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Zoning related definition challenge; building vs structure

Discussion in 'Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs' started by Bill Dale, May 31, 2018.

  1. Bill Dale

    Bill Dale New Member

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    Our state and local ordinances defer to the ICC docs (IBC, IRC, … etc) in many instances. Our local ordinance defines "structures" but not "buildings". That is problematic for me as the code for my zone refers to "building setbacks". My contention is that a pool is a structure and not a building. There are a lot of opinions out there on the matter as well as ancillary information which I have not posted regarding specifics, so I am trying to stay away from people's experiences and understand how that is appropriate.

    IBC DEFINITIONS
    Chapter 2: 202
    STRUCTURE. That what is built or constructed.
    BUILDING. Any structure used or intended for supporting or sheltering any use or occupancy.

    Chapter 16: 1602
    OTHER STRUCTURES. Structures, other than buildings, for which loads are specified in this chapter.

    Chapter 16: 1609 Table 1609.6.2(2)
    NON-BUILDING STRUCTURES: Chimney's, Tanks and similar structures:

    As "Building" is defined, and later described, it appears to be a catch all definition that says anything that is built or constructed must be a building. Section 302.1 states "Where a structure is proposed for a purpose that is not specifically provided for in this code, such structure shall be classified in the group that the occupancy most nearly resembles, according to the fire safety and relative hazard involved." That statement essentially requires you to assign a occupancy and use category to every structure. In doing that every structure has "use or occupancy" assigned and therefore by definition is a building.

    That seems to clash radically with "NON-BUILDING STRUCTURES" as that is an impossible scenario. From reviewing external references the term non-building structure" is a common term and swimming pools are considered just that, non-building structures. For example the US Census ; EC1223SG06
    Construction: Summary Series: General Summary: Specialization in Types of Construction by Subsectors and Industries: 2012 [​IMG] 2012 Economic Census of the United States describes "Nonbuilding construction" as "…outdoor swimming pools. Includes wading pools and reflecting pools...".

    Can anyone enlighten me on the intent behind defining "Building" in such a broad manner? As written a snowman is by definition a building.
     
  2. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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    Welcome to the forum.

    This doesn't have anything to do with the ICC codes unless your jurisdiction has adopted the ISPSC. And even then, you won't find any setback answers there.

    I would guess that somewhere in your zoning ordinance (probably not where you'd expect it to be, if it's like most zoning rules), it is going to say that setbacks apply to all buildings and accessory structures. A swimming pool is an accessory structure, and unless your zoning regs. specifically exempt it, it probably has to follow the setbacks, etc. of the zoning district it is in.
     
  3. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    It will be easier to change your local definition
    Building-structure are catch all terms/definitions so the code can be applied with few exceptions.
     
  4. TheCommish

    TheCommish Sawhorse

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    First let us not confuse building code definitions with zoning definitions. Since this seems to be a zoning issue, how does your local zoning define; building, structures and setbacks, in the zoning document?


    My zoning defines

    BUILDING

    A structure enclosed within exterior walls or firewalls built, erected and framed of a combination of any materials, whether portable or fixed, having a roof, to form a structure for the shelter of persons, animals or property.

    STRUCTURE

    Any combination of materials assembled at a fixed location and requiring attachment to the land through pilings, footings, foundations and the like, to give support or shelter and/or provide for human habitation or use, such as a building, bridge, trestle, tower, framework, tank, tunnel, tent, stadium, reviewing stand, platform, bin, fence, sign, flagpole, swimming pool, or the like.

    YARD, FRONT

    An open, unoccupied space extending across the full width of the lot between the front most main building and the front lot line. The depth of the required front yard shall be measured perpendicular from the nearest point of the front lot line to the required front building set back line. (See diagram.)

    YARD, REAR

    An open unoccupied space extending across the full width of the lot between the most rear main building and the rear lot line. The depth of the required rear yard shall be measured perpendicularly from the nearest point of the rear lot line to the required rear building setback line. (See diagram.)

    YARD, SIDE

    An open, unoccupied space between the main building and side lot line, extending from the front yard to the rear yard. The width of the required side yard shall be measured perpendicularly from the nearest point of the side lot line to the required side building setback line.

    So regardless if the item is a building or structure the yard who’s distance is defined by the set back requirement is an unoccupied space.

    Remember all buildings are structures, not all structures are building in this set of rules.
     
  5. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    Our planning dept doesn’t refer to a swimming pool as a structure or a building. They call it a swimming pool and address it specifically.
     
  6. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    IMPO, a swimming pool is a structure. It is built, but not a building.
     
    #6 mark handler, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
    my250r11 likes this.
  7. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    I believe there has been a court case that established that a swimming pool is a structure.

    As thecommish posted under structure, his zoning takes care of the issue. You'll notice his zoning has tanks and swimming pools to be in line with Chapter 16.

    Like mtlogcabing suggest, it would be better to change your local definition. Amend the ordinance.

    IMO, an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool is a NON-BUILDING structure and requires inspection to match plans provided.
     
  8. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

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    Part of their definition of a building is a roof, does your pool have a roof?
    Water could be "property”...
     
  9. Bill Dale

    Bill Dale New Member

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    They tie back is where there is no definition. The general model is to lean towards generally accepted industry definition (e.g. IRC, IBC, etc..) and the authorizing the state statutes; which more often than not defer to the ICC.
     
  10. Bill Dale

    Bill Dale New Member

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    I agree. What I am doing is assembling the information to do just that. I also agree that there should be an attempt to capture all variants of construction activity. There is no building in the world that is not a structure, so in my opinion that capability exists. I suspect the genesis of the structure\building confusion originates from the use of noun and verb forms of the word; building as an object and building as a form of construction. As I replied to an earlier post, the ICC codes are viewed with great deference for good reason so where terms are undefined in local zoning, the approach is to look to the statutes and ICC's. This conversation is about capturing intent so that it can be presented in a manner that drives change in the local ordinance.
     
  11. Bill Dale

    Bill Dale New Member

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    I agree with your assessment from both linguistic and intent perspectives.
     
  12. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

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    Remember anybody can write a code change within the ICC process so some times the words used are not the best choice.
    As someone once said ICC does not mean Intelligent, Clear or Concise. However it is what we have to work with
     

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