of a door opening, and in this case, the subject door in dispute exceeds the minimum width requirement.

At the outset of the hearing, in response to the Commission’s questions, the Applicant indicated that he was not aware of the specific technical provisions of the Building Code that were in dispute but that the Order to Comply he received indicated there were technical deficiencies. As a result, the Applicant was seeking clarification from the municipality as to what technical deficiencies, if any, were at issue. The Applicant further submitted that there was a discrepancy in the drawings that were included with the Respondent’s submission to the Commission and wanted to seek clarification as to the accuracy of the drawings.

4. Respondent’s Position

In a written submission to the Commission, the Designate for the Respondent submitted that it was the municipality’s position that the application before the Building Code Commission did not have merit as there was no technical requirement of the Building Code in dispute.

The Designate advised that the provision in dispute in this case, relates to subsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, 1992, which states, “No person shall construct or demolish a building or cause a building to be constructed or demolished except in accordance with the plans, specifications, documents and any other information on the basis of which a permit was issued or any changes to them authorized by the Chief Building Official”.

The Designate submitted that since 2011, several Orders to Comply have been issued to the Applicant during the construction of the subject buildings for not constructing in accordance with the approved permit drawings. The Designate advised that a further Order to Comply was issued on May 12, 2015 for not constructing in accordance with the approved permit drawings related to the construction of door frames and an extension wall on the second level of the subject buildings. The Designate submitted that the municipality requires the subject semi-detached buildings to be constructed as per the approved building permit applications or alternatively, the Applicant provide revised drawings that reflect the current construction to the municipality for review.

In response to questions, the Designate maintained it was his opinion that there was no technical provision of the Building Code in dispute in this matter and further, indicated that he was unaware of the discrepancy in the drawings submitted to the Commission, as referred to by the Applicant and could not confirm the Applicant’s assertion.

In summary, the Designate maintained that the dispute was a procedural issue related to subsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, 1992, and not a technical dispute related to the Building Code.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that, under clause 24(1)(a) of the Building Code Act, 1992, the Commission does not have the jurisdiction to make a determination on the issues raised in relation to the matter at 9193 and 9193A Bathurst Street, Richmond Hill, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. The Building Code Commission is a quasi-judicial tribunal whose mandate is set out in subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

    Clause 24(1)(a) of the Building Code Act, 1992, states, “This section applies if there is a dispute between an applicant for a permit, a holder of a permit or a person to whom an order is given and the chief building official, a registered code agency or an inspector concerning sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code” (emphasis added).

    In response to questions, the Commission heard that the Applicant was not aware of any technical provision of the Building Code that was in dispute. The Commission also heard that the Respondent did not believe there was any technical provision of the Building Code in dispute but rather, the dispute between the Applicant and the municipality related to subsection 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

    The Commission’s jurisdiction under clause 24(1)(a) of the Act is limited to resolving disputes of a technical nature involving the construction requirements of the Building Code and neither party identified any technical requirement of the Building Code that was in dispute.

  2. While the Commission heard evidence that an Order to Comply has been issued by the municipality to the Applicant, the order requires the Applicant to comply with subsections 8.(13) of the Building Code Act, 1992, and is not an order concerning compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code. The Commission notes that disputes concerning compliance with the Act are not disputes which are identified in subsection 24(1) of the Act. As such, it is the Commission’s opinion that it does not have the jurisdiction to resolve disputes concerning compliance with the Act.

  3. The Commission heard that the Applicant believes there was a discrepancy in the drawings that were included with the Respondent’s submission to the Commission. The Designate for the Respondent indicated that he was unaware of the discrepancy and could not confirm the Applicant’s assertion. It is the opinion of the Commission that discrepancies in documents submitted to the Commission do not constitute a dispute concerning sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code.

  4. The Commission acknowledges that the Applicant believes that the Commission should have the jurisdiction to verify the accuracy of the drawings that were submitted; however, as noted above, the Commission has limited jurisdiction as outlined in subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992. It is the opinion of the Commission that, in this case, there is no dispute concerning sufficiency of compliance with the technical requirements of the Building Code.

  5. The Commission notes that a person who considers themselves aggrieved by an order or decision made by the chief building official, a registered code agency or an inspector under the Act may appeal the order to the Superior Court of Justice, as provided in subsection 25.-(1) of the Act.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 21st day in the month of April in the year 2016 for application number B 2016-02.

Tony Chow, Chair

Leslie Morgan

Yaman Uzumeri