Chapter 16.04
BUILDING CONSTRUCTION CODE

Sections:

16.04.010    Purpose.

16.04.020    Adoption of codes by reference.

16.04.030    Conflicts between codes.

16.04.040    Administrative provisions.

16.04.050    Enforcement authority designated.

16.04.060    Fees.

16.04.070    Building code amendments.

16.04.080    Fire code amendments.

16.04.090    Liability.

16.04.100    Violations and penalties.

16.04.110    Appeals.

16.04.010 Purpose.

The purpose of the codes and regulations adopted in this title is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use, occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings and structures within the city of Port Townsend. It is not the purpose or intent to create or designate any particular class or group of persons to be especially protected or benefited, nor is it intended to create any special relationship with any group or individual. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.020 Adoption of codes by reference.

The following codes, as now or hereafter amended, one copy of which shall be on file with the city clerk for use and examination by the public, are hereby adopted by this reference as if fully set forth in this chapter and as specifically modified or amended as set forth in this chapter:

A. The International Building Code, 2012 Edition, published by the International Code Council, as amended by the Washington State Building Code Council in Chapter 51-50 WAC, and as subsequently amended by this chapter, is hereby adopted along with Appendix Chapters J and M.

B. The International Residential Code, 2012 Edition, published by the International Code Council, as amended by the Washington State Building Code Council in Chapter 51-51 WAC, and as subsequently amended by this chapter, is hereby adopted along with Appendix Chapters B, H, and K.

C. The International Mechanical Code, 2012 Edition, published by the International Code Council, as amended by the Washington State Building Code Council in Chapter 51-52 WAC; except that the standards for liquefied petroleum gas installations shall be as specified in NFPA 58 (Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases) and ANSI Z223.1/NFPA 54 (National Fuel Gas Code).

D. The International Fire Code, 2012 Edition, published by the International Code Council, as amended by the Washington State Building Code Council in Chapter 51-54A WAC, and as subsequently amended by this chapter, is hereby adopted along with Appendix Chapters B, C, D107, E and F.

E. The Uniform Plumbing Code, 2012 Edition, published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, as amended by the Washington State Building Code Council in Chapter 51-56 WAC, is hereby adopted.

F. The Washington State Energy Code as adopted and amended by the Washington State Building Code Council in Chapters 51-11C and 51-11R WAC, is hereby adopted.

G. The International Existing Building Code, 2012 Edition, published by the International Code Council, is hereby adopted.

H. The International Code Council Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities, 2012 Edition, published by the International Code Council, including Appendices A, B, C, D and E, is hereby adopted. (Ord. 3093 § 1 (Exh. A), 2013; Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.030 Conflicts between codes.

In case of conflict among the building code, the residential code, the mechanical code, the fire code, and the plumbing code, the first named code shall govern. In case of conflicts between other codes and provisions adopted by this chapter, the code or provision that is the most specific, as determined by the building official, shall apply. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.040 Administrative provisions.

The administrative provisions as specified in Chapter 1 of the International Building Code (IBC) as adopted and as subsequently amended by this chapter shall be used as the general administrative provisions for the codes listed in PTMC 16.04.020. As such, the administrative provisions of other than the IBC shall not be in effect, except when they contain a higher degree of specificity as determined by the building official. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.050 Enforcement authority designated.

Any reference in the codes listed in PTMC 16.04.020 to “building official,” “code official,” “authority having jurisdiction” or other designation relating to the enforcement of the provisions of the codes shall be deemed to mean the director of development services or his or her designee. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.060 Fees.

Any fee schedule in any of the codes listed in PTMC 16.04.020 shall be void. All fee schedules shall be listed in a separate fee resolution adopted by the city council of the city of Port Townsend. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.070 Building code amendments.

The following sections in the adopted International Building Code are hereby amended:

A. Section 105.2 item No. 4 is amended to read:

Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, provided the wall is set back from any adjacent property lines or structures a distance at least equal to the height of the wall and the material retained slopes 1:2 (or less) up and away from the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding Class I, II or II-A liquids.

B. Section 105.2 item No. 10 is amended to read:

Decks, platforms, walks and driveways not more than thirty inches above grade and not located over any basement or story above.

C. Section 110.1 is amended by the addition of the following:

EXCEPTION: R-3 and U occupancies

D. Section 110.2 is amended to read:

After the building official inspects the building or structure and finds no violations of the provisions of the codes adopted by Chapter 16.04 PTMC or other pertinent laws that are enforced by the jurisdiction, the building official shall issue a certificate of occupancy on a form developed by the City to display the information that is relevant to identify the facility and code requirements.

(Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.080 Fire code amendments.

The following sections in the adopted International Fire Code are hereby amended:

A. Section 503, Fire Apparatus Access Roads, is amended to read:

503.1.1 Emergency Vehicle Access.

Emergency vehicle access (EV access) shall be provided from a public or private street to a parcel(s) of land that has a building or facility on it. EV access shall be required for every building or facility hereafter constructed, altered or installed and shall extend to within 150 feet of any portion of the facility as measured by an approved route around the exterior. Emergency vehicle access shall be provided and maintained in accordance with this article.

503.1.2 Modifications.

A. When buildings are protected with an approved automatic fire sprinkler

system, the provisions of this section may be modified.

B. When a site is constrained due to topography, waterways, nonnegotiable grades, or other similar conditions, the director, after conferring with the fire marshal, may modify the requirements of this article to provide an equivalent means of fire protection and EV access.

503.1.3 Exceptions.

The provisions of this section do not apply to the following:

A. All common residential accessory buildings similar to Group U occupancies (private garages, carports, sheds, some agricultural buildings, tanks, towers and fences over six feet tall) as defined by the most current edition of the building code as adopted by the city;

B. A remodel, or alteration of existing uses or structures if the proposed change does not increase the hazard due to change in occupancy or intensification of the use.

503.1.4 Additional access.

More than one EV access may be required when the access is impaired by vehicle congestion, adverse terrain or climatic conditions, or other factors that could limit access.

503.2 EV access specifications.

A. Width (travel surface). EV access serving one or two dwelling units shall be 16 feet or more in width. EV access for all other projects shall be as required by the City Engineering Design Standards.

B. Vertical Clearance. EV access shall have an unobstructed vertical clearance of not less than 13 feet, six inches.

C. Surface. EV access shall be paved and shall be designed and maintained to support the imposed loads of fire apparatus. Alternate all-weather surfacing may be considered. Individual single-family or duplex EV access surface treatment may be gravel.

D. Turning Radius. A minimum outside turning radius of 45 feet shall be provided for all EV access.

E. Turnarounds. A dead-end EV access in excess of 260 feet in length shall be provided with a turnaround conforming to the cul-de-sac or hammerhead requirements set forth in Article II of this chapter.

F. Grade. The maximum street grade (profile) of an EV access shall be 12 percent.

G. Obstruction. The required width of an EV access shall not be obstructed in any manner, including parked vehicles. Minimum required widths and clearances established under these standards shall be maintained at all times.

H. Signs. When required by the director, approved signs or other approved notices shall be provided and maintained for EV access to identify such streets and prohibit the obstruction thereof, or both. “No Parking – Fire Lane” signs shall be installed in conformance with IFC appendix D, section D103.6.

I. Gates. If not otherwise prohibited, a gate may be installed in compliance with the following provisions:

1. Locked gates shall have an emergency vehicle access override device approved by the Director.

2. All electrically activated gates will have default capabilities to the unlocked position and swing or move freely in the event of power loss.

3. The minimum EV access width of a gate shall be 12 feet for one-way access and 20 feet for two-way access.

4. Gates shall be constructed in a manner that does not permit obstruction from the accumulation of snow.

5. Gates shall be set back a minimum 35 feet from the nearest intersecting street. A turnaround immediately outside the gate may be required if determined necessary by the director.

503.3 EV access approval.

EV accesses shall be constructed and approved prior to issuance of the building permit for which access is required.

(Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.090 Liability.

It is the express intent of the city of Port Townsend that the responsibility for compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall rest with the permit applicant and his or her agents. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

16.04.100 Violations and penalties.

A. Director’s Authority. Whenever the DSD director or his or her designee (“director”) determines that a condition exists in violation of this chapter or any standard required to be adhered to by this chapter, or in violation of any permit issued hereunder, he or she is authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

B. Chapter 1.20 PTMC Applicable. All violations of any provision of this chapter or incorporated standards, or of any permit or license issued hereunder, are made subject to the provisions of Chapter 1.20 PTMC, including but not limited to abatement, criminal penalty, and civil penalty, which are incorporated by reference as if set forth herein. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010*; Ord. 2952 § 3, 2008; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).

*Code reviser’s note: Ord. 3039 incorrectly includes an older version of this section. At the direction of the city, we have retained the version of this section that appears in Ord. 2952.

16.04.110 Appeals.

All appeals authorized by the codes adopted by reference by this chapter as to the suitability of alternate materials and methods of construction and from other rulings, interpretations or enforcement actions of those officials charged with enforcing the codes shall be to the city of Port Townsend hearing examiner as established by Chapter 2.14 PTMC. The hearing examiner shall serve in lieu of all boards of appeals mentioned or described in the codes adopted by this chapter. (Ord. 3039 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2947 § 1, 2007).