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PACE & The TCOU Ordinance. Building Code Inception - 1927 Buildings are built for their intended use and are required to be used according to the Certificate.

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Presentation on theme: "PACE & The TCOU Ordinance. Building Code Inception - 1927 Buildings are built for their intended use and are required to be used according to the Certificate."— Presentation transcript:

1 PACE & The TCOU Ordinance

2 Building Code Inception Buildings are built for their intended use and are required to be used according to the Certificate of Occupancy. The International Fire and Building Codes do not allow an occupancy to be used for purposes other than those under which it is permitted. – Offices buildings cannot be used as schools – Warehouses cannot be Public Assemblies – Retail stores cannot be used for Manufacturing Building Permits, Plan Review and Certificate of Occupancy required for change of use.

3 Change of Use International Fire Code IFC Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for a person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, repair, remove, demolish or utilize a building, occupancy, premises or system regulated by this code, or cause same to be done, in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this code.

4 Change of Use International Building Code IBC Use and occupancy. No building or structure shall be used or occupied, and no change in the existing occupancy classification of a building or structure or portion thereof shall be made until the building official has issued a certificate of occupancy therefore as provided herein. Issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as an approval of a violation of the provisions of this code or of other ordinances of the jurisdiction.

5 Change of Use International Building Code Conformance. No change shall be made in the use or occupancy of any building that would place the building in a different division of the same group of occupancy or in a different group of occupancies, unless such building is made to comply with the requirements of this code for such division or group of occupancy. Subject to the approval of the building official, the use or occupancy of existing buildings shall be permitted to be changed and the building is allowed to be occupied for purposes in other groups without conforming to all the requirements of this code for those groups, provided the new or proposed use is less hazardous, based on life and fire risk, than the existing use.

6 Occupancy Classifications Assembly Group A Business Group B Educational Group E Factory Industrial Group F High-Hazard Group H Institutional Group I Mercantile Group M Residential Group R Storage Group S Miscellaneous Group U

7 Occupancy Classification Assembly Group A occupancy – the use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, for the gathering together of 50 or more persons for purposes such as civic, social or religious functions, recreation, “entertainment”, food or drink consumption or awaiting transportation.

8 Live Music Capital of the World Austin has seen the need and value in temporarily changing the use of an occupancy to that of a Place of Assembly if it can be done without sacrificing safety the the participants or disrupting the neighboring occupancies.

9 SXSW Festival The Austin Fire Department was given authority to Temporarily Change Uses to public assemblies during the festival. – Other departments (Building and Zoning) were removed from the process to expedite and facilitate the process – Timeliness is a critical dynamic during the festival – SAFETY was the determining factor – The process involved inspection reports with specific criteria

10 Raves In 2003 and 2004 AFD and APD had a problem with Raves and worked collaboratively in resolving the issues. Public Assembly Permit requirement – Section had previously never been adopted by the City of Austin

11 Place of Assembly Permits IFC Section , and adopted with local amendments on January 1, 2006 (with the city’s adoption of the 2003 IFC) Local Amendments provided for the allowance of Temporary Public Assemblies by Permit Fees associated with the permit This was Not a fraternity ordinance – It was designed as an enforcement tool in response to Raves

12 Current Ordinance Language (with the adoption of the 2003 IFC) Places of assembly. An operational permit or appropriate certificate of occupancy is required to operate a place of assembly An annual operational permit is required to operate any place of assembly where 51% or more of the gross receipts at the location are from alcoholic beverage sales With concurrence of the Building Official, the Chief may issue a temporary change of use permit to use a structure for public assembly. Such permits shall be limited as to time of service, but shall not be permitted for more than 30 days. The Chief is authorized to grant extensions for demonstrated cause.

13 Temporary Change of Use to a Place of Assembly Provides a greater number of venues capable of being used as a Place of Assembly – Ensures the life safety of participants – Ensures the quality of life for the surrounding community – Primarily a Complaint Driven Ordinance

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15 SXSW 2006 Permit requirement is put into place – No longer is the Temp. Change of Use to a Place of Assembly (TCOU) accomplished with inspection reports. – An actual permit is required Festival proceeds without major issues

16 Public Assembly Code Enforcement Formed in the summer of 2006 by Austin Fire Department, Austin Police Department and Solid Wastes Services Code Enforcement following numerous complaints from the west campus area Mission – Safety of participants – Quality of life of those affected Demand and services grew PACE was formed in response to Fraternity Parties Public Assembly Ordinance is an enforcement tool

17 Public Assembly Code Enforcement Team Members expanded to include: – City of Austin Fire Department – City of Austin Police Department – Solid Waste Services (SWS) Code Enforcement – Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission – Texas Department of Public Safety – Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services Department – COA Transportation, Right of Way Management – WPDR - Building Department

18 Public Assembly Code Enforcement – Formed as a pilot program to control Public Assemblies/Large Parties in the West Campus Area. – Has been very successful in all areas of the city in many types of venues – Created a city web site and group – SharePoint created for scheduling, events and complaints – Monthly meetings

19 First Thursdays Pecan Street Flee Markets Circus & Rodeos Concerts Fraternity Parties Outdoor Music Venues Bars Street Closures Art Festivals Music Festivals Carnivals Outdoor events SXSW Temporary Uses Temporary Change of Uses Night Clubs Types of Venues

20 Fraternity Parties Temporary Change of Use to a Public Assembly

21 What made the Fraternity Party rise to the forefront of the city’s concern. Alcohol Combustible decorative materials (sometimes in incredibly large amounts) Illegal change of use of occupancy Obstructed exits / Insufficient exiting Occupants unfamiliar with the structure Open flames (ornamental, warming, etc.) Dangerous make-shift wiring Structurally unsafe “Builds” platforms, decking and tunnels Very Large numbers of people Noise, Trash, Parking Storage of combustible surplus

22 What made the Fraternity Party rise to the forefront of the city’s concern. Complaints from: – Numerous West Campus Neighborhood Association – APD, AFD, Building Department & Code Enforcement Serious Injuries SAE Fraternity House Fire Deaths

23 What made the Fraternity Party rise to the forefront of the city’s concern. Phanta Jack Phoummarath died Dec, 10 th 2005 at the age of 18 Tyler Cross died Nov 17, 2006 at the age of 18 Mutual Resolution Agreement between the University of Texas and Sigma Alpha Epsilon signed April 4, 2008, (a template and catalyst for change)

24 University Administrators should take notice Two university officials, including the Dean of Students and the Director of Greek Life, along with three students from Rider University were indicted after the death of a student at a fraternity party The University Officials failed to take action while having a “high degree of knowledge” and were in a “position to prevent it”.

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43 SXSW 2007 Permit requirement continues for all temporary venues – 112 Complaints received for suspected non-compliant venues – 282 venues – 68 Official SXSW venues 9 citations issued – 5 overcrowding – 1 no occupant load card – 3 no Public Assembly permit 4 venues closed down 2 venues not allowed to operate LOTS OF MEDIA COVERAGE

44 Response to Media Coverage after SXSW Advertising Blitz – PACE – Public Assembly Permits PACE became a regular contributor at the Music Commission Meetings CM Toby Futrell requested a re-write of the ordinance taking the music industry into account.

45 TCOU Ordinance Revision Stakeholder Meetings Music Commission Music Industry – Local Businesses Fraternities (and their alumni and attorneys) University of Texas – UTPD – Dean of Students Neighborhood Associations City Management City Council – Council Member Lee Leffingwell Fire & Building Code Board of Appeals City Legal PACE Membership

46 SXSW 2008 No major issues throughout Festival PACE participation 33 total complaints – 23 from SXSW – 10 other sources 80 official SXSW venues 1 citation 1 venue shut down

47 New TCOU Ordinance Drafted With concurrence of the Building Official, the Chief may issue a temporary change of use permit to use a structure for public assembly. The Chief may issue a permit for a single event or for up to three events of a particular type during a specified time period of not more than 12 months. An individual event may not to exceed 24 hours in duration. The Chief may prescribe conditions and limitations for a permit. Not more than 12 events in a 12 month period are allowed. The Chief is authorized to grant extensions for demonstrated cause. Exceptions and Rules >>>>>>>>>>>>

48 Current Ordinance Benefits w/ respect to Fraternity Houses Existing Ordinance – Increase compliance with maintenance issue at fraternity houses – Annual and semi-annual inspections remain current – Contact information current – Partial reimbursement of services with permit fee – Severe reduction in “party builds” – APD “right to enter” – TABC Enforcement

49 Proposed Ordinance Benefits w/ respect to Fraternity Houses Proposed Ordinance – 12 events per year limitation Manageable number of events per year Should not overwhelm the capacity of PACE 12 is very liberal and may be excessive – The temporary nature of the ordinance is established – Codifies the intent of the 30 day limit – Allows additional “day” events – 24 hour duration per event – Specifies an exact point when permit is required – Adds and educational component

50 Accessory Use Per the “2003 International Building Code Commentary” – “The activities that occur in accessory use areas are necessary for the principle occupancy to properly function” The interpretation of the International Building Code requires that accessory uses are limited to spaces used only by the occupants of the building. – Meeting rooms in office buildings Per Ordinance Criteria - Each Fraternity will be inspected and accessory use defined. – New ordinance will specify an exact point when permit is required (existing ordinance does not)

51 Existing Fraternity Assembly Areas There are accessory use assembly areas in some of the fraternity/sorority houses. During WPDR plan review a maximum occupant load for those rooms was established based on room size, exiting capacity, and the presence of an automatic sprinkler system. If the occupant load is greater than 50, the room is classified as an assembly occupancy and a load card is issued. Those rooms can be used by the members and their invited guests for the intended purpose of the room, up to the occupant load of the room.

52 Ordinance Associated Rule #6 – The return of the “Greek Fire Academy” 6. For Student Housing facilities the Austin Fire Department will provide an educational program, to include material and training, to the identified Permit Applicants of each location on an annual basis. This training will be required for the continued approval of a Temporary Change of Use to a Place of Assembly Permit and will be funded by the participants. Educational components will include permit requirements and conditions as well as other issues often implicated by assembly occupancy events (i.e., noise ordinance, street permits, TABC issues, parking, etc.).

53 PACE contacts PACE WEB SITE PACE COMPLAINTS ecomp.htm ecomp.htm PACE GROUP

54 PACE Questions


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