In a little defense of """" the government officials don't really know a darned thing about the requirements and you get ten different answers from ten different people. """""""
AHJ's are not supposed to design.
Yes they should be able to point you to the chapter or verse that applies.
Yes if you ask ten inspectors, you may get ten answers, but most will apply.
Anyway, don't give up on us government officials, we are only machines.
I have found that on an individual basis most people that work in government institutions can be perfectly reasonable on a personal level. But that doesn't help you very much if you keep running to roadblocks and nobody can tell you the way forward, because they are just a small cog in a big machine.