WSR 07-09-103

EMERGENCY RULES

BUILDING CODE COUNCIL


[ Filed April 18, 2007, 11:30 a.m. , effective July 1, 2007 ]


Effective Date of Rule: July 1, 2007.

Purpose: To amend the 2006 International Residential Code, WAC 51-51-0302 related to fire separation distance.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending 1 [new section WAC 51-51-0302].

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 19.27.074 and 19.27.020.

Other Authority: Chapters 19.27 and 34.05 RCW.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: The state building code council (council), based on the following good cause, finds that an emergency affecting the general welfare of the state of Washington exists. The council further finds that immediate amendment of a certain council rule is necessary for the public welfare and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment would be contrary to the public interest.

The declaration of emergency affecting the general welfare of the state of Washington is based on the following findings:

The council adopted the 2006 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) effective July 1, 2007. The IRC regulates the construction of one and two family residences and townhouses. The 2006 IRC contains provisions related to fire separation distance found in the new section R302 and Table R302.1, that cause a high degree of uncertainty in the building industry. The immediate impact would affect potentially as many as 40,000 building lots in high growth counties in the state.

The council appointed a technical advisory group to examine a number of uncertainties related to the new provisions including: The distance for exterior wall separation to the lot line; the method of protecting the building eaves; the separation distance of the eave projection; how to measure the fire separation distance including the definition of building line, lot line, and fire separation distance; whether or not the building face includes the finish materials; and how to provide venting in the eave to prevent trapping moisture in the attic. The benefits of increased fire safety with the new provisions were inconclusive given the lack of clarity and the typical zoning provisions in place regulating building separation distance. The technical advisory group concluded that the new provisions would lead to inconsistent interpretations and severe market disruption.

The council concluded that it is in the best interest of the general welfare of the state of Washington to retain the provisions related to fire separation distance in section R302 of the 2003 edition of the IRC.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: April 13, 2007.

John P. Neff

Council Chair

OTS-9708.2


NEW SECTION
WAC 51-51-0302   Section R302 -- Location on lot.  


R302.1 Exterior Walls. Exterior walls with a fire separation distance less than 3 feet (914 mm) shall have not less than a one-hour fire-resistive rating with exposure from both sides. Projections shall not extend to a point closer than 2 feet (610 mm) from the line used to determine the fire separation distance.


EXCEPTION: Detached garages accessory to a dwelling located within 2 feet of a lot line may have roof eave projections not exceeding 4 inches.

Projections extending into the fire separation distance shall have not less than one-hour fire-resistive construction on the underside. The above provisions shall not apply to walls which are perpendicular to the line used to determine the fire separation distance.


EXCEPTION: Tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar structures exempted from permits by R105.2 are not required to provide wall protection based on location on the lot. Projections beyond the exterior wall shall not extend over the lot line.

R302.2 Openings. Openings shall not be permitted in the exterior wall of a dwelling or accessory building with a fire separation distance less than 3 feet (914 mm). This distance shall be measured perpendicular to the line used to determine the fire separation distance.


EXCEPTION: 1. Openings shall be permitted in walls that are perpendicular to the line used to determine the fire separation distance.
2. Foundation vents installed in compliance with this code are permitted.

R302.3 Penetrations. Penetrations located in the exterior wall of a dwelling with a fire separation distance of less than 3 feet (914 mm) shall be protected in accordance with Section R317.3.


EXCEPTION: Penetrations shall be permitted in walls that are perpendicular to the line used to determine the fire separation distance.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office