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Re: Terraced buildings

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>I am trying to find an interpetation of the number of stories for a terraced
>house.  The house is on a sloped site and is terraced up the hill such that
>no portion of the building is more than 2 stories at any one point.  The
>planning department, after spending $15,000 on plans, and telling me it was
>ok, has arbitrarily changed their mind and decided each level is considered
>a story. A level is not a story.  Otherwise every stair tread, sunken living
>rooms etc.would be considered a story.  This decision is arbitrary, with no
>justification in their code, made by planning dept. officials who have no
>liscense or professional credential other than being appointed by the board
>of supervisors who won a popularity contest.
>The cross section is represented below.
>                            -------------
>                                 1 story-br's
>              ---------------------------
>                1 story-office br's
>1 story-living room/kit          
>1 story-below grade garage
>Is this a 2 story or 4 story building?  Is there a commentary or description
>of terraced houses in the building code?
>I'd like to know your thoughts.

Please check the definition of "STORY" and "GRADE" in the UBC, that will
the number of story in a building for the non structural items in the code.
that is what planners go by.

Victor Kao