Public Building and Environmental Standards
From: normangauss (normangausscharter.net)
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004 08:01:01 -0800 (PST)
Laura:

    Is a public building such as a common house subject to public health
rules?  Does our kitchen need to adhere to public health standards of
sanitation and cleanliness?  Does our building need to be maintained in a
habitable condition during "Occupied" periods?  By habitable, I mean
ventilated and heated according to the "general accepted standards of
habitability".

Norm Gauss
Oak Creek Commons
Paso Robles, CA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Laura Fitch" <lfitch [at] krausfitch.com>
To: "Developing cohousing - collaborative housing communities"
<cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2004 7:32 AM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Is the Common House a Public Building?


> Joani et al,
>
> There is absolutely no other way that the common house can be interpretted
> in Massachusetts (or Vermont, Maine, or NY) code other than as a Public
> Building.  It is a building with public access.  I don't know about you,
but
> we REGULARLY have political and social events - things like soccer parties
> where the community at large is invited to.
>
> Even in the case of a condominium project, Massachusetts code would
require
> that all the public areas (lobbies, halls, laundry rooms, common room) be
> public in terms of handicap ACCESS and EGRESS.  There are bizarre ways of
> getting around some requirements, such as putting doorbells in the lobby
> instead of at individual doors, etc.
>
> That does not necessarily mean that there cannot be areas in a common
house
> (in Mass) that are for residents only.  That is how we handleds the
basement
> of Pathways Cohousings common house - They agreed to limit access to
> residents only, and to install a lift at any future date where the
basement
> was opened for others.
>
> The inspector doesn't care how toilets are used (male vs femaile) AFTER
the
> fact.  They just want the total toilet count to match the intended use.
In
> most cases, the intended use of a common house includes big parties and
any
> code dictated occupancy count will probably determine 2-4 toilets needed.
> I've never seen ANY requirement for stall type toilets vs individual
toilet
> rooms in any code that I can think of.  In large communities, the code
> usually requires 2-3 toilets which we handle in 2-3 toilet rooms (1 of
which
> is handicap accessible - the non-accessible toilet rooms can be VERY
SMALL).
> Stall type toilet rooms may be a good solution for a building that
requires
> many toilets - but I do not think they are appropriate for a typical
common
> house - where you want privacy and a residential feel.
>
> Kitchens - we usually find it is not a case of public vs private, but
> commercial vs. residential.  The inspectors do not want to see any frying.
> If you intend to fry things - then you will definately need a fire
> suppression hood.
>
> Best, Laura
>
> Laura E. Fitch, AIA
> Principal Architect
>
> Kraus-Fitch Architects, Inc.
> 110 Pulpit Hill Road
> Amherst, MA  01002
>
> 413-549-5799
> 413-549-7918 (fax)
> lfitch [at] krausfitch.com
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Joani Blank" <joani [at] swansway.com>
> To: <cohousing-l [at] cohousing.org>
> Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 10:52 PM
> Subject: RE: [C-L]_ Is the Common House a Public Building?
>
>
> > I am surprised to hear that you had to consider your common house a
public
> > building.  You aren't serving public meals there. You are serving meals
to
> > residents of your community on a part of the property that belongs to
all
> > of you,  How is that any different from any one of  your neighbors
having
> a
> > bunch of his/her neighbors in for dinner at his/her house?  Or folks who
> > live in a conventional condo having occasional--or even
regular--potlucks
> > in their community room. I'm also surprised to hear about the
requirement
> > for stall toilets. Did they require you to have separate men's and
women's
> > bathrooms too?
> >
> > Joani Blank
> > Swan's Market Cohousing
> > Oakland, CA
> >
> >
> > Eileen McCourt wrote:
> >
> > As far as I know, we were able to avoid the health dept. rules for a
> > "commercial" kitchen, but we do meet the standards for a "public"
> building -
> > one of the reasons we have the stall toilets that we do.  We were not
> > allowed to have regular residential bathrooms because of the use of the
> > building.  As far as the city is concerned, we are a public building,
same
> > for the pool, etc.  We are following all of those requirements.
> >
> > --eileen
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: normangauss [at] charter.net [mailto:normangauss [at] charter.net]
> > Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 11:22 PM
> > To: Developing cohousing - collaborative housing communities
> > Subject: [C-L]_ Is the Common House a Public Building?
> >
> > Does anybody know whether California regulations for public buildings
> apply
> > to cohousing common houses?
> >
> > We have a kitchen that serves public meals.  We have restrooms that
serve
> > groups of visitors.  We have guestrooms in which visitors are lodged.
Are
> > these kinds of facilities considered "public" and therefore expected to
be
> > held to standards set by the state government?
> >
> > Norm Gauss
> > Oak Creek Commons Cohousing
> > Paso Robles, CA  93446
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> > http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/
> >
> >
>
>
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