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97 UBC

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Perhaps this has been discussed before and I missed it.  I work in a  the 
South bay area of Los Angeles County.  My problem is there is no consistency 
on how the 97 code is interpreted.

Example:  The 96 update and 97 code penalizes buildings that use steel 
columns buried in grade beams as a lateral load resistant element The R value 
is lowered, and apparently for the whole building.  An Engineer in town has 
convinced the City of Redondo Beach that he only has apply the lower R value 
to the lowest floor citing 1629.8.3 paragraph 4.  In his analysis he claims 
because he is using a higher base shear at the lower level it therfore must 
be stiffer.

Now a common client expects me to use the same reasoning.  Ia at a loss, Well 
I guess a fired another Client.

Would someone post the names of the Blue book committe so we can vote them 
out of office.

Ken Tarlow, SE