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BCC Ruling No. 99-49-705

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BUILDING CODE COMMISSION DECISION ON B.C.C. #99-49-705

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentence 8.2.1.6.(2) of Regulation 403, as amended by O. Reg. 22/98, 102/98 and 122/98 (the "Ontario Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Barry Mills, President, 933891 Ontario Ltd., Stroud, Ontario, for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Ray Hachigian, Inspector & Chief Building Official, Ontario to determine whether the subject piers supporting a second storey balcony as constructed and first storey deck as proposed, with less than 5 m clearance distance to the sewage system distribution pipes, provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 8.2.1.6.(2) of the Ontario Building Code at the Green Residence, Flint Island B295, Township of the Archipelago, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Mr. Barry Mills, President
933891 Ontario Ltd., O/A Classic Country Homes & Grill
Stroud, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Mr. Ray Hachigian
Inspector & Chief Building Official
Township of Archipelago

PANEL

Mr. Bryan Whitehead (Chair-Designate)
Mr. Doug Robinson
Mr. Bill Fellner

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

July 22, 1999

DATE OF RULING

July 22, 1999

APPEARANCES

Mr. Barry Mills, President
933891 Ontario Ltd., O/A Classic Country Homes & Grill
Toronto, Ontario
The Applicant

Mr. Ray Hachigian
Inspector & Chief Building Official
Township of Archipelago
For the Respondent

RULING

  1. The Applicant

Mr. Barry Mills, President, 933891 Ontario Ltd., has received a building permit under the Building Code Act, 1992 to construct a residence including second storey balconies on April 19, 1999 and an order to comply under the Building Code Act (BCA), 1992 to provide the required minimum clearance distance between two balcony supporting piers and the distribution pipe in the newly constructed absorption bed at Flint Island B295 PCL 11706, former Township of Conger in the Township of the Archipelago, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The property in question is a 4500 square foot Group C - residential occupancy constructed on a 17.2 acre parcel of land and serviced by a drilled well. The sewage system is a newly constructed Class 4 filter bed system consisting of two existing thirty four square metre beds with an additional bed to be added. The building under construction is described as a two storey, single detached structure.

The construction in dispute involves a lower (1st storey) deck and two supporting piers of an upper (2nd storey) balcony at the northeast corner of the building, which do not provide the minimum horizontal clearance distance of 5 m to distribution pipe in the filter bed as required by Sentence 8.2.1.6.(2) of the Ontario Building Code.

On September 21, 1998, the sewage permit was issued and on April 19, 1999 the Applicant was issued a building permit for the residence and an additional accessory sewage system. On May 6, 1999 an Order to Comply was issued requiring compliance with the clearance distance requirements referred to above. It was during an inspection of the proposed work that the clearance distance deficiencies were discovered.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the subject piers supporting the second storey balcony and the 1st storey deck as proposed, with as little as 2.13 m clearance distance from the distribution pipe in the filter bed, provides sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 8.2.1.6.(1) of the Ontario Building Code. This provision requires a minimum horizontal clearance distance of 5 m between a structure and a distribution pipe. With respect to the 1st floor deck, the Applicant committed to placing any additional deck piers a minimum of 2.13 m from the distribution pipe.

  1. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Sentence 8.2.1.6.(2) Clearances for a Class 4 or 5 Sewage System

(2) Except as permitted by Article 3.1.8.17., the maximum area of glass block and wired glass panels not in a door, used in the locations shown in Table 3.1.8.15., shall conform to the Table.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that the proposed deck and second storey balcony will not interfere with the operation nor effectiveness of the septic system. He noted that the deck and balcony are sitting on bedrock and the base of the piers are a minimum 2 ft above the filter bed. Accordingly, given that the structures are supported on bedrock above the bed, they are unlikely to have an adverse impact on the operation or the effectiveness of the sewage system. Furthermore, given that the piers are two feet higher than the sewage system, the operation of the sewage system is unlikely to adversely impact on the structure.

The Applicant also argued that despite the proximity (less than half the required distance in the case of the deck: 13' as opposed to 1.5 m in the case of the balcony piers) the bed remains accessible for any repair or maintenance, and the structure can be maintained without affecting the filter bed.

Additionally the Applicant suggested that the existence of the 1st storey deck would keep people off the filter bed and assist in its' functioning.

  1. Respondent's Position

The Respondent submitted that the subject deck and balcony do not meet the stipulated distance found in Sentence 8.2.1.6.(2). There is no definition of structure in the Regulation however the definition of "building" in Subsection 1.(1) of the Building Code Act (BCA), 1992 appears to reference the structural elements which are infringing on the required setback at issue.

Furthermore, the Respondent argued that because structure is not defined in the OBC, there is no direction to specifically exclude decks from this setback requirement or other exemptions that might render the stipulation not applicable.

The Respondent did not believe that there were issues relating to this situation other than the fact that he did not feel he had any discretion to vary the requirements in this part of the Code.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the existing separation between the piers constructed to support the proposed second floor balconies and the distribution pipe in the existing filter bed, provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 8.2.1.6.(2) of the Ontario Building Code.

Further, it is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposed first storey raised walkway or deck (0.6 m above grade) supported on the existing piers and two proposed piers no closer than 2.13 metres to the distribution pipe, provide sufficiency of compliance with Sentence 8.7.1.6.(2) of the Ontario Building Code.

  1. Reasons

i) The existing and proposed piers, constructed

as sonotubes filled with concrete, are sufficiently separated from the distribution pipe to have no impact on the performance of the filter bed.

ii) The presence of the raised walkway at least 2.13 metres from the distribution pipe will have no impact on the performance of the filter bed.

iii) The disposal of sewage effluent into filter bed will have no impact on the performance of the piers.

Dated at Toronto this 22nd day in the month of July in the year 1999 for application number 1999-44

Mr. Bryan Whitehead, Chair-Designate

Mr. Douglas Robinson

Mr. Bill Fellner