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Thread: Narrow streets and recent fire lane changes

  1. #1
    Member
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    Narrow streets and recent fire lane changes

    I work in a manufactured housing park. We recently received a notice from the local fire authority that our streets are to narrow. The park was built in 1967 and have had no issues with fire trucks. Our main street is 40' wide and we have been informed that it does not allow for parking on both sides... Our smaller streets are 30' which means no parking on either side.

    Huntington Beach requires 24' un obstructed access for fire engines and 9' for parallel parking stalls.

    This goes way above and beyond the international fire code and the CA state fire code.

    Has anyone else ran into a similar problem? If so what actions can be taken?

    Thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jswanek's avatar
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    You really need to obtain in writing what State or local code section gives them the authority to ask for anything on an existing development not currently subject to a new CUP or plancheck, and check the language for its clear meaning. Fire agencies out here sometimes make demands not clearly backed up by clear law...Is any of that clear?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Show me a fire truck at the end of a so-called narrow street; a rusting hulk because it could not get out.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Check out NFPA's website. I don't know the citation off the top of my head but it gives guidance for the fire chiefs and code reviewers for all fire related safety, including road widths and turning radii. Sometimes hard #s are used but it is usually phrased in a range or generality.
    @GigCityPlanner

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    First off, I am not clear on the issue. Is it that they want to remove on-street parking in the park? If so, are the streets public or private. If private, then like jswanek suggests, it is doubtful that the city can impose this requirement on an existing development. If the streets are public then it may be possible, but may still be contested. Are these standards applied everywhere in the city or just here? Is the park being singled out for some reason?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the reply's. The streets are private and the local fire authority says that they do not meet code and must be striped/signed. We really can't afford to give up all parking. Most people park in their carport but when family/friend visit they'll park out front.

    Huntington Beach adopted the California fire code 2007 and amended the 20ft requirement to 24ft and the parallel parking req to 9ft. However this does not coincide with parking regulations in the cities municipal code.

    They pretty much have the power to increase fire regulations when they feel there is a need to save life and property.

    Just wish there was something I could do about it. It's funny that they do not enforce these fire lane rules on their public streets but they have been hitting up the private developments.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jswanek View post
    You really need to obtain in writing what State or local code section gives them the authority to ask for anything on an existing development not currently subject to a new CUP or plancheck, and check the language for its clear meaning. Fire agencies out here sometimes make demands not clearly backed up by clear law
    JSWANEK is dead on. Unless there has been a code enforcement case that specifically involves the FD, they have no authority to ask for changes to an existing development not subject to a building permit, or entitlement (CUP/PD) etc. HB is not in a higher fire danger zone, so I have no idea why they would mandate the higher clearance.

    You may need to ask the FD to do an "on-site" demonstration to prove that the trucks can fit through your streets with parking. Typically a fire truck can be parked and its hose can extend up to 125'. Unless they are rolling in with the 91st airbone, there is no real reason to go beyond the 2007 CBC.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

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