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BCC Ruling No. 00-10-742

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #00-10-742

IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences 3.8.1.3.(1) and 3.8.2.1.(1) of Regulation 403, as amended by O. Reg. 22/98, 102/98, 122/98, 152/99, 278/99, 593/99 and 597/99 (the "Ontario Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Joe Goodbaum, Clearnet Communications Inc., Scarborough, Ontario for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Rocco Cerminara, Director of Building Controls, City of London to determine whether the proposed 3 m by 4.5 m kiosk structure, located in a 9 m wide public corridor, is required to provide barrier-free accessibility in accordance with Sentences 3.8.1.3.(1) and 3.8.2.1.(1) of the Ontario Building Code at the Clearnet Kiosk, Masonville Place Mall, 1680 Richmond Street North, London, Ontario.

APPLICANT
Mr. Joe Goodbaum
Clearnet Communications Inc.
200 Consilium Place, Ste. 1600
Scarborough, Ontario

RESPONDENT
Mr. Rocco Cerminara
Director of Building Controls
City of London, Ontario

PANEL
Mr. Kenneth Peaker, Chair-Designate
Mr. John Guthrie
Mr. Robert De Berardis

PLACE
Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING
March 2nd, 2000

DATE OF RULING
March 2nd, 2000

APPEARANCES
Mr. Les Muniak, Principal
Larden Muniak Consulting Inc.
Toronto, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

Mr. Gary Edwards
Chief Plan Examiner
City of London, Ontario
Designate for the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Joe Goodbaum, representing Clearnet Communications of Scarborough, Ontario, has applied for a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, to construct a kiosk structure at Masonville Place Mall, 1680 Richmond St. N, London, Ontario.

  1. Description of Constrution

The Applicant is proposing to construct a kiosk as a phone retail outlet in one of the public corridors serving the second floor of Masonville Place Mall located in London, Ontario. The newly renovated mall is classified as having a Group-E mercantile major occupancy. The mall is 81 641 m2 in building area, two storeys in building height, of non-combustible construction, and equipped with sprinkler and fire alarm systems.

The proposed kiosk will have an overall area of 13.5 m2 (3m by 4.5m). It will be constructed in the middle of a 9 m wide public corridor which connects the north-west wing of the Masonville Place Mall with its south-west wing.

The kiosk's structure, as proposed by the applicant, consists of a 1.2 m2 ( 2m by 0.6m) central island containing a cash area in order to incorporate two cashier counters. It will also include two L-shape counter assemblies (that will surround the central island) each comprised of five connected cabinets to be used as accessory showcases and phone counters. The L-shape counters are .45 m in width and will be arranged so that the long and short portions run parallel to each other. The counters will be placed far enough apart to allow an opening to the interior area at the north-west and south-east corners. The distance between central island and surrounding cabinetry will be 810 mm. The width of each entrance opening will be 651 mm. The clearance distance between the exterior boundaries of the kiosk on both east and west sides and the adjacent shops will be 3m.

The construction in dispute involves the design of the subject kiosk which, as proposed, does not provide a barrier-free path of travel within the kiosk area and does not meet the minimum width requirements mandated by the Ontario Building Code (OBC) for barrier-free entrances and corridors.

  1. Dispute

The dispute between the Applicant and the Respondent is whether the proposed 3 m by 4.5 m kiosk structure, located in a 9 m wide public corridor, is required to provide barrier-free accessibility in accordance with Sentences 3.8.2.1.(1) and 3.8.1.3.(1) of the Ontario Building Code.

The first provision, Sentence 3.8.2.1.(1), defines areas where a barrier-free path of travel is required based on the type of occupancy. According to this provision, except where essential obstructions that would exist in the "work areas" that would make a barrier-free path of travel dangerous, and except for provisions of Sentences (2), (3), and (4) of the same Article that provide lists of spaces and occupancies which are exempted from the provision of barrier-free paths of travel, all entrance storeys and occupied floor areas equipped with a passenger elevating device that are required to have barrier-free entrances are also required to provide barrier-free paths of travel. The exceptions defined and listed in Sentences 3.8.2.1.(1), (2), (3), and (4) do not apply to kiosks.

Thus, if an area is deemed to require a barrier-free path of travel then certain construction requirements apply. Among these is Sentence 3.8.1.3.(1) which stipulates that a barrier-free path of travel must have an unobstructed width of at least 1060 mm for the passage of mobility challenged people. The kiosk will be located in a 9 m wide public corridor. Keeping the structural parameters of the kiosk as proposed by the applicant means any increase in the width of the interior corridor of the kiosk will affect the width of the public corridor where the kiosk is located (Sentence 3.3.1.9.(6)(a) of the OBC requires a public corridor under such circumstances to have "an unobstructed width of not less than 3 m at all times adjacent and parallel to all rooms and suites that front onto" it). Thus, increasing the internal dimensions of the kiosk would either violate Clause 3.3.1.9.(6)(a) or require the reduction in the dimensions of the kiosk cabinetry.

Therefore, the specific issue before the Commission is whether under the Ontario Building Code the proposed kiosk is required to be barrier-free and meet minimum width requirements for barrier-free paths of travel.

  1. Provision of the Building Code

Sentence 3.8.1.3.(1) - Barrier-Free Path of Travel

    1. Except as required in Sentence (4) and except as permitted in Subsection 3.8.3., every barrier-free path of travel shall provide an unobstructed width of at least 1 060 mm (3 ft 6 in) for the passage of wheelchairs.

Sentence 3.8.2.1.(1) - Areas Requiring Barrier-Free Path of Travel

    1. Except where essential obstructions in the work area would make a barrier-free path of travel hazardous, and except as provided in Sentences (2), (3) and (4), a barrier-free path of travel from the entrances required by Sentences 3.8.1.2.(1) and (2) to be barrier-free shall be provided throughout the entrance storey and within all normally occupied floor areas served by a passenger type elevator or other platform equipped passenger elevating device.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Agent for the Applicant submitted that the minimum width requirement to make the interior corridor of the proposed kiosk barrier-free "conflicts with the fire safety requirements of a 10' [3 m] wide corridor clearance which bounds the kiosk on either side and restricts the kiosk expansion beyond the allocated boundary."

The Agent argued that providing a barrier-free path of travel within the kiosk area would cause them to increase width of the interior corridor by 250 mm [from 810 mm to 1060 mm]. He added that this expansion, which could only benefit one disabled person at a time, will affect the width of the public corridor that serves many people at all times.

Regarding the Respondent's proposals, the Agent argued that the relocation of the centre island (cashier counters) is not feasible for security reasons and decreasing the width of the cabinetry will make them too narrow and operationally unuseable.

The Agent stated that the requirement of the minimum corridor clearance of 3 m on either side of the kiosk is for fire safety reasons. Thus, they believe in this particular case that the fire safety concerns that will affect many people should take precedence over the "general welfare" of one individual and they should be allowed to proceed with their construction.

  1. Respondent's Position

The Respondent chose not to attend the hearing. The commission, therefore, relied only upon his written submission.

The Respondent submitted that in order for a building permit to be issued, the Applicant must verify that the proposed kiosk will not interfere with the minimum width of the mall corridor and also ensure other relevant sections of the OBC (in this case barrier-free accessibility) are complied with. He argued that the interior floor surface within the proposed kiosk does not meet the minimum width requirement of 1060 mm for barrier-free accessibility as specified in Sentence 3.8.1.3.(1). For this width to be met without interfering with the width of the public corridor, the Respondent has proposed that the Applicant consider one of the following options:

(1) To remove the centre island,

(2) To reduce the size of the cabinetry (perimeter units and centre island) in order to provide the required 1060 mm clearance, or

(3) To relocate the kiosk to another location within the mall which would have a corridor width with a minimum dimension of 9708 mm (31'-10") and would allow the kiosk with the present fixture sizes to be expanded to 3708 mm without interfering with the minimum clear corridor width of 3 m (9'-10") (OBC 3.3.1.9.(6).(a)) on each side of the kiosk .

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposed 3 m by 4.5 m kiosk structure, located in a 9 m wide public corridor is required to provide barrier-free accessibility in accordance with Sentence 3.8.1.3.(1) and 3.8.2.1.(1) of the Ontario Building Code at the Clearnet Kiosk, Masonville Place Mall, 1680 Richmond Street North, London, Ontario.

  1. Reasons

Kiosks are not listed as one of the areas in terms of providing a barrier-free path of travel as determined in Article 3.8.2.1., therefore a barrier-free path of travel of the appropriate width is required.


Dated at Toronto this 2nd day in the month of March, in the year 2000, for application number 2000-11.





____________________________

Mr. Kenneth Peaker, Chair-Designate





_______________________

Mr. John Guthrie





__________________________

Mr. Robert De Berardis