Summary of the City of Tacoma Code Changes Ordinance

City of Tacoma
Building and Land Use Services
Summary of the City of Tacoma Code Changes
Ordinance 27890
July 1, 2010
A copy of actual ordinance is available at:
As has been done in the past two adoptions of the building and associated codes the 2009 adoption and amendments
are all bundled into a single ordinance. This commentary is a section by section analysis of the ordinance to tell
what the changes are and how they differ from the original code. Some of the amendments are for clarification and
do not change the code, but are to clearly define how a section will be interpreted because the section was found to
be confusing. Other changes are substantial. The starting point for the amendments was the ordinance adopting the
2006 codes; consequently there is a lot of changing 2006 to 2009.
2009 International Building Code
The adopting and amending statement for the 2009 International Building Code.
The title
A statement that where the 2009 International Plumbing Code is referred to, that such reference shall be
understood to mean the 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code.
A list of chapters or sections amended by deleting them from the code.
A list of the sections, tables or chapters that are being amended in the ordinance.
A list of sections which have been amended by the Washington State Building Code Council (WSBCC)
but have been deleted from the City of Tacoma’s adoption, thereby adopting the IBC wording of the
section, or by neither accepting the WSBCC amendment nor the original wording in the IBC, and
providing a customized City amendment.
A list of sections amended by the WSBCC, and accepted by the City of Tacoma’s Adoption, without
further amendment.
Referenced Codes and Standards. The section states that codes and standards referenced in the 2009
IBC are part of the code, however if there is a conflict with the 2009 IBC and the referenced code and
standards, 2009 IBC shall govern. The City has added an exception that states that where referencing
certain National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards that the most recently published
standard shall govern, instead of the named publication listed in Chapter 35 of the 2009 IBC.
Work exempt from permit. We added concrete patios with areas less than 2000 sq-ft in item 6. At
2000 sq-ft. impervious paving triggers compliance with the Surface Water Management Manual, and
requires a permit for enforcement. Additionally Item 7 was added to allow residential decks not
exceeding 200 sq.-ft., which are no more than 30 inches above the ground to be constructed without a
permit. This was in past codes, but was eliminated in the 2009 IBC. It is allowed in the 2009 IRC,
however, and now repeated for the IBC.
Expiration of Permits. No substantial change. A minor correction was added. The section provides
specific details of how a building permit is kept active until the work is completed. However, no matter
what the permit will expire if the time exceeds five years from the issuance date.
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
Design Professional in Responsible Charge. This section defines what a design professional is allowed
to be in Tacoma. That is a register professional engineer licensed by the Washington State Board of
Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, or a professional architect licensed by the Washington
State Board of Registration for Architects. It is a statement to declare that where a design professional
is required, that a building/residential designer is not considered as meeting this requirement, whether
or not the State of Washington in the future institutes a licensing procedure for this category of
Expiration of Plan Approval or Permit Application. The amendment provides direction on how an
approval of a plan or the application for a permit may remain active, and when it would otherwise
expire if the proper procedure is not followed. The amendment also provides for a hard timeline where
the permit or application can not be renewed after. The amendment will be a help in deciding when
vesting of plans expire.
Certificate of Occupancy or Completion. Past codes were amended by instituting a Certificate of
Completion. In this adoption rather than have a separate section addressing a Certificate of
Completion, it is included in the building code by amending the Certificate of Occupancy Section. A
Certificate of Completion is issued when a building is being worked on and the work authorized by the
building permit is complete, but the building is not ready for occupancy. Examples are shell buildings
where exterior of the building is constructed, but that tenant improvements are to be customized to suit
the lessee when they sign on for space in the building. In this case a separate permit is issued.
Certificates of Completion also apply to retaining walls, towers, etc., thing not occupied.
Board of Appeals. Is a statement the Board of Building Appeals is the proper panel where appeals of
interpretations by the Building Official are to be filed. It also rules on the suitability of alternate
materials and method, if such is brought before the Board. The section points the reader to Tacoma
Municipal Code (TMC) chapter 2.17 for the establishment and make up of the Board of Building
Appeals and the rules and procedures that govern the Board’s activities.
Violations. This section describes how to process violations and assign penalties when such need
occurs. The processing set forth in the section is modeled on the procedures specified in TMC Chapter
8.30, the Nuisance Code. The amended section also provides an alternate method which allows the
BLUS Division to file a complaint with Municipal Court as a criminal process.
Stair Door Operation. This section is an amendment to the High Rise section of the 2009 IBC to direct
the reader to see the amendment in section 2.02.280 which adds a subsection to section 1020 in the
2009 IBC to address re-entry requirements in high-rise building stair enclosures.
Table 503 the table is amended for two reasons. The first being that for a type V-A building that a two
story increase in height increase and a 15 foot increase in overall height is permitted if the building is
sprinkled with a section 903.3.1.1 automatic fire sprinkler system with quick response heads for Group
R Division 1 and 2, B, and M occupancies. The amendment is by adding the footnote “e” to the table,
which refers the reader to the amendment of section 504.2, see (2.02.180 below). The second
amendment of the table is to prohibit non-rated buildings from exceeding two stories unless provided
with a section 903.3.1.1 automatic fire sprinkler system. This is done by the addition of footnote “f”.
Automatic Sprinkler System Increase. This section amends section 504.2 in the 2009 IBC by adding
exception 4, which provides the increase in height as noted in section 2.02.170 above. This is the
provision which allows a five story 1-hour rated wood frame constructed building over two or more
stories of type IA construction with a three hour fire barrier (occupancy separation) between the type
IA construction and the type VA construction, provided a number of conditions are met. There are
other parts of the section which are marked up which in this case were editing the 2006 amendments to
the actual wording written into the 2009 IBC.
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
Horizontal Building Separation Allowance. This section allows construction of any type to be
constructed over a type IA constructed building, with a three hour fire barrier between the two types of
construction. The amendment allows more that one floor level to be in the type IA constructed portion
of the building, and additionally allows assembly, office, mercantile and residential, besides the parking
and incidental uses allowed by the unamended section. The key to this allowance is item 8 in the
amendment which says that the height of the building above the three hour fire barrier is limited to 65
feet measured from the fire barrier and that the highest occupied floor including occupied roofs, but
exclusive of mezzanines in individual tenant spaces to be limited to 75 feet measured from the lowest
Fire Department access. The lowest Fire Department access is the lowest elevation that a fire engine
can drive to around the building.
Projections. This is an amendment to IBC section 705.2 which actually doesn’t amend the section, but
clarifies the section by crossing out the projection criteria and putting it into IBC table 705.8 and then
adding a reference to see IBC table 705.8 as amended in TMC section 2.02.210.
Projections. Amendment to IBC table 705.8. IBC table 705.8 originally set forth only the fire
separation distance, the degree of opening protection, and the allowable area. A fourth column was
added to the table which sets forth the criteria for projections for each fire separation distance based on
the projection requirement criteria crossed out in IBC section 705.2.
Refuse and laundry chute enclosures: This is an amendment to section IBC 708.13.1 which adds the
prohibition of having refuse and laundry chutes opening onto exit balconies. These chutes were
already prohibited by this section from opening onto corridors, and exit balconies are basically open
Enclosed elevator lobby pressurization alternative: This section amends IBC section 708.14.2 by
modifying the pressurization requirements of elevators when they are pressurized instead of providing
elevator lobbies or extra doors.
Definitions by addition of a definition for “Lobby”. The use of this definition is applied to the
amendment to section 1027.1 Exit Discharge—General.
Addition of Section 1010.11 Enclosure under ramps. This to make it clear that enclosures under ramps
shall meet the same requirements for such spaces under stairways.
Three or more exits or exit access doorways. This amendment clarifies that there needs to be a
minimum distance between exits measured from center of door to center of door. The minimum
distance between the doors for them to be considered separate exits is set forth in IBC section 1015.2.1
which requires a minimum distance of one-half the major diagonal of a building, room or space if the
building is not provided with an automatic fire sprinkler system, and one-third the major diagonal of a
building, room or space if the building is provided with an automatic fire sprinkler system meeting IBC
section 903.3.1.1 (NFPA 13) or IBC section 903.3.1.2 (NFPA 13R) sprinkler standards. If the doors
are closer than the applicable criteria then the doors are considered as part of the same exit, and not
separate exits.
Amendment to IBC section 1027.1 Exit Discharge—General: (Refer to the comment on section
2.02.240 above). The first point of the amendment is to clarify that if both items 1 and 2 of the
exceptions are used that the combined capacity of the exits using the exception shall not exceed 50
percent of the total capacity of all exits from the building. The second point is in exception 1 which
clarifies that the exit discharge within the building is to be a lobby and developed in accordance with
the subsections to exception 1. The last point actually is not part of the amendment. It is the addition
of exception 4, which is new to the 2009 IBC.
Amendment to IBC section 1022 by addition of a new subsection 1022.10—Re-entry requirements:
This amendment has been part of the City’s amendments for a number of years and came out of the
results of the MGM fire in Las Vegas on November 21, 1980. In that fire the exit enclosure doors were
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
openable from the floor side of the enclosure, but were locked from the enclosure side. When the fire
broke out people were scared to enter the enclosure with no way out until one reached the bottom, so to
provide additional escape routes they blocked the doors to the exit enclosures open so they could come
back to the floor if they couldn’t get to the exit at the bottom of the enclosure, thereby defeating all of
the smoke control the exit enclosure was designed to address. The amendment requires that a certain
number of the exit doors from the exit enclosure need to be openable from inside the enclosure.
Amendment to IBC Section 1503.4—Roof drainage: This is another long time amendment that the
City has made to the building code. The amendment requires roof slopes to drain the roof, and requires
scuppers or overflow drains, which daylight in obvious locations so that it is clear that the main drains
are plugged if the overflow drains or scuppers are operating.
Amendment to IBC section 1608—Snow loads: This amendment sets the actual snow load to be
considered, and is higher than what is required if the building code as written was followed. The
reason that the snow load is higher is because the snow in the Puget Sound area tends to be wet and
heavy, and it also tends to rain on the snow once it is in place. Drifting is not as much of a problem in
this area. The amendment sets a minimum snow load of 25 pounds per square-foot at the roof level,
and requires consideration of drifting, and sliding from a higher to a lower roofs
Amendment to IBC section 1609.1—Wind loads—applications: The amendment really doesn’t change
the wind design criteria. But does say if you aren’t going to do the topographical effect calculations
then the wind design criteria is set to the near maximum levels expected to occur in Tacoma. The
design criteria provided by the code is an 85 mile per hour 3 second gust with the topographical effects
having Kzt factors of 1.00 to 2.71 which is equivalent of 3 second gust from 85 mph to 140 mph. What
the amendment say is that if you do not calculate the topographical effects then you need to design for
the 85 mph 3 mile gust with Kzt factor of 2.00 which is equivalent to a 120 mph 3 second gust with a
Kzt factor of 1.00. This is an attempt to correct where people read that the design wind speed is 85
mph, and quit reading so that for most locations in Tacoma, they are not designing for enough wind.
Amendment to IBC section 1613.1—Earthquake loads: By addition of exception 5: This amendment
is a carry over from the 2006 IBC amendments and writes into the code a minimum acceptable value
for the seismic response factor Cs. This amendment also amends ASCE 7-05 equation 12.8-5 to read:
CS = 0.044 S DS I ≥ 0.01
The amendment addresses tension only bracing and corrects the omission in the IBC by requiring such
bracing to be designed in accordance with ASCE 7-05, Section 12.4.3, which requires an overstrength
factor. In tension only bracing in earthquakes, if the brace under goes elongation because the yield
stress was exceeded in one cycle of the earthquake then in the next cycle there will be slack in the
tension brace, which will allow greater movement, and maybe no bracing.
Amendment to IBC section 2405 by addition of a new subsection 2405.6—Location of sloped glazing
and skylights: This also is a carry over from the 2006 IBC amendments and prohibits slope glazing and
skylights in areas where no opening are permitted or where opening are required to be protected
because of proximity to a property line or a centerline of a street. If wall glazing is allowed to be
unprotected, but limited to a percentage of the wall, then any sloped glazing or skylight area shall be
added to the area of the wall glazing when determining the percentage un-protected opening in the wall.
For example: Lets say that a building is located within 10 feet of an interior property line and a
skylight with an area of 25 sq-ft is to be located between the edge of the building and 15 feet from the
property line. In looking at table 705.8 in the code, it says that where a wall in a non-sprinkled
building is within 10 ft or more but less than 15 feet from the property line that 15% unprotected
openings are permitted in the wall. If the wall has an area of 1000 sq-ft then 150 sq-ft of glazing would
be permitted, which means that the unprotected windows in the wall plus the 25 sq-ft skylight can add
up to 150 sq-ft so that the unprotected openings in the wall can have an area up to 125 sq-ft.
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
Amendment to IBC section 3202.3—Encroachments 8 feet or more above grade. This section requires
awning to be wholly supported by the buildings. The amendment has was in place with the 2006 IBC
amendments, but for the 2009 IBC the amendment will add an exception which allows supports in the
right-of-way if the City (PW/Real Property Services) issues a permit to allow the supports in the rightof-way. Otherwise the amendment clarifies and in some cases changes the length of projections from
buildings over public right-of-way for various heights above the right-of-way. The 2009 IBC would
allow unlimited projections over the right-of-way if the projection was 15 feet or more above the rightof-way; we changed that distance to 16.5 feet and require a street occupancy or a vacation of air rights
for this degree of projection. We also added an exception that where these projections go into a street
right-of-way which is also the right-of-way for rail or light rail the distance above the top of the rails
must be increased to 24 feet. The subsection for pedestrian walkways, following the subsection on
encroachments into the right-of-way, is similar to the encroachment section for heights above the rightof-way including an exception to require 24 feet above rail or light rail. But with a pedestrian walkway
the air rights are required to be vacated by City ordinance. In this case a street occupancy is not
Amendment to Chapter 32 by addition of a new IBC section 3202.5—Entryway Canopies. This was
put into the code with the adoption of the 1988 UBC. The purpose was to allow for weather protection
for people being delivered to the building by motor vehicle at an entrance to a building. The canopy
requires a street occupancy permit, must be 8 feet above the sidewalk, have a maximum height
measured from the sidewalk to the top of the canopy of 15 feet, provide a clear width of sidewalk under
the canopy of no less than eight feet, have a maximum width of 30 feet, and extend no further than to
two feet from the face of the street curb.
Chapter 34 which was extensively amended for the 2006 IBC is deleted, and the 2009 International
Existing Building Code (IEBC) is adopted and amended in its place. In the 2009 amendments Chapter
34 is deleted by listing it in section 2.02.040 Amendment by deletion from the 2009 IBC.
Amendment by addition of a new Chapter 36 to the IBC—City of Tacoma –Clearing and Grading
Code. This amendment was put into the code with the adoption of the 1985 Uniform Building Code.
Its purpose is: “The purpose of this chapter is to safeguard life, limb, property, water quality, and the
public welfare by regulating grading, clearing, site surface and slope maintenance and associated
erosion control”. Since the original grading and excavation code was adopted considerable attention is
being given to the quality of storm water, the erosion of soil from the development sites, capacity of
sewers, and detention of storm water where there is inadequate storage. Meaning the process for the
review of grading plans has become very complicated, but the general goal remains the same, that is
storm water is properly disposed of, erosion is controlled and the site is stable. The Public Works
Department is looking very closely at grading and excavation plans to ensure that the quality of water
entering the storm sewer is clean enough so as to not jeopardize the City’s NPDES permit, and does not
overload the existing storm water drainage infrastructure. No changes have been made to this section
except to correct typos, and other minor errors
Amendment by addition of new IBC chapter 37—Off-site improvements: This amendment originally
appeared in the ordinance adopting the 1973 Uniform Building Code. It is not being changed from the
2007 adoption at this time.
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
International Residential Code Amendments
The State does not permit the local jurisdictions to amend the IRC, except in very specific instances. The City is
allowed to amend the IRC for specific local conditions such as Snow Loads, Wind Loads etc. and for Mobile Homes.
Additionally the State permits the City to amend the Administrative Chapter 1.
Amendments by Deletion from the 2009 IRC
A list of the amended section in the IRC
List of chapters and sections deleted from the code adoption by the Washington State Building Code
A list of the Washington State Building Code Council Amendments to the IRC, and that they are
adopted by reference.
Work Exempt from permit. A list of items where a permit is not required.
Board of Appeals. This amendment directs the reader to TMC Chapter 2.17 which establishes the
Board of Building Appeals and provides information relative to limitations, procedures for hearing etc.
Violations. Penalties and procedures for handling violations to the IRC. This amendment refers the
reader to TMC 2.02.150 which is an amendment to the IBC.
There is a table in the IRC which sets forth the Climatic and Geographic Design Criteria. This is a
table which the local jurisdiction is required to fill in the design information, and mandates a local
Snow loads. This amendment refers the reader to TMC Section 2.02.300 which is an amendment to the
IBC and sets the snow load to 25 pounds per square-foot at the roof level in accordance with the
Structural Engineers Association of Washington and the Washington Association of Building Officials
white paper on snow loads in the Puget Sound area.
This is an amendment requiring sprinklers in townhomes grouped together in blocks of more than four
units. This is an amendment which cannot be enforced until the amendment is approved by the State
Building Code Council, but is required to be enacted before the Council will consider the amendment
for approval. The Fire Department was supposed to take the amendment to the Council at the time the
2006 Codes were adopted, but they never got around to doing it.
Manufactured Homes. This amendment sets parameters for allowing Manufactured Homes (Mobile
Homes) into the City in areas other than in Mobile Home parks.
International Existing Building Code Amendments.
Note: The International Existing Building Code takes the place of IBC Chapter 34.
A list of the General Amendments to the 2009 International Existing Building Code.
This section lists the State Building Code Council amendments which are deleted in the City of
Tacoma’s adoption of the IEBC.
This section lists the State Building Code Council amendments which were adopted by reference.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB105.2--Work exempt from permit. The amendment deletes the section
and replaces it with a reference to TMC 2.02.090 which amends the IBC and tells what work is exempt
from permits.
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
Amendment to IEBC Section EB105.5--Expiration. The amendment deletes the section in the IEBC
and replaces it by references to TMC Section 2.02.100 and 2.02.120.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB112--Board of Appeals. This amendment directs the reader to TMC
Chapter 2.17 which establishes the Board of Building Appeals and provides information relative to
limitations, procedures for hearing etc
Amendment to IEBC Section EB113--Violations. Penalties and procedures for handling violations to
the IEBC. This amendment refers the reader to TMC 2.02.150 which is an amendment to the IBC.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB1202--This section provides a definition of Substantial renovation or
Amendment to IEBC Section EB301 by addition of a new Subsection EB301.3--This section requires
that buildings undergoing substantial renovation or construction must be brought up to full compliance
with the adopted building code (IBC), with some exceptions.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB305.1.2--Existing Fire Escapes. The section has been amended to
allow the Building Official discretionary judgment over accepting existing fire escapes instead of
allowing outright acceptance for existing fire escapes.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB307.1--Change of Occupancy. The amendment provides information
on how to determine whether the occupancy of the building has change in intensity, as well as
occupancy group. It also references IEBC chapter 9 as amended as the part of the code that defines
relative hazard of occupancies.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB503--Fire Protection. Adds a new subsection EB 503.2 requires
residential buildings of group R, Division 1 or Group R, Division 2 of certain, area, height or number
of units, or dwelling units to be sprinkled if repairs involve the exposure of wall or ceiling cavities in
more than one guest room or one dwelling unit, to be provided with an automatic fire sprinkler system.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB603.2--Refers the reader back to section 2.02.810.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB907--Change of Occupancy –Structural. The section amends IEBC
907. This amendment was in the adopting amendments to the 2006 IEBC/IBC, and is proposed for the
2009 IEBC/IBC adoption. The major part of this adoption is inserting EB Table 907 into the section to
identify the relative seismic hazard of a particular occupancy. The underlined and cross outs only are
showing the changes made to the section from how it was adopted with the 2006 codes.
Amendment to IEBC Section EB1201.3--Relocated or Moved Buildings. Since IBC Chapter 34 which
addresses existing buildings will be deleted in the 2009 code adoption, and the IEBC will be
substituted for the deleted chapter, some items needed to be moved from there into the IEBC. That is
the case with this amendment, and it is being moved from Chapter 34 into the IEBC to address moved
buildings. The amendment is mostly administrative in substance.
Amendment to IEBC Appendix Section EB A107--Quality Control. This amendment is being carried
forward from the 2006 adoption of the IEBC to this adoption, and provides details on how to design
and test tension ties for tying masonry or concrete walls to the wood diaphragms of existing buildings.
The amendment also provides a schedule for the number of anchors which need to be tested. The idea
for the procedure is that the ties can be installed in place where they will be needed, and then tested,
and if they past the “pull” test they can then be used in the actual renovation work of the building. (If
they fail, then they have pulled out of the wall and obviously can’t be used.)
Amendment to IEBC Appendix Section EB113.9--Secondary Load Paths. This amendment replaces
“IEBC Appendix Section 113.9—Truss and beam Support” in its entirety. The amendment was also in
the 2006 adoption of the IEBC, and specifies when secondary load paths are required to be provided
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
for unreinforced masonry bearing walls, and applies to both primary and secondary supporting
Earthquake Recording Instrumentation
This is the section which established the Strong Motion Instrumentation Program and sets up a 10%
surcharge on building permits to go into a special fund know as the Strong Motion Instrumentation
Fund (SMIF) to fund the purchase and installation of equipment to monitor earthquakes in buildings
and ground stations. No change has been made to this section.
Deletion of TMC Chapter 2.03-Alley Occupancies
The chapter was passed in 1956 and doesn’t seem to have been used within anyone’s memory. So it is being deleted.
2009 Uniform Plumbing Code Amendments
This section adopts the 2009 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) by reference and notes that where
references in the IBC, IRC, IEBC, and other codes are made to the International Plumbing Code (IPC)
the reference shall be interpreted as meaning the 2009 UPC.
A statement that where there are conflicts between the 2009 UPC, as adopted and amended in TMC
Chapter 2.06, and the City of Tacoma Surface Water Management Manual, the City of Tacoma Surface
Water Management Manual shall govern.
This section states that the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) amendments are adopted
by reference. The section also provides a reference to the “City of Tacoma Side Sewer and Sanitary
Sewer Availability Manual” as being the correct document replacing UPC sections 713 through 723
and Table 7-7 and 7-8 deleted by the SBCC.
The section deletes UPC section 103.4 and Table No. 1-1 related to plumbing permit fees, and the
deletion of UPC section 1101., which addresses roof drainage and is in conflict with the
provisions in the IBC. The section also limits the application of UPC section 908.4, allowing wet
venting, to buildings constructed under the 2009 International Residential Code, and Group R, Division
2 and 3 buildings where the WSBCC prohibits us from amending the code.
This amendment states that Board of Building Appeals is the proper body to address appeals of the
Building Official’s Interpretation of the Plumbing Code, and refers the reader to TMC Chapter 2.17.
This section lists the sections within the Plumbing Code that are amended.
This section amends UPC section 101.5.1 by adding an exception requires the side sewer and sanitary
sewer be inspected for inflow and infiltration sources in accordance with TMC Section 12.08.720 when
substantial renovation is being done to an existing building.
Amendment to UPC section 102.3 Violations and Penalties is deleted and directs the reader to use
section 2.02.150 amending the Violations and Penalties section in the International Building Code.
Amendment to UPC section 103.3.4 Expiration. The amendment modifies the expiration of permits
section in the UPC to provide clarity in when and how a permit expires and how it may be extended.
Amendment to UPC section 218.0 P Definitions by redefining “Private Sewer”. The modification was
requested by the City of Tacoma Environmental Services Sewer Engineering (ESSE) Section.
Amendment to UPC section 305.2—Environmental Science requested this amendment which addresses
those cases where a public sewer is not available. It states that Alternate methods of waste disposal
shall be determined in accordance with the “City of Tacoma Side Sewer and Sanitary Sewer
Availability Manual”.
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
International Mechanical Code Amendments
This section is the statement that the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the International Fuel
Gas Code (IFGC), and parts of other codes are being adopted by the City of Tacoma subject to
This section adopts the Washington State Building Code Council amendments to the IMC and the
IFGC, and parts of other codes.
This section states that the IFGC and the parts of other codes adopted as part of the Mechanical Code
will be administered using Chapter 1 of the 2009 IMC.
This section lists the sections in the IMC which are amended.
This section amends IMC section 106.4.3 Expiration, and changes it to be in essence the same as the
amended expiration section in the IBC. See section 2.02.100
Amendment to IMC section 108 Violations. The amendment deletes section 108 and directs the reader
to use TMC section 2.02.150 which amends the violation section in the International Building Code.
Amendment to IMC 109 Board of Building Appeals. Section 109 is replaced entirely by the
amendment, and directs the reader to TMC Chapter 2.17 which is the part of the Municipal Code that
defines and authorizes the Board of Building Appeals and sets its limits and procedures.
TMC Chapter 2.10-Energy Code Amendments
The chapter has been amended to adopt the most current version of the Washington State Energy Code with no
amendments, except to provide administration for the code using the administrative sections in the building code.
TMC Chapter 2.12—Flood Hazard and Costal High
Hazard Areas.
This is the first time that this TMC Chapter has been before the Board of Building Appeals as part of a code cycle.
The Flood Hazard and Coastal High Hazard Areas code is written into the municipal code for the express purpose
that those people who wish to have flood protection insurance are able to purchase said insurance. The code is
administered under the Federal Emergency Management Act and therefore is a Federal program. The proposed
changes have been requested by the Washington State Department of Ecology, who are auditing the local
jurisdictions adoption legislation. (See the note at the beginning of this document on Package 3).
Commentary on Ordinance 27890
City of Tacoma Amendments to the
Building and Related Codes
July 1, 2010
Waterfront Structures and Marina Code
This is the first time that this TMC Chapter has been before the Board of Building Appeals as part of a code cycle,
though it was before the Board of Building Appeals as a stand alone code in the past. This code was originally
adopted in 1965 after a particularly devastating fire on the waterfront. It underwent a major revision in 1991-1992,
and since then this code has not amended or updated. Since the code was written the underlying Building and Fire
Codes have changed from the International Conference of Building Official codes (Uniform Building and Uniform
Fire codes) to the International Code Council Codes, that is, the International Building and the International Fire
Codes. So the amendments are necessary to get the references correct.
Scope. This section has been revised to remove references to codes no longer enforced by the City of
Tacoma, and in the case of the “Cross Connection Control Code” it was removed since there really is
no such code, but follows a number of regulatory rules related to the purveyance of potable water
involving the state, the health department and the TPU Water Division. A reference to the Flood Plain
Code has been added. And the exception has been edited to recognize the International Residential
Existing Installations: A date has been added to define what is meant by “as the time of the adoption of
this chapter”.
Definitions. Some editing related to the change from the UBC & UFC to the IBC and IFC, especially
related to the Definition of the Building Code and Fire Code. A new definition for DATUM has been
added to the section. Dry Boat Storage, the definition has been revised to add “A building for dry
storage of vessels in racks”. The definitions for Mean High Water, Mean Lower Low Water and Mean
Sea Level have been altered to correct terminology, and adjust the levels. A definition for NOAA has
been added. The definition for Nominal Size has been edited to provide the proper references to
standards. And other definitions have been edited to add information or to make the definition clearer.
Water Front Structures. This section has not changed much, but has been edited to correct or clarify,
and to make the changes from the codes in place in 1992 to those in place at this time, including
Dry Boat Storage. Besides the usual editing and updating a provision has been added requiring dry boat
storage to be provided with a full NFPA 13 Automatic Fire Sprinkler System when required by the
building code section 903.3.1.1, however buildings which house rack storage are required to be fully
sprinkled with a NFPA 13 system regardless of the building area. A number of requirements related to
open areas and compartmentalization were deleted. More attention has been made to address Rack
Storage of Boats, and a considerable amount of code has been added to address the type of buildings
and systems being proposed that use rack storage.
Marinas (Wet Storage of Boats): The requirement for providing Fire Fighting Moorage Points has been
deleted, based on Fire Department Experience. The table for allowable areas of covered storage has
been modified relative to boat covers and combined boat houses to use the area limits in the IBC, but
the allowable area of single boat house remains the same as in the past. The handling of snow loads
has been clarified, and the exception allowing a reduction of snow load to 12 PSF has been deleted.
The stresses induced by waves has added wordage requiring wave loads to be analyzed to provide the
maximum stresses, which may be an unbalanced load, rather than a uniform load. Amendments to the
Fire Code at the end of the section have been deleted.
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