Tracy from Washington State asks:

What does one do when a City imposes/interprets a code ruling wrong? I have a situation where a City official did not follow the standard guidelines for fire protection in a multifamily unit. Normally if buildings are located 10 feet or further apart standard attic venting can be applied and we designed our duplexes accordingly. When we submitted our plans the City would not let us install venting in the soffit because the homes were 10 feet from the property line and "they did not know what the neighbors would do". Now given we were responsible for all the builds on the street (and could control this), and the setback requirements would not let a home be any closer than the current spacing this was silly. We even went to the surrounding jurisdictions and they agreed we should be allowed to vent the attics. We told the City in question about the stance of the other jurisdictions but the building official was new and stubborn.

So we installed attic fans to compensate. But given a litany of circumstances, the attic fans were not enough (extreme cold weather required extreme heat in the homes) and mold has formed on some roof sheathing due to condensation collecting.

Now I have not only mold mitigation to do (which is done and approved by the City) 

I am moving through this but this is not the first time this City has caused problems.  They did not meet the statutory timeline for subdivision approval (which they admitted to but I let go) and when they lost staff they extended the normal building permit process from 3 weeks to 6 months costing me hundreds of thousands of dollars in holding costs.


Host: Victor Menasce