First off, I have to agree in large part with your friend. The end result
is not changing, only the effort to get there.
Allowing the public officials to declare on the record what parts of the
code apply simply will not work. The buck will never stop with them.
Even if you confer with the building officials prior to adopting a
particular approach to a project, plan check assumes no responsibility
whatsoever regarding the decisions rendered. It will still be the design
engineer defending the decisions made. There will always be some expert
professional willing to prostitute themselves for some legal profession
dollars, and the building officials will be nowhere to be seen.
I have never and will never give any particular weight to plan check as a
validation of a design. Start with mechanics, end with mechanics, and code
compliance is simply a bookkeeping check at the end.
> Ultimately, public policy and its discretionary enforcement belongs to
> elected officials and their subordinates. The recent Elian Gonzales vs INS
> appellate court decision affirmed that emphatically. Let your own public
> officials declare on the record what parts of the code apply to your
> project, and what don't, so you can proceed with your work. The buck and
> heat should stop with them.
> Charles O. Greenlaw SE Sacramento CA