|Re: Is the Common House a Public Building?||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 11:42:31 -0800 (PST)|
Washington State here. RoseWind's CH had to be coded as public, as the only categories are residence vs not-residence. We were, however, classed in the simplest of many categories, same as a church parish hall or a club house. While less restrictive than the rules for, say, movie theaters or restaurants, this classification did bring with it many requirements beyond those for residential construction. We were able to negotiate some of them. The key to negotiating is understanding the rules, and reading the relevant (Universal Building Code) UBC stuff in searching detail. Some rules you want to follow anyway, like ADA accessibility. And there too, there are standard bathrooms that handily meet all the requirements, but you can also take the specs and work something out yourself, as long as you have the required dimensions for wheelchair turning, etc. They wanted us to have FOUR bathrooms, for our 2700 sq ft CH. This made no sense, but objecting on those grounds got us nowhere. However, we found that there were formulas for determining relevant square footage (ie halls count as less than dining rooms) and what we named a space, mattered. We are very much in the public eye, so could not do as one CH I know of did, and pretend the kid room was a "meditation room" etc. But it was as simple as whether we called it a recreation room or an exercise room. Choosing one name over the other got us down to a practical two bathrooms. We also managed to get them to back off (saving money), on specs that would have made our floors sturdy enough for elephant-training classes. The planning and building department wants to do things the quick and easy way. And if you are using an architect, their time is costly. So have a couple people get a copy of the UBC, or photocopy all the relevant parts, and do your homework. Kind of like dealing with the welfare labyrinth. They have to go by the book, but if you know the book, and comply with a regulation, they can say yes. If you study up, you may be able to get some more common-sense results, as we did. Lynn Nadeau, RoseWind Cohousing Port Townsend Washington (Victorian seaport, music, art, nature) http://www.rosewind.org http://www.ptguide.com http://www.ptforpeace.info (very active peace movement here- see our photo)
- Re: Is the Common House a Public Building? Lynn Nadeau, December 15 2004
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