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Minimum RC column dimension, rebars

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For earthquake resistant structures, RC columns are limited
to a minimum dimension of 12 in. or 305mm. , UBC 1997 1921.4.1.1 .  and a minimum steel ratio of .01
 
For two story residential buildings with column spacing of
4.0 meters or less and height less than 7.5 meters , this  results to columns with strengths in excess of what is needed to carry the required loads.
 
Is there any exception to this code provision that will allow an 8" or 10" RC column.?
 
If the factored axial load is less than 0.10Ag*Fc' will this permit me to use a 10" RC column.?
 
Where can I find the the code that limits stirrups and ties
to at least 3/8" ~(10mm) Dia.
 
Thanks in Advance.
 
 
Alex Nacionales, C.E.