Florida Building Commission

Fire Technical Advisory Committee

Meeting Minutes

June 04, 2014


Meeting Location:  Teleconference Meeting from Tallahassee, Florida


TAC/POC Members and Objectives

TAC Members Present Via Teleconference: Hamid Bahadori, Chair; Charlie Frank;   Joe Holland, Brad Schiffer; and Peter T. Schwab; Tony Apfelbeck; jeffery Gross, Robert Hamberger;

TAC Members not Present: Joe Belcher; James R. Schock;

Staff Present: Mo Madani, Ila Jones, Jim Hammers, April Hammonds, Marlita Peters, Robert Benbow, Norman Bellamy, Joe Bigelow, Zubeyde Benici

Facilitator: Marlita Peters

Guests: Donald Fuchs, Jack Glen, Dwight Wilkes

Objectives: To consider, discuss, and provide recommendation for consideration by the Commission regarding DS 2014-043 By Donald L. Fuchs Jr., City of Oviedo.


Meeting Minutes


Discussion of objectives included the following: 



10:00 AM Welcome and Opening, Roll Call.  A quorum was not originally present. Robert Hamburger joined the teleconference and a quorum was reached.

Marlita Peters, facilitator for the Florida Building Commission, provided a welcome and a brief overview of the agenda items to be presented.


Agenda and Meeting minutes. Agenda and meeting minutes for the April 8, 2014 Fire TAC meeting were approved unanimously by the committee members.


The Declaratory Statement was introduced by the chair. Donald Fuchs noted that the contractor wanted to use a 13R system and that he recommended they used a 13D system. Peter Schwab abstained from voting. April Hammonds noted that the townhomes in question were Fee simple townhomes which means they own all of the property as well as everything above and underneath the property. The chair noted that there were two options in the staff analysis and Mo Madani clarified that option 1 was given by the petitioner and option 2 was given by the staff. April noted that staff analysis in no way represents the opinions of staff, the program, or the Florida Building Commission. Mo Madani noted the definition of townhome as defined in the Florida Statutes. Mo Madani noted that he could not find any specific language in the code where utility services have to be unique to that unit. Mr. Apfelbeck asked legal counsel whether the fee simple definition restricted a property from having easements recorded on it and Ms. Hammonds noted that this was common practice. Mr. Schiffer asked whether this petition was limited in scope to the area under each the unit or is the question the entire concept of centralized services to the building. Mr. Madani stated that we were only bound to make a decision based on the information provided. Ms. Hammonds mentioned to the TAC members may get a motion to continue to discuss the matter after public comments. Jack Glenn stated that he agreed with Mr. Apfelbeck’s summary and stated if one unit’s electrical systems became damaged under this proposed system that all of the electrical systems in the adjacent units would be affected and that there should be some independence. Don Fuchs mentioned that each electrical system has a main breaker and submeters going to each meter and he also stated that each meter is not controlled by the occupants themselves.  Mr. Holland questioned Mr. Fuchs on whether piping could be run under the slab with an easement to each unit. April Hammonds that the only facts that the TAC members could make their judgment based on facts that were presented in the petition. She also let the petitioner know that he had the option to revise his petition and the petitioner declined because he has a project that is being held up based on this decision. The petitioner decided to amend the question in his petition by removing the word “property” and replacing it with “building”. The revised question reads After deliberation by the TAC a motion to accept option #1 as follows: 

Question: Since a townhouse unit is considered a single family dwelling unit with zero lot lines,  must each townhouse unit have their own separate utilities including the electric, fire sprinkler system if required, and water/sewer service contained within their own property building?

Answer: The Petitioner respectfully believes the answer is Yes, the building should be treated as a separate building pursuant to R302.2 of the Florida Building Code Residential. This type of installation of the electrical service along with the A/C units, water/sewer, and fire sprinkler system as proposed would typically be seen in a condo or apartment complex situation but not a single family home. The owners will not have total control of their services and/or equipment since they are not on their property. It is imperative that a clear and concise interpretation by the Commission be made as to the intent and application of the codes. Section 553.775(1), Florida Statutes states: “It is the intent of the Legislature that the Florida Building Code be interpreted by building officials, local enforcement agencies, and the commission in a manner that protects the public safety, health, and welfare at the most reasonable cost to the consumer by ensuring uniform interpretations throughout the state and by providing processes for resolving disputes regarding interpretations of the Florida Building Code which are just and expeditious.  This motion received a unanimous vote.     


Other TAC Business. Having no other TAC business, the meeting was closed after a Motion and a Second to Adjourn.




Staff Contacts: Robert Benbow Planning Analyst (850) 717-1837 Robert.benbow@myfloridalicense.com or Mo Madani, Manager mo.madani@dbpr.state.fl.us (850) 717-1825