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31.10.080 Appeals.

City Code Section

(Amended by Ordinance No. 190502, effective August 20, 2021.)

A.  Standing for Appeals.  The following persons, owners or occupants, herein called appellants, may submit an appeal as described in this Title:

1.  Any person, owner or occupant who has been ordered by the Fire Marshal to incur any expense under any provision of this Title;

2.  Any person, owner or occupant who has been cited by the Fire Marshal for violation of any provision of this Title:

3.  Any person, owner or occupant whose application for a permit or approval under this Title has been refused by the Fire Marshal;

4.  Any person, owner or occupant whose special case is not specifically covered by this Title.

B.  Board of Appeals.  The Fire Code Board of Appeals, having been established, is hereby continued.

1.  The Board shall consist of three members, and an alternate for each member.  Each member and alternate shall serve a term of three years.  The Mayor shall appoint and may remove any member or alternate from the Board at any time. 

2.  Board members and alternates must by experience and training in building construction, building operations or fire protection systems, be qualified to pass on the provisions of this Title as they affect the interest of the City as a whole.  No two members or alternates shall be engaged in the same business, profession or occupation.  No member or alternate shall be an officer, official or employee of the City.

3.  No member or alternate shall hear or act on a matter in which they have any interest, direct or indirect, pecuniary or otherwise.  In the event of such an interest, the member’s alternate shall hear and determine the matter.

4.  The Board annually shall elect a Chairman from among the three members of the Board.  Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman, who shall call meetings at the Fire Marshal’s request.

C.  Appeal Procedure.

1.  Appellant shall serve written notice of appeal on the Fire Marshal no more than ten days after the Fire Marshal’s order or action. The notice of appeal shall be in such form as specified by the Fire Marshal, and shall be accompanied by appeal fee.

2.  The Fire Marshal may approve, approve with conditions or deny the requested relief.  The decision of the Fire Marshal, with a brief statement for its basis, shall be transmitted to the appellant in writing.  If the appellant is not satisfied with the decision, the appellant may, within ten days after notice, serve written notice on the Fire Marshal requesting a hearing before the Fire Code Board of Appeals.

3.  The Fire Marshal shall transmit copies of the notice of appeal to the Board of Appeals and to the Commissioner-in-Charge.  Not less than 10 days prior to the date of the hearing, the Board shall mail notice of the date, time and place of the hearing to the appellant, by certified mail, return receipt requested.

4.  After the hearing, the Board may by a majority vote, affirm, annul or modify the action of the Fire Marshal provided any modification of a strict application of this Title shall be made only on condition that a substantially equivalent degree of safety is provided and is generally conforming to national standards concerning fire prevention, fire safety measures and building construction requirements for safety.  The decision of the Board interpreting the provisions of this Title may be by a majority vote of the Board.  The Board shall deliver a certified copy of its decision to the appellant.

5.  Where unquestionably and clearly, practical difficulties, unnecessary hardship or consequences inconsistent with the general purposes of this Title may result from the literal interpretation and enforcement thereof, the Board of Appeals may grant variances from this Title, in a specific case with such conditions and safeguards as the Board may determine, in harmony with the general purpose, intent and spirit of this Title, so that the public safety and welfare shall be secured and substantial justice shall be done.  The grant of a variance shall be by unanimous vote of the Board.

6.  The Board of Appeals shall submit to the Council on or before the first day of August of each year a report summarizing its decisions for the preceding fiscal year together with its recommendations for amendments to this Title.

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