Town of Onondaga, NY
Onondaga County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Onondaga 3-20-1989 by L.L. No. 1-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 80.
A. 
Findings. The Town Board of the Town of Onondaga hereby finds and declares that:
(1) 
The present level of loss of life and injury to persons and property within the Town of Onondaga requires that every effort be made and every opportunity be taken to afford the residents of the Town safety from fire.
(2) 
That sprinkler systems have been demonstrated to be an effective fire deterrent where used.
(3) 
That some structures, due to their use, present a greater risk of catching fire due to operations carried on therein or numbers of persons attracted thereto or residing therein.
(4) 
That a passive fire-extinguishing system such as sprinklers can substantially reduce the time within which a fire is allowed to burn before effective extinguishing measures are brought to bear.
(5) 
That the sooner a fire is comprehensively fought, the more likely it is that the efforts to successfully extinguish the fire will reduce danger to persons and the destruction of property.
(6) 
That it is the policy of the Town of Onondaga to employ every effort to minimize such dangers to person and property from fire.
(7) 
That the modest costs of installing a sprinkler system are far outweighed by the improvement in fire protection afforded by the use of such systems.
(8) 
That the use of sprinkler systems, by effectively fighting fires at their initial stages, also serves to reduce risk of injury to Fire Department and other emergency service personnel.
(9) 
That some areas not served by public water would find it difficult and considerably more expensive to install sprinkler systems and are therefore exempt from the application of this chapter.
B. 
Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the safety, health and well-being of the people of the Town of Onondaga and their property from fire.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADDITION
Any extension or increase in the area, height or equipment of a building which would require a building permit.
APPROVED INSPECTION AGENCY
A firm or agency whose qualifications to conduct inspections of sprinkler systems has been reviewed and approved by the Town Codes Enforcement Officer.
APPROVED SPRINKLER SYSTEM
A system of piping and appurtenances designed and installed in accordance with generally accepted standards so that heat from a fire will automatically cause water to be discharged over the fire area to extinguish it or prevent its further spread.
GENERALLY ACCEPTED STANDARDS—SPRINKLER SYSTEM
Standards for design, installation and operation, as promulgated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) as follows:
A. 
Commercial units and multiple dwellings, NFPA13-1987 (Installation of Sprinkler Systems).
B. 
prinkler Systems — One- and Two-Family Dwellings).
(1) 
The design discharge shall be required as described in NFPA 13D; however, the water supply source shall not be less than one inch with a three-fourths-inch meter. Sprinkler systems designed in accordance with NFPA 13D shall be designed to be a flush system, that is, if the sprinkler system becomes inoperable for any reason, at least two domestic water fixtures shall also become inoperable.
C. 
General, NFPA13A-1987 (Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Sprinkler Systems).
(1) 
National Fire Protection Association.
(2) 
The Town of Onondaga.
(3) 
The Town of Onondaga Codes Enforcement Officer or any authorized deputy or assistant thereto.
A. 
New buildings required to have sprinkler systems. All buildings constructed after the effective date of this chapter having access to a public water supply shall be required to have approved sprinkler systems as herein defined.
B. 
Exceptions. The following buildings shall be excepted from the requirements of this section:
(1) 
Detached single-family dwellings.
(2) 
Buildings (except dwellings which otherwise would be required to have sprinklers) used for agricultural purposes.
(3) 
Porches and residential garages accessory to single-family dwellings.
C. 
Change of use. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to existing buildings or structures where the general classification by occupancy or use is changed from one classification to any use other than one excepted pursuant to Subsection B in accordance with the following table.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Proposed Occupancy table is included at the end of the chapter.
D. 
Significant alteration or repair. Provisions of this chapter shall apply to an entire existing building when the cost of any alterations or repairs made within any twelve-month period exceeds 50% of the cost to replace such building as calculated at the beginning of such twelve-month period. The beginning of such twelve-month period shall be measured from the first day of construction of such alterations or repairs.
E. 
Additions.
(1) 
Any addition to or extension of a structure which already has a sprinkler system shall also be sprinklered.
(2) 
Any addition to or extension of a structure which would be required to have an approved sprinkler system but for the fact that the primary structure (the structure being added to or extended upon) predated this chapter, shall be required to have an approved sprinkler system in accordance with the following schedule:[2]
Construction Classification
Maximum Square Footage Allowed without Sprinklers
Type V
100
Type IV
100
Type III
100
Type II
500
Type I
1,000
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
F. 
No building permit shall be issued for the construction of any building, structure, addition to or portion thereof unless there is compliance with Subsections A, B, C and D above.
G. 
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for occupancy or use of any building, structure or portion thereof required to have a sprinkler system, as defined in Subsections A, B, C and D above, unless such system is installed, inspected, tested and approved by the Town of Onondaga Codes Enforcement Officer and with respect to commercial structures, until inspected and approved by an approved inspection agency and certification of the same is provided to the Town of Onondaga Codes Enforcement Officer.
This chapter shall not be construed to relieve or lessen the responsibility of any person owning, operating, controlling or installing any sprinkler system or equipment for loss of life or damage to person or property caused by any defect therein, nor shall the Town of Onondaga or any of its employees, officers, deputies or agents be deemed to have assumed any such liability by reason of any inspection or reinspection authorized herein or failure to inspect or reinspect or by reason of any permit or certificate issued as herein provided.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, alter, add to, use or occupy or maintain any building or structure or portion thereof in violation of any provisions of this chapter, or to fail in any manner to comply with a notice, directive or order of any Town Building Official or to construct, alter, add to or use and occupy any building or structure or part thereof in a manner not consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order of any Town Building Official within the time fixed for compliance therewith and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or his agent or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall violate any of the applicable provisions of this chapter or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of any Town Building Official made hereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or one year in jail, or both. Each day that a violation continues beyond the date fixed in the order of the Town Building Official to remedy the violation shall be deemed a separate offense.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
Except as provided otherwise by law, such violation shall not be a crime and the penalty or punishment imposed therefor shall not be deemed for any purpose a penal or criminal penalty.
A. 
The service of orders for the correction of violations of this chapter shall be made upon the owner, occupant or other person responsible for the violation, either by delivering a copy of the same to such person in charge of the premises or, in case no such person is found upon the premises, by affixing a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on the door to the entrance of such premises. Whenever it may be necessary to serve such an order upon the owner of the premises, such order may be served either by delivering to and leaving with said person a copy of said order, or, if such owner is absent from the jurisdiction of the officer making the order, by sending such copy by certified mail or registered mail to the owner's last known post office address.
B. 
If buildings or other premises are owned by one person and occupied by another under lease or otherwise, the orders issued in connection with the enforcing of this chapter shall apply to the occupant thereof, except where the orders require the making of additions to or changes in the premises themselves, such as would immediately become real estate and be the property of the owner of the premises; in such cases, the order shall affect the owner and not the occupant unless it is otherwise agreed between the owner and the occupant.
Appropriate actions and proceedings may be taken by law or in equity to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to prevent illegal acts, conduct or business in or about any premises, and these remedies shall be in addition to the penalties prescribed in § 241-5 herein.
A. 
Creation. There is hereby created a Sprinkler System Review Board.
B. 
Membership.
(1) 
The Sprinkler System Review Board shall be composed of three members, one of whom shall be a member of the Town Board and two of whom shall be representatives of the fire service in the Town.
(2) 
Each member of the Board established by this chapter shall serve for a term of one year and shall be appointed by the Town Board each year at its organizational meeting.
C. 
Powers and duties.
(1) 
The Sprinkler System Review Board shall have the power:
(a) 
To vary or modify, in whole or in part, any provision or requirement of this chapter in cases where strict compliance with such provision or requirement would entail practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship or would otherwise be unwarranted; provided, however, that any such variance or modification will not substantially adversely affect provisions for health, safety and security and that equally safe and proper alternatives are prescribed; and
(b) 
To hear and decide appeals from and review any order or determination, or the failure within a reasonable time to make any such order or determination, by an administrative official charged with the enforcement of or purporting to enforce this chapter.
(2) 
When varying or modifying a provision or requirement of this chapter, the Sprinkler System Review Board shall find that in the particular case before it strict compliance with the provision or requirement:
(a) 
Would not permit a reasonable economic return;
(b) 
Would not achieve its intended objective;
(c) 
Would inhibit achievement of some other Town policy;
(d) 
Would be physically impossible; or
(e) 
Would be unnecessary in light of alternatives which ensure the achievement of the intended objective or which, without a loss in the level of safety, achieve the intended objective more efficiently, effectively or economically.
(3) 
In cases before the Sprinkler System Review Board on appeal, said Board may fashion suitable remedies so as to do justice, including but not limited to:
(a) 
Where an order or determination has been made, sustaining, reversing or modifying, in whole or in part, such order or determination; and
(b) 
Where an order or determination has not been made within a reasonable time, making any such order or determination and directing that permits, if any, authorizations or other documents be issued.
D. 
Proceedings.
(1) 
Every proceeding before the Sprinkler System Review Board shall be commenced by the complete petition of any aggrieved person. Such petition shall be in the form prescribed by the Codes Enforcement Officer and be accompanied by payment of a fee, the amount of which is to be set from time to time by resolution of the Town Board. To be complete, the petition shall set out the nature of the grievance and the relief sought in sufficient detail as would permit the Sprinkler System Review Board to make a determination on the record before it. The petitioner shall be advised that the petition is complete or incomplete and, if incomplete, of the information required for completeness.
(2) 
The parties to the petition shall state their case, in writing, to the Sprinkler System Review Board. Said Board may set the proceeding down for oral presentation by the parties or it may decide the matter on the written record then before it, in the Board's sole discretion.
E. 
Decisions.
(1) 
The decision of the Sprinkler System Review Board shall be in writing and shall set out the Board's findings and conclusions and the relief granted, if any. Petitions shall be resolved within 60 days of the date of completeness unless a longer period is required for good cause shown.
(2) 
Copies of the decision shall be provided to the parties within two weeks of the determination as well as to the Town Board, the Town Clerk and the Town Codes Enforcement Officer.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no event shall any sprinkler system required pursuant to this chapter be installed, operated or undertaken in a manner less stringent than that required pursuant to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.