Chapter 15.04
BUILDING CODES

Sections:

15.04.010    Adoption of referenced codes.

15.04.015    Department of building safety.

15.04.020    Amendments to the International Building Code.

15.04.030    Amendments to the International Residential Code.

15.04.040    Amendments to the International Fire Code.

15.04.050    Permit expirations and violations of the above-referenced codes.

15.04.010 Adoption of referenced codes.

Whatcom County hereby adopts the following codes, as amended by the Washington State Building Code Council pursuant to Chapters 19.27 and 70.92 RCW or successor, for the purpose of establishing rules and regulations for the construction, alteration, removal, demolition, equipment, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of buildings and structures, including permits and penalties.

A. The 2012 International Building Code, including the 2012 International Existing Building Code, Appendix B, except as amended per Ordinance 2007-024, board of appeals, and including Appendices C, E and J, as published by the International Code Council, hereinafter referred to as the IBC, as modified by Chapter 51-50 WAC or successor, and as amended in WCC 15.04.015, 15.04.020 and 15.04.050, is hereby adopted by reference.

B. The 2012 International Residential Code, including Appendices E, G, and K, as published by the International Code Council, hereinafter referred to as the IRC, and as modified by Chapter 51-51 WAC or successor and as amended in WCC 15.04.030 and in WCC 15.04.050, is hereby adopted by reference with the following additions, deletions and exceptions; provided, that Chapters 11 and 25 through 42 of this code are not adopted.

C. The 2012 International Fire Code, including Appendices A, B, C, and D and latest supplements, as published by the International Code Council, hereinafter referred to as the IFC, as modified by Chapter 51-54A WAC or successor, and as amended in WCC 15.04.040 and 15.04.050.

D. The 2012 International Mechanical Code, including Appendix A, as published by the International Code Council, hereinafter referred to as the IMC, as modified by Chapter 51-52 WAC and as amended by WCC 15.04.050 or successor.

E. The 2012 International Fuel Gas Code, as published by the International Code Council, hereinafter referred to as the IFGC, as modified by Chapter 51-52 WAC and as amended by WCC 15.04.050 or successor.

F. The standards for liquefied petroleum gas installations shall be the 2012 Edition of NFPA 58 (Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code) and the 2012 Edition of ANSI Z223.1/NFPA 54 (National Fuel Gas Code), adopted by reference in Chapter 51-52 WAC and as amended by WCC 15.04.050 or successor.

G. Except as provided in RCW 19.27.170, the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code, Uniform Plumbing Code Standards (IAPMO/ANSI UPC 1-2012), and including Appendices A, B, C and I, as published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, hereinafter referred to as the UPC, as modified by Chapter 51-56 WAC and as amended by WCC 15.04.050 or successor.

H. The rules adopted by the Washington State Building Code Council establishing standards for making buildings and facilities accessible and usable by the physically disabled or elderly persons as provided in Chapter 51-50 WAC, IBC Chapters 10 and 11, IBC Appendix E and ICC/ANSI A117.1 2009 or successor.

I. The 2012 Washington State Energy Code, per Chapter 51-11C WAC, Commercial Provision, Chapter 51-11R WAC, Residential Provisions, and appendix chapters or successor, hereinafter referred to as the WSEC, promulgated by the State Building Code Council.

J. The Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings, 1997 Edition, or successor.

K. Design data for Whatcom County shall be per WCC 15.04.030(D), item no. 1. (Ord. 2014-026 § 2 (Exh. A)).

15.04.015 Department of building safety.

Section 103 is amended as follows:

103.1 Creation of enforcement agency. The Department of Building Safety is hereby created and the official in charge thereof shall be known as the Building Official. The Department of Building Safety is hereby referred to as the Building Services Division of the Whatcom County Planning and Development Services Department (WCPDS).

103.2 Appointment. The Department Director is the Building Official. The Director may appoint an alternate designee at his/her discretion.

103.3 Deputies. In accordance with the prescribed procedures of this jurisdiction and with the concurrence of the appointing authority, the Building Official shall have the authority to appoint a deputy building official, the related technical officers, inspectors, plans examiners and other employees. Such employees shall have powers as delegated by the Building Official.

(Ord. 2014-026 § 2 (Exh. A)).

15.04.020 Amendments to the International Building Code.

A. The IBC is amended as follows:

1. Section 104.1 is amended with the following additional language:

The Building Official defers to WCC Title 17, Flood Damage Prevention, and per associated requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), to be administered by Public Works, River and Flood Division, for all matters related to flood review of building permits.

2. Section 105.1, Required, is amended to include the following:

a. Commercial project proposals require pre-screening for a waiver (from pre-application meeting) or a pre-application meeting prior to permit application submittal. Pre-screening may be waived at the discretion of the Building Official for minor projects such as simple signs, single unit small equipment foundations, and projects of similar minor scale and impact. Information and document submittals for the purposes of waiver or pre-application are not intended to meet the standard for a complete permit application and do not constitute project vesting. However, information, requirements and conditions received by the applicant(s) and/or their agents or consultants for a given project proposal, as part of the waiver or pre-application process, will be considered vested, regardless of change of adopted codes or regulations, if a complete permit application is received within 30 consecutive days from the date of waiver or pre-application meeting. Such information, requirements and conditions are not intended or represented as a complete or comprehensive list of project requirements. Significant changes in the scope of a project proposal may require additional screening for another waiver or pre-application meeting.

b. Whatcom County (the County) may require that a covenant or agreement be recorded against the deed(s) applicable to the location and/or operation of a given project to inform future property owners of the current restrictions or approved land uses. The County may draft the covenant or agreement upon whatever terms the County in its discretion deems proper.

c. A coordinated master site plan (MSP), demonstrating consistency in the layout of the project proposal with all applicable regulatory requirements, is required to be submitted by the applicant and/or project design professional in substantial charge prior to permit issuance. In general, a coordinated MSP will be required for projects exceeding a construction value of $200,000.00, but may be required for any project the Building Official deems necessary. County staff will review the site plan(s) in the application file for regulatory conflicts and discrepancies prior to plan check. County staff will notify the applicant and/or design professional of identified conflicts or discrepancies to be reconciled. The master site plan may be one page which incorporates all applicable regulatory review overlays when practical. It may also include multiple overlay pages for readability purposes provided they have been verified by County staff for regulatory consistency. Once the coordinated MSP has been reviewed and approved, application review processing will continue.

d. A state licensed contractor may obtain a permit, as required by the mechanical and plumbing codes, through mail-in applications for work not exceeding $10,000 valuation and not requiring plans and specifications and not in conflict with state or local zoning and environmental policies and with the prior approval of the building official.

e. The applicant shall fill out in full the forms furnished for that purpose, and attach thereto the full amount of moneys that are required for fees as required in the respective codes. The application shall contain all information necessary to the lawful enforcement of the provisions of the respective codes. The applicant shall file all forms with fees.

f. No person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity shall perform work as provided herein until such time as they receive verification of approval of their application by the county building official and have been given written notice of a valid permit.

g. Any violation of this chapter shall be cause for the building official to revoke the mail-in applications privilege of the violator. Upon written notice of revocation, all provisions of the mechanical and plumbing codes superseded by this chapter shall resume in full force and effect as to the person or industrial plant whose application has been revoked.

3. Section 105.2, Work exempt from permit, is amended to read as follows:

a. One-story detached, non-occupied accessory structures without basements, used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided that 1.) The floor area does not exceed 120 square feet. [11 sq. m] 2.) Accessory structures maintain a minimum separation of 10 [ten] feet [3048 mm] between exterior walls, and a minimum separation of 8 [eight] feet [2438 mm] between eaves of adjacent buildings on the same property and 3.) Provided that accessory structures meet all applicable setback requirements.

b. Fences not over 7 feet (2134 mm) high.

c. Oil derricks.

d. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or IIIA liquids.

e. Water tanks supported directly on grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,925 L). And the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.

f. Sidewalks, walking surfaces, and driveways not more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade and not over any basement or story below and are not part of an accessible route.

g. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.

h. Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.

i. Prefabricated swimming pools installed entirely above-ground, accessory to a Group R-3.

j. Shade cloth or soft cover structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes and not including service systems.

k. Swings and other playground equipment.

l. Window awnings in Group R-3 and U occupancies, supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.

m. Nonfixed and movable fixtures, cases, racks, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches (1753 mm) in height.

n. Bridges, box culverts and similar passageway structures built over depressions or obstacles, hereinafter referred to as bridges, are structures and therefore not exempt per IBC Section 105.2, except as interpreted and quantified in Building Services Division Code Interpretation #2002-05. Bridges shall be designed and constructed per the current adopted Whatcom County Development Standards (WCDS), Chapter 5, Road Standards, Section 513, Bridges and Associated Retaining Walls; and per applicable portions of IFC Section 503. Bridges constructed as a requirement or condition of subdivision or short subdivision approval, per Whatcom County Land Division Regulations, Title 21, and which receive final approval from the Public Works Technical Administrator, shall be deemed by the Building Official to have met the permit requirements per IBC Section 105. The Technical Administrator is designated as the County Engineer, per WCDS, Chapter 5, Road Standards, Section 502.

4. Section 105.3, Application for Permit, is amended to include the following:

To obtain the permit, the applicant shall first file an application therefor in writing on a form furnished by the department of building safety for that purpose. Such application shall:

1. Identify and describe the work to be covered by the permit for which application is made.

2. Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by legal description, street address or similar description that will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed building or work.

3. Indicate the use and occupancy for which the proposed work is intended.

4. Be accompanied by construction documents and other information as required in Section 107.

5. State the valuation of the proposed work.

6. Be signed by the applicant, or the applicant’s authorized agent.

7. Include signature by the applicant or the applicant’s authorized agent of a statement for guarantee of fee payment. The statement must be signed in the presence of County staff or staff will provide a statement which includes verification of signature by a licensed notary public.

8. Provide verification of approval to connect to a public sewer system or a septic system installation permit issued by the Whatcom County Environmental Health Department for any permit application that requires sewage disposal. The approval to connect or issued septic system permit shall be specific to the project application.

9. Provide additional data and information in the designated sequence, as required by the Building Official.

5. Section 105.5, Expiration, is amended to include the following:

Land Disturbance permits issued for grading activity shall expire if work authorized is not commenced within 180 days of issuance unless a phased plan has been approved by the Technical Administrator. The Technical Administrator is authorized to grant one extension of 180 days if the request is submitted prior to expiration of the permit. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable cause(s) demonstrated. If the project is located within a water resource special management area and subject to seasonal clearing activity limitations the extension shall begin at the commencement of the construction season, pursuant to WCC 20.80.735.

Grading permits also expire and become invalid when the total approved volume has been placed into or excavated from the approved area.

6. Section 107.2 is amended to include the following:

Construction documents may be submitted in Standard English or Metric measurement. However, the Building Official may require, at his/her discretion, that any Metric construction documents be converted by the applicant to Standard English measurement which then may be submitted independently or in tandem with Metric documents.

7. Section 109, Refunds, is amended to include the following policy:

The refund policy applies to the current editions and amends the respective Sections of the IBC, Section 109; IRC, Section R108.5; IFC, Section 113.5; IMC, Section 106.5.3; IFGC, Section 106.6.3; and UPC, Section 103.4.5, as adopted per WCC 15.04.010.

The Building Official may authorize refunding any fee hereunder which was erroneously paid or collected at 100%.

The Building Official may authorize refunding of not more than 80% of the fee paid for a building permit when no work has been done under a building permit issued in accordance with the current editions listed in this policy.

The Building Official may authorize refunding of not more than 80% of the plan review fee paid when an application for a building permit for which a plan review fee has been paid is withdrawn or cancelled before any plan reviewing is done.

The Building Official shall not authorize the refunding of any fee paid, except upon written application filed by the original permittee not later than 180 days after the date of fee payment.

8. Section 113, Board of Appeals, is amended as follows:

Appeals related to grading activity, per Appendix J and as amended per Section 15.04.020, Subsection B, which include, are associated with in any way, or promulgated within any regulated critical areas, per WCC Chapter 16, are according to the provisions of WCC Sections 16.16.280 and 16.16.285 and shall be the decision of the Whatcom County Hearings Examiner.

B. Appendix J, Grading, is amended as follows:

1. IBC Section 104.1 is amended per this subsection B, including an additional paragraph to read as follows:

The Director of the Planning and Development Services Department or the Director’s designee also referred to herein as the Technical Administrator, is hereby authorized and directed to enforce the provisions of IBC Appendix J, Grading, including as amended in WCC Chapter 15, Section 15.04.020. The Technical Administrator shall have the authority to render interpretations of the amended Appendix and to adopt policies and procedures in order to clarify the application of its provisions. Such interpretations, policies and procedures shall be in compliance with the intent and purpose of amended Appendix J. Such policies and procedures shall not have the effect of waiving requirements specifically provided for in amended Appendix J.

2. The following definitions are added to Section J102.1:

a. EARTH MATERIAL: Any rock, natural soil or any combination thereof.

b. CRITICAL AREAS: The following areas as regulated under WCC 16.16 shall be regarded as critical areas along with associated buffers identified under WCC 16.16:

i. Geologically hazardous areas.

ii. Frequently flooded areas.

iii. Critical aquifer recharge areas.

iv. Wetlands.

v. Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.

c. ORDINARY HIGH WATER MARK: The mark on all lakes, rivers, streams and tidal water that will be found by examining the beds and banks and ascertaining where the presence and action of waters are so common and usual and so long continued in all ordinary years, as to mark upon the soil a character distinct from that of the abutting upland in respect to vegetation.

3. The following shall be added to Section J103.1:

Upon receipt of a fill and grade permit application on properties within 500 feet of a site known to contain archaeological resources that are outside of the Shoreline Management Program Jurisdiction (WCC Title 23) and/or the Point Roberts Special District (WCC 20.72), the County shall notify the applicant that the project’s location is within an archaeologically sensitive area and Federal, State and Tribal Laws and Regulations pertaining to cultural resources may apply.

Grading permit expiration is per IBC Section 105.5 as amended.

4. The numbered exemption list of Section J103.2, Exemptions, is amended as follows:

1. Grading in an isolated, self-contained area, provided there is no danger to the public, and that such grading will not adversely affect adjoining properties or critical areas and further provided that the activity occurs outside of the jurisdiction of the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23) and fill does not exceed 250 cubic yards and is associated with a residence authorized by a valid building permit.

2. Excavation for construction of a structure permitted under this code provided that said construction has been duly reviewed for compliance with the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23) and the Whatcom County Critical Areas Ordinance (WCC 16.16).

3. Cemetery graves.

4. Refuse disposal sites controlled by and appropriately permitted in accordance with other regulations.

5. Excavations for wells or trenches for utilities provided the activity occurs outside of the jurisdiction of the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23) and there are no adverse impacts to critical areas.

6. Mining, quarrying, excavating, processing or stockpiling rock, sand, gravel, aggregate or clay controlled by other regulations, provided the activity occurs outside of the jurisdiction of the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23) and such operations do not affect the lateral support of, or significantly increase stresses in soil on adjoining properties, or adversely impact critical areas.

7. Exploratory excavations performed under the direction of a registered design professional provided that said excavations have been duly reviewed for compliance with the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program (WCC Title 23) or critical areas ordinance.

8. A fill less than 1 foot in depth and placed on natural terrain with a slope flatter than 1 unit vertical in 5 units horizontal (20% slope) or less than 3 feet in depth, not intended to support structures, that does not exceed 50 cubic yards on any one lot and does not obstruct a drainage course or otherwise impact critical areas provided the activity occurs outside of the jurisdiction of the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program.

9. Exemptions listed per WCC 20.80.733.

5. The following site plan requirements are added to J104.2:

a. In addition to the provisions of Section 107, a grading plan shall show the existing grade and finished grade in contour intervals of sufficient clarity to indicate the nature and extent of the work and show in detail that it complies with the requirements of this code.

b. The plans shall show the existing grade on adjoining properties in sufficient detail to identify how grade changes will conform to the requirements of this code.

c. The plans shall show erosion control types and locations, natural features (slopes, streams, wetlands, ponds, etc.), forested or treed areas, ditches, culverts, wet areas, flow directions, critical area boundaries, the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) of any water body regulated by the Whatcom County Shoreline Management Program and any other information deemed necessary by the Building Official.

6. J104.3, Geotechnical report, is amended as follows:

When required by the Technical Administrator, a geotechnical report prepared by a registered design professional shall be provided. The report shall contain at least the following:

1. The nature and distribution of existing soils;

2. Conclusions and recommendations for grading procedures;

3. Soils design criteria for any structures or embankments required to accomplish the proposed grading;

4. Where necessary, slope stability studies, and recommendations and conclusions regarding site geology; and

5. Unless approved by the Technical Administrator, a building permit shall not be issued on approved fills without an engineered soils report and proof of supervised, monitored placement by the registered design professional.

6. Additional information may be required at the discretion of the Technical Administrator.

7. The Technical Administrator may require a geotechnical report be prepared by a registered design professional to determine the quantity of unpermitted fill brought to a site without a valid permit, as required by this chapter.

Exception: A geotechnical report is not required where the Technical Administrator determines that the nature of the work applied for is such that a report is not necessary.

7. Add the following as Section J104.5, Surface mining report:

Grading permit plans associated with surface mining shall be consistent with a surface mining reclamation plan as required and approved by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

(Ord. 2014-026 § 2 (Exh. A)).

15.04.030 Amendments to the International Residential Code.

A. Section R105.1, Required, is amended as follows:

Whatcom County (the County) may require that a covenant or agreement be recorded against the deed(s) applicable to the location and/or operation of a given project to inform future property owners of the current restrictions or approved land uses. The County may draft the covenant or agreement upon whatever terms the County in its discretion deems proper.

B. Section R105.2, Work exempt from permit, is amended to read as follows:

1. One-story detached, non-occupied, accessory structures without basements, used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided that 1.) The floor area does not exceed 200 sq. ft. [18.58 sq. m] and 2.) Provided that accessory structures meet all applicable setback requirements.

2. Fences not over 7 feet (2134 mm) high.

3. Retaining walls that are not over 4 feet (1219 mm) in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge.

4. Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons (18,927 L). And the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.

5. Sidewalks, walking surfaces, and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.

6. Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops and similar finish work.

7. Above ground pre-fabricated pools.

8. Swings and other playground equipment.

9. Window awnings supported by an exterior wall which do not project more than 54 inches (1372 mm) from the exterior wall and do not require additional support.

10. Uncovered decks not exceeding 200 square feet (18.58 sq. m) in area, that are no more than 30 inches (762 mm) above grade at any point, and do not serve the exit door required by Section R311.4.

C. Section R105.3, Application for permit, is amended to include the following:

To obtain the permit, the applicant shall first file an application therefor in writing on a form furnished by the department of building safety for that purpose. Such application shall:

1. Identify and describe the work to be covered by the permit for which application is made.

2. Describe the land on which the proposed work is to be done by legal description, street address or similar description that will readily identify and definitely locate the proposed building or work.

3. Indicate the use and occupancy for which the proposed work is intended.

4. Be accompanied by construction documents and other information as required in Section 107.

5. State the valuation of the proposed work.

6. Be signed by the applicant, or the applicant’s authorized agent.

7. Include signature by the applicant or the applicant’s authorized agent of a statement for guarantee of fee payment. The statement must be signed in the presence of County staff or staff will provide a statement which includes verification of signature by a licensed notary public.

8. Provide verification of approval to connect to a public sewer system or a septic system installation permit issued by the Whatcom County Environmental Health Department for any permit application that requires sewage disposal. The approval to connect or issued system permit shall be specific to the project application.

9. Provide additional data and information in the designated sequence, as required by the Building Official.

D. Table R301.2(1), Design Data for Whatcom County, is amended as follows:

1. GROUND SNOW LOAD TABLE, JANUARY 1997.

Whatcom County

Approx. Average Elevation

Revised Ground Snow Load

Revised Roof Snow Load

Acme

310

22

25

Bellingham

100

15

25

Blaine

45

16

25

Deming

210

24

25

Diablo

910

100

100

Ferndale

60

20

25

Glacier

900

74

74

Lawrence

145

24

25

Lynden

103

24

25

Maple Falls

643

77

77

Mt. Baker Ski Area

4200

588

588

Newhalem

510

129

129

Nooksack

84

24

25

Sumas

36

24

25

Wickersham

310

28

28

Kendall

460

 

50

Paradise

460

 

50

Pt. Roberts

120

 

25

Footnotes:

1. Any proposal can challenge the above design load with engineer or architect stamped and signed calculations and criteria.

Buildings where the roof snow load exceeds 30 psf may require architect or engineer review.

Recommendations are valid for the recognized central area of each regional designation. Building Services reserves the right to adjust the roof snow load based on building location and/or criteria per the 2012 IBC and/or the most current edition of the Snow Load Analysis for Washington.

2. Wind Speed (mph): IRC - 85 mph [Figure R301.2(4)B]; IBC Risk Category 1 - 100 mph [Figure 1609C]; IBC Risk Category II - 110 mph [Figure 1609A]; IBC Risk Category III and IV - 115 mph [Figure 1609B]

3. Seismic Design: Zone D0/D1; Design Category D (See IBC Section 1613 and/or ASCE 7)

4. Subject to Damage from Weathering: Moderate

5. Frost Line Depth: 18" (west of longitude 122° 54' 30", approximately at mile post 35 of State Route 542, Mt. Baker Highway)

6. Termite: None

7. Decay: Moderate

8. Winter Design Temp: 19° F

9. Ice Shield Underlayment Req.: No

10. Air Freezing Index: 260

11. Mean Annual Temperature: 48° F

E. Appendix E, Manufactured Homes, is entirely replaced with the following:

This chapter is enacted as an exercise of the police power of the county for the benefit of the public at large. It is not intended to create a special relationship with any individual, or individuals, nor to identify and protect any particular class of persons.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health or property, and public welfare, by regulating and controlling the installation of manufactured homes on building sites within the county.

It is not the intent of this chapter to impose liability upon the county for failure to perform any discretionary act. Rather, it is the intent of this chapter to place the obligation of complying with its requirements upon the installer. Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to relieve from or to lessen the responsibility or liability of any person for injury or damage to persons or property caused by or resulting from any defect of any nature in any manufactured home installation work performed by said person or in any manufactured home installation equipment owned, controlled, operated or used by him; nor shall Whatcom County, or any officer, agent, or employee thereof, incur or be held as assuming any liability by reason or in consequence of any permission, certificate of inspection, inspection or approval authorized herein, or issued or given as herein provided, or by reasons or consequence of any things done or acts performed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

1) SCOPE

This chapter sets forth rules and regulations to regulate and control the installation of manufactured homes on building sites, establishes an administrative procedure for the issuance of permits, and provides for the inspection of manufactured home installations.

2) DEFINITIONS

a. ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY is the Department of Planning & Development Services, the Building Services Division, and the Whatcom County Building Official.

b. BUILDING OFFICIAL is the Director of the Planning & Development Services Department or his/her designee. See Section 15.04.015.

c. BUILDING SITE is any site proposed for the location of a manufactured home including sites within mobile home parks.

d. HUD is the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

e. INSTALLER shall either be the owner or a State licensed mobile home installer.

f. MANUFACTURED HOME means a structure designed and built to comply with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry’s rules and regulations for Manufactured Homes and Commercial Coaches. It is also defined and cross-referenced per the current adopted edition of the IRC, SECTION R202, DEFINITIONS, MANUFACTURED HOME.

g. MOBILE HOME is a transportable, factory-built dwelling unit constructed prior to June 15, 1976 (prior to enactment of National Manufactured Housing Construction & Safety Standards [NMHCSS] Act of 1974).

h. PERMANENT FOUNDATION means concrete blocks on a concrete footing or slab, or other approved engineered foundation systems.

3) GENERAL INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS

a. Manufactured homes installed on building sites shall be installed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and all applicable local, state, and federal codes, ordinances, and statutes.

b. Manufactured homes shall be installed in compliance with the manufacturer’s installation recommendations or according to NCSBCS/ANSI A225.1-1994; permanent foundation requirements. The manufacturer or dealer shall send two copies of its approved installation recommendations to the purchaser of the manufactured home. Two copies shall be submitted with the building permit application.

c. No person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other entity may install a manufactured home unless he/she owns the manufactured home, or is a licensed manufactured home installer.

d. All manufactured home installations shall comply with the requirements of the IRC Section R403.1.7.3, Foundation Elevation, and with the following: On graded sites, the top of any exterior foundation shall extend above the elevation of the street gutter at point of discharge or the inlet of an approved drainage device a minimum of 12 inches plus 2 percent. The Building Official may approve alternate elevations, provided it can be demonstrated that required drainage to the point of discharge and away from the structure is provided at all locations on the site. The following provisions shall be made to prevent standing water under and around a building or structure prior to the final inspection. The finished grade and elevation under the building shall be above the ground drainage flow of the land around the building to prevent surface or sub-surface water from draining to the space under the building, provided that other approved alternates such as drain tile, exterior grading to a point lower than the interior drainage of the building or an approved sump pump may be used, and provided further that the alternate method to be used shall be shown on the building plans. An approved sump pump system shall in no case be connected to the sanitary sewer system. In all instances where a drainage or sump pump system is installed under the structure there shall be provided, in the foundation wall, an access crawl hole which shall be no more than 20 feet from the main drain cleanout. To facilitate the drainage of water, the building site shall have at least a 2% gradient towards approved drainage facilities from building pads. However, this may be waived by the building official provided that the permittee can demonstrate that due to the nature of the site this would be impractical and that an approved alternate will be used. If water appears under the building within a period of 12 months after the final inspection of the building or structure, the builder shall be responsible for providing the drainage of the same, and provided further that the builder has not complied with the requirements of Section 1804.7 herein, concerning drainage. Thereafter, the owner of the building shall be responsible for providing drainage of the same, except where owner and builder agree otherwise.

e. In those areas that are recognized as floodplains by the Washington State Department of Ecology or the Department of Homeland Security, or hazardous because of the probability of earthquakes, ground slides, avalanches, or high winds, the building official may set requirements that are necessary to lessen the hazards. Manufactured homes installed on sites that are sloping or have poor drainage shall be installed in accordance with installation recommendations, provided by a professional engineer or architect licensed in the state of Washington.

f. Manufactured homes in a floodplain must be installed per the applicable provisions of Whatcom County Code, Title 17, Flood Damage Prevention, and per associated requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

g. Used mobile homes older than 1976, require a fire/life safety inspection by the State Dept. of Labor & Industries prior to building permit submittal.

4) PERMITS REQUIRED

No person, firm, or corporation shall install or cause to be installed any manufactured home on a building site without having first obtained a building permit and a manufactured home dealer shall not deliver a manufactured home to a building site until that dealer has verified that the installer has obtained the necessary building permits.

5) APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

In addition to the building permit application and issuance regulations, the following shall apply to manufactured home installations: separate application shall be required for each manufactured home installation. The application shall be made upon forms provided by the administrative authority and shall be accompanied by the permit fee established herein.

a. A separate application shall be required for each manufactured home installation. The application shall be made upon forms provided by the administrative authority and shall be accompanied by the permit fee established herein.

b. Each application shall be accompanied by a plot plan drawn to scale with detail sufficient to show that the installation will meet siting requirements of all applicable state and local regulations.

c. Applications for manufactured homes to be installed on building sites or sites within a mobile home park shall be accompanied by two sets of foundation plans for a permanent foundation.

6) INSPECTION

Approved installation specifications shall be available at the site at the time of inspection of the installation. In the event that no approved installation specifications are available or the approved specifications as provided above do not cover all the installation requirements of this chapter, then the total installation of the portions thereof not covered by the approved specifications shall comply with the appropriate provisions of this code.

a. On building sites other than those in mobile home parks, the installer of the manufactured/mobile home shall request a footing inspection after the placement of the footing forms and rebar and prior to pouring or placing the footings, a tie-down inspection and a final inspection after all aspects of the installation have been completed. For mobile home park installations, the installer shall request a final inspection after all aspects of the installation have been completed. All requests for inspection shall be made one working day before such inspection is desired.

b. The manufactured/mobile home may be occupied once the installation has passed final inspection for compliance with the requirements of this chapter and any conditions placed upon the issued permit.

c. If the installation does not comply with the installation requirements of this chapter and the conditions of the installation permit, the local enforcement agency shall provide the installer with a list of corrections that the installer must make. The list of corrections shall state a date by which the corrections must be completed. If the items that require correction do not endanger the health or safety of the occupants, or substantially affect the habitability of the manufactured/mobile home, the local enforcement agency may permit the owner of the home to occupy it.

7) BUILDING SITE PREPARATION

A manufactured home may not be installed on a building site unless the ground at the site has adequate compaction and load-bearing ability to meet the support requirements of (3)(d) or, if the building site is in a mobile home park, the park owner must insure that the ground on which the mobile home is to be installed has been improved as necessary to provide a proper base for the mobile home and that the area beneath the mobile home has adequate drainage.

8) FOUNDATION SYSTEM FOOTINGS

a. Footings shall be constructed of solid concrete per the manufacturer’s installation specifications or an approved alternate method.

b. Four-inch slab with thickened footings, extending 18 inches below existing grade, 16 inches diameter concrete posts, spaced according to the applicable requirements of NCSBCS/ANSI A225.1-1994, with a four-inch concrete slab and Z hook for positive connection between post and slab, if in a flood plain.

c. Footings shall be:

i. Evenly bedded and level;

ii. Placed on firm, undisturbed or compacted soil that is free of organic material;

iii. Centered in a line under the main frame longitudinal members on both sides of the manufactured home;

iv. Spaced not more than eight feet apart and no more than two feet from the ends of the main frame. The building official may require a closer spacing, depending on the load bearing capacity of the soil or the specifications in the manufactured home installation manual.

d. A manufactured home with more than one section must have center line blocking at end walls and at other points of connection of the sections of the manufactured home that have ridge beam bearing support. Blocking is also required at both ends of a door opening that is six feet or more wide in an exterior wall.

e. If a manufactured home requires footings on its exterior perimeter, as specified by the installation recommendations or required by the building official, the footings shall be installed below the frost line.

f. Footings shall be constructed so that 75 percent of the area under the manufactured home has at least 18 inches clearance between the bottom of the main chassis members and the ground level. The area beneath the furnace cross-overs and fireplaces must always have at least 18 inches clearance. At no point under the manufactured home may clearance be less than 12 inches.

9) FOUNDATION SYSTEM PIERS

a. An installer must build and position piers and load-bearing supports or devices to distribute the required load evenly. An installer must use manufactured piers or load-bearing supports or devices that are listed or approved for the intended use.

b. A pier may be made of a single stack of 8-inch by 16-inch blocks if the blocks are not stacked more than three blocks high. A pier made of a single stack of blocks shall be installed at a right angle to the main frame longitudinal members and shall be capped with no more than 2-inch by 8-inch by 16-inch wood blocks or one 4-inch by 8-inch by 16-inch concrete block.

c. A pier may be made of a double stack of 8-inch by 8-inch by 10-inch blocks if the blocks are not stacked more than five blocks high. Each row of blocks in such a pier shall be stacked at right angles to the abutting rows of blocks. The pier shall be capped with 2-inch by 8-inch by 16-inch concrete blocks. The pier shall be installed so that the joint between the cap block is at right angle to the main frame longitudinal members.

d. A pier may be made with more than five courses of blocks and not to exceed 9 (72 inches) courses of block if the stacked blocks are filled with 2,000 psi concrete or mortar, and no more than 20% of the piers exceed five courses (40"). All other systems shall be designed by a licensed Washington state engineer or architect.

e. All blocks shall be set with cores placed vertically.

10) FOUNDATION SYSTEM PLATES AND SHIMS

An installer may fill a gap between the top of a pier and the main frame with a wood plate that is not more than two inches thick and two opposing wedge-shaped shims that are not more than two inches thick. Wood plates and shims must be of hemlock/fir, Douglas fir, or spruce/pine/fir. A shim shall be at least four inches wide and six inches long. The installer shall fit the shim properly and drive it tight between the wood plate or pier and the main frame to ensure that the manufactured home is level and properly supported at all load-bearing points. A block that abuts a wedge-shaped shim shall be solid.

11) FOUNDATION

A manufactured home shall have an approved skirting around its entire perimeter. The wood of the skirting shall be at least six inches from the ground unless it is pressure-treated wood. Metal fasteners shall be hot dipped galvanized, stainless steel, or other corrosive-resistant material. Ferrous metal members in contact with the earth, other than those that are galvanized or stainless steel, shall be coated with asphaltic emulsion. A manufactured home that is installed shall have ventilation openings with a net area of one square foot per 150 square feet of crawl space; except manufactured homes installed in the flood plain shall have ventilation openings with a net area of 1 square inch per 1 square foot of crawlspace installed within 1 foot of finished grade. The openings shall be designed to provide cross ventilation on at least two approximately opposite sides of the manufactured home. The installer shall locate openings as close to the corner of the manufactured home as practical and shall cover the opening with a corrosive-resistant wire mesh. Dryer vents and hot water tank pressure release valves shall exhaust on the exterior of the perimeter skirting. The skirting for each section of the manufactured home shall have an opening of at least 18 inches by 24 inches with a cover of metal or pressure-treated wood to allow access to the crawl space. In all cases the foundation shall be installed before a final sign off can be made.

12) ANCHORING SYSTEM

The building official shall require a single section or multiple section manufactured home to have an anchoring system. Such an anchoring system shall be installed per the manufactured installation specifications or according to the design of a professional Washington State licensed engineer or architect. Components of the anchoring system shall have a resistance to weather deterioration that is at least equal to that of a zinc coating that is not less than 0.3 inches per square foot of coated surface. Cut edges of zinc-coated strapping do not need to be coated.

a. An installer shall install, preload, and adjust a ground anchor in accordance with the anchor manufacturer’s instructions. The installer must supply a copy of the instructions to the building official. Ground anchors shall be marked with the manufacturer’s identification and model number in a location that is visible to the inspector after the anchor is installed. The manufacturer of a ground anchor must provide instructions with each anchor that specifies the kinds of soils for which the anchor is suitable. Analysis from a WA State licensed engineer may be required.

b. If concrete slabs or continuous footings are used to transfer the anchoring loads to the ground, the following requirements apply:

i. Engineered tie-down systems shall be per approved details from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

ii. A concrete slab may be used in place of a ground anchor if it provides holding strength equal to the required ground anchors.

iii. Analysis from a WA state licensed engineer may be required.

c. Ties shall be of approved strapping, or other approved materials. Ties shall be fastened to the ground anchors and drawn tight with turnbuckles, yoke fasteners, or other approved tension devices. Tension devices shall end in clevis, forged, or welded eyes. Tension devices shall be designed to prevent self-disconnection if the ties become slack. Ties shall connect the ground anchors to the main frame longitudinal members. Ties must not connect to steel outrigger beams that fasten to the main frame unless the manufacturer’s installation instructions specifically approve the connection. Diagonal ties must lie at least 45 degrees from the vertical.

d. The installer shall space the ties as evenly as practical and shall locate a tie within eight feet of each end of the manufactured home. The installer shall install vertical ties at each detached corner of a clerestory roof and added-on sections of expandable manufactured homes. The installer shall install the following number of ties for each I-beam or other main frame longitudinal member: according to the manufacturer’s specifications or per NCSBCS/ANSI A225.1-1994, as indicated in the following chart:

Length of home in feet (excluding hitch)

Number of vertical ties per detached corner of add-ons

Number of diagonal ties

32 - 54

1

5

55 - 73

1

6

13) ASSEMBLY

The water pipe connection to the manufactured home shall have a main shutoff valve in compliance with the 2012 Uniform Plumbing Code, Section 606. Exterior water lines and ducting under the manufactured home shall be insulated. In all other respects, utility connections to the manufactured home, including water, sewer, electricity, and gas shall comply with the applicable county codes. Accessory structures attached to or located next to a home, such as awnings, carports, garages, porches, or steps shall be constructed in conformance with applicable county codes and structurally independent of the manufactured home unless pre-approved by manufacturer.

(Ord. 2014-026 § 2 (Exh. A)).

15.04.040 Amendments to the International Fire Code.

The International Fire Code is amended as follows:

A. Section 102.2, Administrative, operational and maintenance provision, is amended to read as follows:

To provide a reasonable degree of safety to persons occupying existing buildings, there shall be a fire code inspection, at times to be determined by the Whatcom County Fire Marshal, for all Group A, B, E, F, H, I, M, R, S and U occupancies. Only R-3 Occupancies containing the following shall be subject to fire code inspections: Adult family homes, family daycare homes, adult and child care facilities, as defined in the Washington State amendments.

B. Section 103.1 is amended to read as follows:

103.1 General. The Department of Fire Prevention, hereinafter referred to as the Fire Marshal’s Office, is established within the jurisdiction under the direction of the Fire Code Official, hereinafter referred to as the Fire Marshal. The function of the department shall be the implementation, administration and enforcement of the provisions of this code. Recognizing the authority and responsibility vested in the Fire Marshal by the International Fire Code, the Fire Marshal is authorized to promulgate such rules, policies and/or procedures as he/she deems necessary for the efficient operation of fire prevention and investigations.

C. Section 103.2 is amended to read as follows:

103.2 Appointment. The Fire Marshal is the Department Director except that a Fire Marshal and/or Deputy Fire Marshal may be appointed by the Department Director. The Fire Marshal/Deputy Fire Marshal shall be not less than a supervisor within the Building Services Division of the Whatcom County Planning & Development Services Department, as designated by the Director. The Fire Marshal for Whatcom County is authorized to enforce the provisions of this ordinance and adopted referenced codes and amendments.

D. Section 104.1 is amended with the following additional paragraph:

The provisions of RCW 18.160.070 and the Levels of Licensing required by the State Fire Marshal’s Office will be enforced by the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office as specified, including but not limited to work performed by contractors and/or documentation verifying compliance with current licensing requirements. Issuance of permits may be withheld due to lack of compliance with these provisions.

It is the interpretation and determination of the Whatcom County Fire Marshal that the “installation of underground work of any kind for any kind of structure” applies to the installation of fire protection systems connected to or integral to a fire protection sprinkler system. A Level U license from the State Fire Marshal’s office shall be required. The Fire Marshal, at his/her discretion, may require a Level U license for any underground work determined at any stage of installation to be substantially and/or consistently substandard.

E. Section 104.10, Fire investigation, is amended to read as follows:

The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office shall have the authority to investigate the cause, origin and circumstances of any fire, explosion or other hazardous conditions. Information that could be related to trade secrets or processes shall not be made part of the public record except as directed by a court of law.

F. Section 104.10.1 is amended to read as follows:

a) The Whatcom County Fire Marshal shall have the authority to render necessary assistance in the investigation of fires. The Whatcom County Fire Marshal and designated, assigned staff members shall have the powers of a limited authority of a Washington peace officer as defined in Chapter 10.93 RCW. They shall be commissioned by the Whatcom County Sheriff as specially commissioned Washington peace officers, as defined in Chapter 10.93 RCW, upon satisfaction of the training and other requirements prescribed or approved by the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission, for the purpose of administering this code.

G. Section 105.7.1 is amended with the addition of the following language:

Commercial cooking arrays require permanently affixed signage that states: “Alteration of commercial cooking arrays is prohibited without prior review and approval from the Whatcom County Fire Marshal.” Location of signage to be determined by the Fire Marshal.

H. Section 105.7.8, Flammable and combustible liquids, is amended as follows:

1. (unchanged)

2. (unchanged)

3. To install, alter, remove, abandon, or otherwise dispose of a flammable or combustible liquid. Abandoned underground fuel tanks are required to be removed according to all applicable codes and safety standards except under special circumstances, such as steep or extreme topography, significant physical obstructions, or similar circumstances, as approved per the discretion and judgment of the Fire Marshal.

I. Section 108.1, Board of appeals, is amended to read as follows:

In order to hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the Fire Marshal relative to the application and interpretation of this code, there shall be and is hereby created a board of appeals. Whatcom County Ordinance No. 2007-024 shall be the Fire Code appeals board. The Appeals Board shall be the same board for all codes appeals, except as amended in WCC Chapter 15.04.

J. Section 202 is amended to read as follows:

a. Fire Chief. Whenever the term fire chief is referenced in this code it shall mean Whatcom County Fire Marshal (Fire Code Official) or his/her designee, as identified in IFC Section 103, except as stated in IFC Section 104.11 and/or where the Fire Marshal has delegated a specific responsibility to the Fire Chief of a given fire district by verbal, written, and/or historic agreement.

b. Fire Code Official. Whenever the term fire code official is referenced in this code it shall mean Whatcom County Fire Marshal or his/her designee, as identified in IFC Section 103.2 and as amended per WCC 15.04.040.

K. Chapter 5 is amended to include adoption of all sections of the chapter not adopted by Washington State Amendments, Chapter 51-54A WAC, as authorized per RCW 19.27.060(5).

L. Appendix B, Fire Flow Requirements for Buildings, is amended as follows:

1. Section B103.1, Decreases.

1. The Fire Marshal is authorized to reduce the fire-flow requirements for isolated buildings or a group of buildings in rural areas or small communities where the development of full fire-flow requirements is impractical. This may include consideration of alternative materials and methods where the Fire Marshal finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method, or work is at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire-resistance, durability, and safety.

2. Section B104.1, General.

1. The fire-flow calculation area shall be the total floor area of all floor levels within the exterior walls, and under horizontal projections of the roof of a building (such as a connecting breezeway), otherwise including only areas that are fully enclosed on all sides and which have a full ceiling height. Full ceiling height means an average (50% or more) ceiling height of 6 (six) feet - 8 (eight) inches (203.3 cm), including under-floor areas that are accessed by a side-hinged man door, sliding door, overhead door, or similar standard height access. The calculation area is measured to the outside surface of exterior and/or enclosure walls.

2. In general, commercial and industrial structures will be measured according to the same methodology as residential/accessory buildings, except that structures will also be judged according to their use and corresponding hazard, according to the applicable codes in the IFC and IBC, and according to the judgment and discretion of the Fire Marshal. As such area may be calculated for roof only (open sided) structures, covered open/partially open portions of buildings, to the outside edge of eaves, and/or for uncovered portions of structures (decks, balconies, loading docks, etc.) on a case-by-case basis where, in the discretion of the Fire Marshal, it is warranted to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the public, building occupants, and/or emergency responders.

3. Section B105.1, One- and two-family dwellings.

1. The minimum fire flow and flow duration requirements for one- and two-family dwellings having a fire-flow calculation area that is in excess of 4000 square feet (371.6 m2) shall be 500 GPM @ 20 psi for 1 hour. Fire-flow for dwellings with fire-flow calculation areas larger than 8,000 square feet (743.2 m2), shall not be less than that specified in Table B105.1, as amended by Whatcom County, with the ability to apply fire-protection credits as described in Table B105.2.

4. Section B105.2, Buildings other than one- and two-family dwellings.

DEFINITIONS:

• Agricultural Building. Livestock shelters or buildings, including shade structures and milking barns; poultry buildings or shelters; barns; storage of equipment and machinery used exclusively in agriculture; horticultural structures, including detached production greenhouses and crop protection shelters; sheds; grain silos; stables. (IBC Appendix C, Group U-Agricultural Buildings)

• Agricultural processing building and/or facility. Buildings/facilities where agricultural products are cooled, frozen, or dried and packaged in their otherwise unaltered, primary state for shipping to distribution sales outlets. Ag processing buildings/facilities may include conveyors, refrigeration equipment and rooms, other applicable processing or environmental mechanical equipment, offices, employee facilities, restrooms, product and product packaging storage, loading docks, and similar applicable accessory appurtenances.

Although Ag processing buildings/facilities are determined by Whatcom County to be a Group U occupancy, they represent a more intensive use than agricultural buildings, based on the typical number of personnel (even if seasonal), type of equipment, and typical operations. Appropriate, applicable health, fire, and life/safety codes and regulations will be applied in the review process of these buildings/facilities.

Cooking, modifying, altering, combining, and/or other secondary food processing/manufacturing is not considered Ag processing. The primary use for this type of processing is determined to be a Group F occupancy per applicable provisions of the IBC and other adopted codes and regulations.

1. The minimum fire-flow and flow duration requirements for private garages, detached shops, agricultural storage buildings (Group U occupancy) shall be 500 GPM @ 20 psi for 1 hour.

Exception: Fire-flow is not required if the structure meets one of the following criteria:

1. It does not exceed 2500 square feet (232.3 m2).

2. It is protected by an approved automatic fire sprinkler system.

3. It has 60 foot setbacks to all property lines, and other structures on the same lot. Setback measurement may include the full width of an adjacent public way, no-build easement recorded with the Auditor to run concurrent with the deed, or similar instrument or provision acceptable to the Fire Marshal.

4. It has 100 foot setbacks to all property lines and other structures on the same lot for buildings which include hay storage, other combustible fibers, the potential for loose combustible fibers, and/or the potential for combustible dust (IFC Sections 2204 and 5204.1; NFPA 61). Setback measurement may include the full width of an adjacent public way, no-build easement recorded with the Auditor to run concurrent with the deed, or similar instrument or provision acceptable to the Fire Marshal.

2. The minimum fire-flow and flow duration requirements for agricultural processing buildings (Group U) not exceeding 6000 square feet (557.4 m2) shall be 500 GPM @ 20 psi for 1 hour. If the building exceeds 6000 square feet (557.4 m2), Table B105.1, as amended by Whatcom County, shall apply except that, at the discretion of the Fire Marshal, where adequate and reliable water supply systems do not exist the duration may be reduced by up to 50%, but not to be reduced to below a duration of 1 hour.

Exception: Fire-flow is not required if the structure meets one of the following criteria:

1. It does not exceed 2500 square feet (232.3 m2), excluding areas open on three sides.

2. It has 60 foot setbacks to all property lines, and other structures on the same lot. Setback measurement may include the full width of an adjacent public way, no-build easement recorded with the Auditor to run concurrent with the deed, or similar instrument or provision acceptable to the Fire Marshal.

3. The building is provided with an NFPA 13 automatic sprinkler system throughout, including water storage to support the sprinkler system per the system design, plus an additional 500 gpm of fire flow at 20 psi for a duration of one hour, to be available at an approved hydrant or hydrants as determined by the Fire Marshal.

3. The minimum fire-flow and flow duration requirements for buildings other than one- and two-family dwellings and Group U buildings specified above, shall be as specified in Table B105.1, as amended by Whatcom County, with the ability to apply fire-protection credits as described in Table B105.3, but not to be reduced to below 500 GPM @ 20 psi for duration of 1 hour for Group F and S occupancies, including accessory occupancies (per IBC 508.2); 1500 GPM @ 20 psi for a duration of 1 hour for occupancies and/or mixed occupancies including Group A, B, E, I, M, and R occupancies except where lower gpm is indicated per Table B105.1. Fire-flow reductions for Group H occupancies may only be considered at the discretion of the Fire Marshal. Increases in fire flow may be required based on the Fire Marshal’s evaluation of operational hazard and/or occupancy group. Fire protection credits shall not allow the elimination of required systems as required in other parts of the Fire Code.

Exception: Fire flow is not required if the structure meets both of the following criteria:

1. It does not exceed 2500 square feet (232.3 m2).

2. It does not contain a hazardous operation, as determined by the Fire Marshal.

5. Tables B105.1, B105.2, B105.3.

TABLE B105.1 

Fire-flow for Buildings Other than One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Private Garages and Commercial Agricultural Buildings (Group U)

Construction Type (a)

 

 

IA & IB

IIA & IIIA

IV & VA

IIB & IIIB

VB

Required Fire Flow (GPM)

Duration (Hours)

WHEN TOTAL FIRE AREA IN SQUARE FEET (b) IS EQUAL TO OR LESS THAN THESE VALUES

5,500

3,700

2,600

2,100

1,600

500

1

11,100

6,800

4,700

3,500

2,400

750

1

15,900

9,300

6,200

4,500

2,900

1,000

1

22,700

12,700

8,200

5,900

3,600

1,250

1

30,200

17,000

10,900

7,900

4,800

1,500

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38,700

21,800

12,900

9,800

6,200

1,750

1.5

48,300

24,200

17,400

12,600

7,700

2,000

1.5

59,900

33,200

21,300

15,400

9,400

2,250

1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

70,900

39,700

25,500

18,400

11,300

2,500

2

83,700

47,100

30,100

21,800

13,400

2,750

2

97,700

54,900

35,200

25,900

15,600

3,000

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

112,700

63,400

40,600

29,300

18,000

3,250

3

128,700

72,400

46,400

33,500

20,600

3,500

3

145,900

82,100

52,500

37,900

23,300

3,750

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

164,200

92,400

59,100

42,700

26,300

4,000

4

184,400

103,100

66,000

47,700

29,300

4,250

4

203,700

114,600

73,300

53,000

32,600

4,500

4

225,200

126,700

81,100

58,600

36,000

4,750

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

247,700

139,400

89,200

65,400

39,600

5,000

4

271,200

152,600

97,700

70,600

43,400

5,250

4

295,900

166,500

106,500

77,000

47,400

5,500

4

GREATER

GREATER

115,800

83,700

51,500

5,750

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

125,500

90,600

55,700

6,000

4

 

 

135,500

97,900

60,200

6,250

4

 

 

145,800

106,800

64,800

6,500

4

 

 

156,700

113,200

69,600

6,750

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

167,900

121,300

74,600

7,000

4

 

 

179,400

129,600

79,800

7,250

4

 

 

191,400

138,300

85,100

7,500

4

 

 

GREATER

GREATER

GREATER

7,750

4

(a) Types of construction are based upon the current adopted edition of the IBC.

(b) Each portion of a building shall be considered as a separate fire area when separated by one or more fire walls built in accordance with the IBC.

 

TABLE B105.2 

Fire Protection Credits for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (a)

Options to Reduce Fire Flow (b)

% Reduction

NFPA 13D Sprinkler System (c)

100%

Monitored Fire Alarm System

25%

1-Hour Fire Resistive Const. (d)

75%

(a) Fire Protection Credits must equal at least 100% to receive fire flow credit.

(b) Credits used for or with substantial alterations shall be applied to the entire structure.

(c) Consists of an NFPA 13D sprinkler system with sprinkler coverage extended into the garage, attic, small bathrooms, closets, heated/unheated basements and bonus rooms.

(d) Constructed in accordance with the International Residential Code.

TABLE B105.3 

Fire Protection Credit for Commercial Rural Fire-Flow

Options to Reduce Fire-Flow (a)

% Reduction (b)

NFPA Monitored Fire Alarm

25%

NFPA 13 Automatic Sprinkler System

75%

40' Minimum Setbacks (c)

25%

(a) Credits used for or with substantial alterations shall be applied to the entire structure.

(b) Reductions will be simply rounded to the closest fire flow rate and applied for the duration prescribed by that flow rate. In cases of an equal distance between two rates, the rate will be rounded down.

(c) Setbacks apply to all property lines and buildings, on all sides of the structure. Setback measurement may include the full width of an adjacent public way, no-build easement recorded with the Auditor to run concurrent with the deed, or similar instrument or provision acceptable to the Fire Marshal.

M. Appendix C, Fire Hydrant Locations and Distributions, is amended with the following added section:

1. Section C106, Subdivision Alternative.

C106.1 Hydrant placement alternative. Subdivisions and plats with no fire flow infrastructure require a minimum lot size of 1 (one) acre and a minimum 20 (twenty) foot setback from property lines to structures, in addition to applicable fire flow requirements per Appendix B as amended.

N. Appendix D, Apparatus access roads, is amended as follows:

1. Section D103, Minimum Specifications, is amended with the following additional language:

1. Fire apparatus access roads serving up to 2 (two) residential lots, where building location is less than one hundred fifty feet (150') from approved access roads require a minimum width of 12 feet (3658 mm) and a minimum vertical clearance of 13 feet-6 inches (4115 mm).

2. Fire apparatus roads over one hundred fifty feet (150') long serving up to two residential lots:

a. Minimum width – twelve foot (12') driving surface with turnouts no farther than every six hundred feet (600') when required by the Fire Marshal. To create a turnout, the road shall be widened to twenty feet (20') in the direction of travel for a minimum distance of one hundred feet (100') to allow vehicles to pull over and allow emergency vehicles to proceed. Turnout shall be located approximately midpoint for driveways over six hundred feet (600') but less than twelve hundred feet (1200'). See Exhibit B.

b. Vertical clearance – minimum thirteen foot, six inch (13'-6") unobstructed vertical clearance for the required width of the road. See Exhibit A.

c. Surface – Per Whatcom County Development Standards (WCDS), Chapter 5, Road Standards. Minimum standard per Exhibit C, Driveway Section.

d. Turning radius – minimum thirty-five foot (35') radii. Residential private roads and driveways per Exhibit C and D.

e. Turnarounds – minimum twenty feet (20') wide, sixty feet (60') deep or WCDS, Chapter 5, Road Standards. See Exhibit D.

f. Bridges – Bridges, box culverts or similar passageway structures built over depressions or obstacles shall be hereinafter referred to as bridges. When a bridge is required to be used as part of a driveway access road, it shall be designed and constructed per the current adopted edition of the WCDS, Chapter 5, Road Standards, Section 513, Bridges and Associated Retaining Walls and per applicable portions of IFC Section 503. Vehicle load limits shall be posted at both entrances to bridges when required by the Fire Marshal.

g. Grade per Exhibit A and WCDS, Chapter 5, Road Standards. Residential and residential accessory structures accessed by roads or driveways exceeding 12% grade require mitigation such as an automatic sprinkler system, per NFPA 13-D, throughout the applicable building(s); an approved fire flow system; equivalent mitigation approved at the discretion of the Fire Marshal in addition to standard access road requirements.

h. Installation of residential accessory buildings less than 2500 sf, small residential/accessory additions, and similar minor changes or alterations may be exempt or may not trigger road standard improvements on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Fire Marshal.

3. Section D103.5 is amended as follows:

Gates installed across emergency apparatus access roads and driveways require a permit from the Fire Marshal’s office.

Item #1 is amended as follows:

The minimum gate width shall be 20 feet (6096 mm) unless an alternate width is approved by the Fire Marshal. Under no circumstances shall the net opening width of any gate be less than 12 feet (3658).

4. Fire apparatus access roads - Access serving more than Two (2) residential units shall meet the following:

a. Standards per Exhibit A and current adopted Whatcom County Development Standards (WCDS), Chapter 5, Road Standards.

b. The Fire Marshal may make modifications in these standards if the road is not buildable because of topography, waterways, nonnegotiable grades, or similar conditions. These modifications are based on:

1. The building being protected by NFPA 13D Automatic Sprinkler System.

2. Additional fire protection features as required by the Fire Marshal.

Exceptions may be made for minor additions or small accessory buildings to existing dwellings when in the opinion of the Fire Marshal the addition or accessory building will not create significantly more dangerous situations.

5. Emergency vehicle access roads or driveways shall not be obstructed in any manner, including the parking of vehicles. Width and clearance requirements of these standards shall be maintained at all times.

6. See Exhibits A, B, C, and D, for additional information, details, and illustrations amending Appendix D.

Exhibit A: Private Roads/Streets, Driveways and Fire Apparatus Access

This section applies to roads/streets that are privately owned, generally within an easement providing direct access to private land(s) for local traffic movement and connect to local public access, collectors or arterial roads/streets. Private roads/streets are maintained with private funds and where the county, municipality or WSDOT performs no maintenance.

Criteria for Authorization: Private roads/streets may be permitted when so provided in appropriate ordinances or at the discretion of the County Engineer when:

1. Covenants have been approved and recorded with the County which provide for maintenance of the private roads/streets and associated parking areas by the owners in the development, including placing of liens for non-payment of fees, and/or road maintenance agreement(s) on the face of the Long Plat, Short Plat, or Binding Site Plan.

2. Provision is made for the roads/streets to be open at all times for emergency and public service vehicle use.

3. The private road is not needed as a public road and will not obstruct public street circulation.

4. Intersection spacing between private roads shall be consistent with the spacing shown in Development Standards Section 505.M.

5. The roads are within a private community with a corporate identity or Homeowners Association, as identified by the State of Washington under RCW 64.38.

6. Fire Apparatus Access Roads (Private Roads/Streets and Driveways)

a) County fire code requirements for “Fire Apparatus Access Roads” are contained in WCC 15.04.010 and as amended in WCC 15.04.040.

b) Criteria. The following criteria, per Exhibit A Geometrics, apply to Fire Apparatus Access Roads serving residential and residential accessory use:

Exhibit A Geometrics:

Road Users(7)

Incremental Grade, %

Minimum Surface Treatment

Width, ft

Unobstructed Minimum Vertical Clearance, ft

Minimum Turning Radii, ft

See also Development Standards Drawings(5)

Inside

Outside

1-2

< 12

CSTC(1)

12 (minimum)

13.5

25

40

505.E-6

12 - 14

Paved(2)

15 - 18

Heated grooved PCC(3)

3-6

< 12

CSTC(1)

18(5)

13.5

25(6)

43(6)

505.E-1,

12 - 14

Paved(2)

15 - 18

Heated grooved PCC(3)

7 or more

< 12

Paved(2)

26(5)

505.E-2,

12 - 14

Paved(2)

15 – 18(8)

Heated grooved PCC(3)

(1)Crushed surfacing top course

(2)Either Portland cement concrete (PCC) or Hot mix asphalt (HMA)

(3)Portland cement concrete

(4)Hot mix asphalt

(5)See Development Standards Section 505 Road Type and Geometrics, Table 1 - Arterial Roads & Table 2 - Residential Roads

(6)See also Development Standards Section 505.I.3 – Horizontal Curves

(7)Road Users represents the number of dwelling units/single households. Per the Public Works Dept., a single household is the approximate equivalent of 10 average daily trips (ADT).

(8) Grades exceeding 18% may require special and/or multiple mitigation measures and will be approved at the discretion of the Fire Marshal.

• Turnouts - For driveways and roadways less than 20 feet wide, see Exhibit B (Development Standards Drawing 505.E-5).

• Turnarounds - Establish turnarounds for driveways and roadways greater than 150 feet in length per Exhibit D (Development Standards Drawing 505.E-6, 505.L-1, or 505.L-2 as applicable). Subject to other related codes and standards, i.e. Title 20.80.

• Fire Hydrants - Where a fire hydrant is located on a Fire Apparatus Access Road, the minimum roadway width shall be 26 ft. for a length of 40 ft. centered on the fire hydrant.

• Bridges - At the discretion of the Fire Marshal all bridges shall meet the requirements in Development Standards Section 513 Bridges and Associated Retaining Walls. See WCC Section 15.04.040, Section A, Item 11, Subsection b.

• Security Gates and Emergency Accesses - The County Fire Marshal requires a separate permit for any security gate or emergency access restricting device/system.

• Access Approach Surfacing Requirements - All fire apparatus access approaches shall have an approved paved/hard surfaced apron unless otherwise directed pursuant to this section and Development Standards Section 508 Roadside Features. See Exhibit C, Driveway Section.

• Additional or Alternative measures - The County Fire Marshal may consider or require additional or alternative fire protection measures on a case by case basis.

Criteria for Construction: Private roads/streets shall conform to the applicable sections of these Standards. Also see Development Standards Drawings 505.E-1 and 505.E-2.

(Ord. 2014-026 § 2 (Exh. A)).

15.04.050 Permit expirations and violations of the above-referenced codes.

A. Expiration.

1. Sections 105.5 of the IBC, R105.5 of the IRC, and 105.3.1 of the IFC are amended as follows:

Every permit issued under the provisions of this code, according to IBC Section 105.5 and IRC Section R105.5, shall expire and become null and void, if the work authorized by such permit is not commenced within 180 days from the date of issuance of such permit, or if the work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned at any time after the work is commenced for a period of 180 days. The building official is authorized to grant, in writing, one or more extensions of time, for a period not more than 180 days each. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable causes demonstrated. In the event of permit expiration, before such work can recommence, a new permit shall be first obtained to do so, and the fee therefor shall be one-half the amount required for a new permit for such work, provided no changes have been made, or will be made in the original plans and specifications for such work; and provided, further, that such suspension or abandonment has not exceeded one year. These permits are only transferable with the prior approval of the Building Official and any change in occupancy, operation, tenancy, or ownership shall require that a new permit be issued.

Every permit issued under the provisions of this code, according to IFC Section 105, shall expire and become null and void, if the work authorized by such permit is not commenced within 180 days from the date of issuance of such permit, or if the work authorized by such permit is suspended or abandoned at any time after the work is commenced for a period of 180 days. The fire code official (designated as the fire marshal) is authorized to grant, in writing, one or more extensions of time for a period not more than 180 days each, except that expiration and extension shall not apply to open burning permits. The extension shall be requested in writing and justifiable causes demonstrated. In the event of permit expiration, before such work can recommence, a new permit shall be first obtained to do so, and the fee therefor shall be one-half the amount required for a new permit for such work, provided no changes have been made or will be made in the original plans and specifications for such work; and provided further that such suspension or abandonment has not exceeded one year. An operational permit under the IFC shall remain in effect until reissued, renewed, or revoked or for such a period of time as specified in the permit. These permits are not transferable and any change in occupancy, operation, tenancy, or ownership shall require that a new permit be issued.

B. Construction without Permit.

1. The following paragraph shall be added to IBC Section 114.1, IRC Section R113.1, and IFC Section 109.1:

When construction and/or development has occurred on a site without a valid permit as required by this chapter, any and all permits or approvals issued by the county may be denied for that site until the issue has been resolved. In addition, prompt restoration of the site to its original condition will be required. The issuance or granting of a permit or approval of plans and specifications shall not be deemed or construed to be a permit for, or an approval of, any violation of any of the provisions of this code. No permit presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of this code shall be valid, except insofar as the work or use for which it authorizes is lawful. The issuance or granting of a permit or approval of plans shall not prevent the Director of Planning & Development Services, the Building Official, the Fire Code Official, or any administrator who has been granted authority by the Director from thereafter requiring the correction of errors in said plans and specifications or from preventing construction operations being carried on thereunder when in violation of this code or of any other ordinance or from revoking any certificate of approval when issued in error.

2. The following paragraph shall be added to IBC Section 114.1, IRC Section R113.1, and IFC Section 109.1:

When construction, development, modification, or any changes to a structure have taken place without a valid permit as required by this chapter, the County may, at its discretion and as it deems necessary for compliance, require the structure to be restored to its original construction/condition. This may include, but is not limited to, complete or partial demolition of the structure or remodel; removal of framed walls or other structural components; electrical systems and/or components; cabinets, doors, countertops, fixtures, drywall; plumbing and/or plumbing fixtures; applicable appliances. Time lines required to restore the structure to its original condition shall be at the discretion of the County.

C. Stop Work Orders.

1. Sections 115 of the IBC, R114 of the IRC, and 111 of the IFC are amended as follows:

In the event any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity violates any provision of this ordinance or any code adopted by this ordinance, the County may issue a notice of violation, to be delivered to the owner, operator, or their agent, or to be conspicuously posted at the site. In a non-emergency situation, such notice may include notice of the intent to issue a stop work order no less than 10 calendar days following the receipt of the notice, and provide for an administrative pre-deprivation hearing within 10 calendar days of notice/order. In an emergency situation where there is a significant threat to public safety or the environment, the County may issue a stop work order. The stop work order shall include, in writing, the right to request an administrative post-deprivation hearing within 72 hours following receipt of the stop work order. Failure to comply with the stop work order shall be a gross misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by a minimum fine of $500.00 up to a maximum fine of $1000.00 or one year in jail, or both. Under no circumstance may the court defer or suspend any portion of the minimum $500.00 fine for any conviction under this section. Each day or part thereof of noncompliance with said order to stop work shall constitute a separate offense.

D. Violation Deemed Misdemeanor.

1. Sections 114 of the IBC, R113 of the IRC, and 109 of the IFC are amended as follows:

Any violation of the provisions of the International Building, Fire, Residential or other related codes as herein adopted is a misdemeanor. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this code or failing to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who shall erect, install, alter, repair or do work in violation of the approved construction documents, directives or conditions of the Building Official or the Fire Code Official or the Director of Planning and Development Services or of a permit or certification used under provisions of this code, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1000.00 dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.

a. EXCEPTION: The International Fire Code Section 307 Open Burning and Recreational Fires shall constitute Class 1 civil infractions pursuant to RCW 7.80.120. The maximum penalty and the default amount for such violations shall be consistent with Chapter 7.80 RCW. All violations shall be heard and determined in accordance with the system established in Chapter 7.80 RCW. After having been found to have committed two successive infractions for violations of the same provision of this title on the same property, any person, firm, or corporation who continues to violate this title in the same manner on the same property shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1000.00 or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both such fines and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.

E. Notice of Violations.

1. Section 109.3 of the IFC is amended as follows:

When the Fire Code Official, referred to as the Fire Marshal, finds a building, premises, vehicle, storage facility or outdoor area that is in violation of this code, the fire code official is authorized to prepare a written notice of violation describing the conditions deemed unsafe. When immediate compliance is not possible, a time shall be specified for re-inspection. In special situations citations could be issued to individuals violating this code.

F. Civil Penalty.

1. Any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity violating any of the provisions of this chapter, or of the codes adopted by reference by this chapter, shall be deemed guilty of a civil offense and each day during which such violation is continued or committed shall constitute a separate offense, and shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each offense. The penalty provided in the above section shall be imposed by a notice in writing and delivered by personal service to the owner, the owner’s agent, the operator and/or violator, and/or sent by certified mail, and/or be conspicuously posted at the site. The notice shall include the amount of the penalty imposed and shall describe the violation with reasonable particularity in ordering the act(s) constituting the violation(s) to cease and desist or, in appropriate cases, requiring necessary corrective action to be taken within a specific and reasonable time. The notice may simultaneously accompany a notice of penalty.

2. Within 30 days after the notice is received, the person incurring the penalty may apply in writing to the building official for remission or mitigation of such penalty. Upon receipt of the application, said department may remit or mitigate the penalty upon whatever terms the department in its discretion deems proper. The final decision of the building official, fire code official or the director of planning and development services on mitigation or revision shall be reviewed by the county council, if the person being penalized files a written appeal therewith of said decision, within 10 days of its issuance. The decision of the county council regarding the penalty imposed shall be final.

In addition to the civil penalties described above, the prosecuting attorney may in his discretion bring such injunctive, declaratory or other actions as deemed necessary to ensure that violations of this chapter are prevented or cease, and to otherwise enforce the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2014-026 § 2 (Exh. A)).