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Approved Jul 10, 2003 - Fire Protection Board of Adjustments Minutes


JULY 10, 2003

The regular meeting of the Santa Rosa County Fire Protection Board of Appeals was held July 10, 2003 at 4:00 p. m. in the Conference Room of the Santa Rosa County Building Inspection Department located at 6051 Old Bagdad Highway Room 202, Milton, Florida.  Board members in attendance were Chairman John Reble, Dusty Rhodes and Steve Rowell.

Building Inspection Department Staff in attendance were Tim Tolbert, Fire Official/Building Official; Rhonda Royals, Building Department Coordinator; Tambre Weiland, Fire Safety Inspector; Sue Rambo, Fire Safety Inspector; and Esna Cluck, Permit Analyst.  Tom Dannheisser, County Attorney was also in attendance.   

Mr. John Reble, Chairman, called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.

Agenda approval: 
Reble said he had been told that there was an additional item.  Royals stated that there was a variance request on fire hydrant for Stow Away Mini Storage.  Reble stated that would be item 5b on the agenda.  Rhodes made a motion to accept the agenda as amended with a second from Rowell.  Motion carried with 3 ayes.

Approval of minutes: 
Rowell made a motion to accept the minutes from the June 12, 2003, meeting with a second by Rhodes.  Motion carried with 3 ayes.

Next meeting: 
The next scheduled meeting is to be held on Thursday, August 14, 2003, at 4:00 p.m.    

Old Business: 

New Business:
Variance Request:
Hickory Hammock Baptist Church – Exit requirement variance appeal

Reble read the application for appeal into the record.  Tolbert gave a brief summary of the inspection history.  Tolbert stated that Weiland did the inspection and at the time of inspection was unsure about a possible problem with the interior stairway in the education building.  Tolbert said that after code research Weiland concluded the stairway did not comply with the exit requirements.  Tolbert stated that he and Weiland met with Pastor Carl Gallops and Assistant Pastor Gregory Robards to discuss the problem.  Tolbert said that he suggested a fire watch for an extended period of time and they declined to log a fire watch.  Tolbert stated that he was also told that anymore communication would be through legal counsel. 

John L. Miller, attorney, spoke as a representative of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church.  Miller reviewed correspondence between him and Tom Dannheisser, County Attorney.  Reble asked some questions of Miller.  Discussion ensued.  The Board, Miller and Dannheisser agreed that the appeal is for the stairwell fire rating requirement only.

Gallops narrated a video of the church facilities and described what was being seen.  Gallops also gave his recollection of events leading up to this appeal.  Discussion ensued. 

Reble asked Tolbert what the county’s position is on this issue.  Tolbert stated that his interpretation is that the stairwell needs to be enclosed.  Tolbert also said that he had reached this decision after hours of code research to find exceptions and/or other ways to achieve compliance.  Discussion ensued.  Miller gave his summary comments.  More discussion ensued. 

Reble proposed that the Board take no action at this time and that it may be better for the Board to reassess the issue when the County clearly articulates the specific issue.  Miller stated that the issue was defined in the correspondence between him and Dannheisser.  Discussion ensued.  Dannheisser clarified for the Board what code provision was used as the basis for the variance request.  More Discussion ensued. 

Robards spoke on behalf of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church as did Greg Hester and Steve Hall. 

After much discussion, Rhodes made a motion to grant the variance request.  There was a second by Rowell.  Motion carried with 2 ayes and 1 nay (Reble).                    

Variance Request:
Stow Away Mini Storage – Fire hydrant variance appeal

Reble read the application for appeal into the record.  Weiland reviewed the water calculations for the Board. 

Joe McCurley, owner of Stow Away Mini Storage, spoke to the Board.  McCurley stated that another business, Applied Films was installing a six-inch water line and a fire hydrant directly across the street from his business and at that point he would be in compliance.  Reble said that he had spoken with the owners of Applied Films and he was aware of their situation.  Discussion ensued.

Joel Beckham, Contractor, spoke briefly to the Board.  Discussion ensued.

McCurley requested to withdraw his appeal at this time.  McCurley stated he would explore other options and if the hydrant being put in by the owners of Applied Films did not work out that he would appeal to the Board at that time.  Discussion ensued.

Public Forum: 

At 6:15 p.m., Rhodes made a motion to adjourn with a second by Rowell.  Motion carried with 3 ayes.