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									PACE & The TCOU Ordinance
Building Code Inception - 1927

   Buildings are built for their intended use and are
    required to be used according to the Certificate of
    Occupancy. The International Fire and Building
    Codes do not allow an occupancy to be used for
    purposes other than those under which it is
    –   Offices buildings cannot be used as schools
    –   Warehouses cannot be Public Assemblies
    –   Retail stores cannot be used for Manufacturing
   Building Permits, Plan Review and Certificate of
    Occupancy required for change of use.
Change of Use
International Fire Code

   IFC 109.1 Unlawful acts. It shall be
    unlawful for a person, firm or corporation to
    erect, construct, alter, repair, remove,
    demolish or utilize a building, occupancy,
    premises or system regulated by this code,
    or cause same to be done, in conflict with
    or in violation of any of the provisions of this
Change of Use
International Building Code

   IBC 111.1 Use and occupancy. No building or
    structure shall be used or occupied, and no change
    in the existing occupancy classification of a
    building or structure or portion thereof shall be made
    until the building official has issued a certificate of
    occupancy therefore as provided herein. Issuance of
    a certificate of occupancy shall not be construed as
    an approval of a violation of the provisions of this
    code or of other ordinances of the jurisdiction.
Change of Use
International Building Code

   3408.1 Conformance. No change shall be made in the use or
    occupancy of any building that would place the building in a
    different division of the same group of occupancy or in a
    different group of occupancies, unless such building is made to
    comply with the requirements of this code for such division or
    group of occupancy. Subject to the approval of the building
    official, the use or occupancy of existing buildings shall be
    permitted to be changed and the building is allowed to be
    occupied for purposes in other groups without conforming to all
    the requirements of this code for those groups, provided the
    new or proposed use is less hazardous, based on life and fire
    risk, than the existing use.
Occupancy Classifications

   Assembly Group A         Institutional Group I
   Business Group B         Mercantile Group M
   Educational Group E      Residential Group R
   Factory Industrial       Storage Group S
    Group F                  Miscellaneous Group
   High-Hazard Group H       U
Occupancy Classification

   Assembly Group A occupancy
    –   the use of a building or structure, or a portion
        thereof, for the gathering together of 50 or more
        persons for purposes such as civic, social or
        religious functions, recreation, “entertainment”,
        food or drink consumption or awaiting
Live Music Capital of the World

   Austin has seen the need and value in
    temporarily changing the use of an
    occupancy to that of a Place of Assembly if it
    can be done without sacrificing safety the the
    participants or disrupting the neighboring
SXSW Festival

   The Austin Fire Department was given authority to
    Temporarily Change Uses to public assemblies
    during the festival.
    –   Other departments (Building and Zoning) were removed
        from the process to expedite and facilitate the process
    –   Timeliness is a critical dynamic during the festival
    –   SAFETY was the determining factor
    –   The process involved inspection reports with specific criteria

   In 2003 and 2004 AFD and APD had a
    problem with Raves and worked
    collaboratively in resolving the issues.
   Public Assembly Permit requirement
    –   Section 105.6.36 had previously never been
        adopted by the City of Austin
Place of Assembly Permits

   IFC Section 105.6.35, and
    adopted with local amendments on January 1, 2006
    (with the city’s adoption of the 2003 IFC)
   Local Amendments provided for the allowance of
    Temporary Public Assemblies by Permit
   Fees associated with the permit
   This was Not a fraternity ordinance
    –   It was designed as an enforcement tool in response to
Current Ordinance Language
(with the adoption of the 2003 IFC)

   105.6.35 Places of assembly. An operational permit or
    appropriate certificate of occupancy is required to operate a
    place of assembly.
 An annual operational permit is required to operate
    any place of assembly where 51% or more of the gross receipts
    at the location are from alcoholic beverage sales.
 With concurrence of the Building Official, the Chief
    may issue a temporary change of use permit to use a structure
    for public assembly. Such permits shall be limited as to time of
    service, but shall not be permitted for more than 30 days. The
    Chief is authorized to grant extensions for demonstrated cause.
Temporary Change of Use to a Place of

   Provides a greater number of venues
    capable of being used as a Place of
    –   Ensures the life safety of participants
    –   Ensures the quality of life for the surrounding
    –   Primarily a Complaint Driven Ordinance
SXSW 2006

   Permit requirement is put into place
    –   No longer is the Temp. Change of Use to a Place
        of Assembly (TCOU) accomplished with
        inspection reports.
    –   An actual permit is required
   Festival proceeds without major issues
                                      Public Assembly
                                      Code Enforcement

 Formed in the summer of 2006 by Austin Fire
  Department, Austin Police Department and Solid
  Wastes Services Code Enforcement following
  numerous complaints from the west campus area
 Mission
    –   Safety of participants
    –   Quality of life of those affected
   Demand and services grew
   PACE was formed in response to Fraternity Parties
   Public Assembly Ordinance is an enforcement tool
                             Public Assembly
                             Code Enforcement

   Team Members expanded to include:
    –   City of Austin Fire Department
    –   City of Austin Police Department
    –   Solid Waste Services (SWS) Code Enforcement
    –   Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission
    –   Texas Department of Public Safety
    –   Austin/Travis County Health & Human Services
    –   COA Transportation, Right of Way Management
    –   WPDR - Building Department
                            Public Assembly
                            Code Enforcement

–   Formed as a pilot program to control Public
    Assemblies/Large Parties in the West Campus
–   Has been very successful in all areas of the city in
    many types of venues
–   Created a city web site and group e-mail
–   SharePoint created for scheduling, events and
–   Monthly meetings
Types of Venues

   First Thursdays           Art Festivals
   Pecan Street              Music Festivals
   Flee Markets              Carnivals
   Circus & Rodeos           Outdoor events
   Concerts                  SXSW
   Fraternity Parties        Temporary Uses
   Outdoor Music Venues      Temporary Change of
   Bars                       Uses
   Street Closures           Night Clubs
  Fraternity Parties

Temporary Change of
Use to a Public Assembly
What made the Fraternity Party rise
to the forefront of the city’s concern.
                     Alcohol
                     Combustible decorative materials
                      (sometimes in incredibly large amounts)
                     Illegal change of use of occupancy
                     Obstructed exits / Insufficient exiting
                     Occupants unfamiliar with the structure
                     Open flames (ornamental, warming, etc.)
                     Dangerous make-shift wiring
                     Structurally unsafe “Builds” platforms,
                      decking and tunnels
                     Very Large numbers of people
                     Noise, Trash, Parking
                     Storage of combustible surplus
What made the Fraternity Party rise
to the forefront of the city’s concern.

                     Complaints from:
                      –   Numerous West Campus
                          Neighborhood Association
                      –   APD, AFD, Building
                          Department & Code
                     Serious Injuries
                     SAE Fraternity House Fire
                     Deaths
What made the Fraternity Party rise
to the forefront of the city’s concern.

   Phanta Jack Phoummarath died Dec, 10 th
    2005 at the age of 18
   Tyler Cross died Nov 17, 2006 at the age of
   Mutual Resolution Agreement between the
    University of Texas and Sigma Alpha Epsilon
    signed April 4, 2008, (a template and catalyst
    for change)
University Administrators should take

   Two university officials, including the Dean of
    Students and the Director of Greek Life,
    along with three students from Rider
    University were indicted after the death of a
    student at a fraternity party
   The University Officials failed to take action
    while having a “high degree of knowledge”
    and were in a “position to prevent it”.
SXSW 2007

   Permit requirement continues for all temporary venues
     –   112 Complaints received for suspected non-compliant venues
     –   282 venues
     –   68 Official SXSW venues
   9 citations issued
     –   5 overcrowding
     –   1 no occupant load card
     –   3 no Public Assembly permit
   4 venues closed down
   2 venues not allowed to operate
Response to Media Coverage after

   Advertising Blitz
    –   PACE
    –   Public Assembly Permits
   PACE became a regular contributor at the
    Music Commission Meetings
   CM Toby Futrell requested a re-write of the
    ordinance taking the music industry into
TCOU Ordinance Revision Stakeholder

   Music Commission
   Music Industry – Local Businesses
   Fraternities (and their alumni and attorneys)
   University of Texas – UTPD – Dean of Students
   Neighborhood Associations
   City Management
   City Council – Council Member Lee Leffingwell
   Fire & Building Code Board of Appeals
   City Legal
   PACE Membership
SXSW 2008

   No major issues throughout Festival
   PACE participation
   33 total complaints
    –   23 from SXSW
    –   10 other sources
   80 official SXSW venues
   1 citation
   1 venue shut down
New TCOU Ordinance Drafted

 With concurrence of the Building Official,
    the Chief may issue a temporary change of use
    permit to use a structure for public assembly. The
    Chief may issue a permit for a single event or for up
    to three events of a particular type during a specified
    time period of not more than 12 months. An
    individual event may not to exceed 24 hours in
    duration. The Chief may prescribe conditions and
    limitations for a permit. Not more than 12 events in a
    12 month period are allowed. The Chief is authorized
    to grant extensions for demonstrated cause.
   Exceptions and Rules >>>>>>>>>>>>
Current Ordinance Benefits w/ respect
to Fraternity Houses

   Existing Ordinance
    –   Increase compliance with maintenance issue at fraternity
    –   Annual and semi-annual inspections remain current
    –   Contact information current
    –   Partial reimbursement of services with permit fee
    –   Severe reduction in “party builds”
    –   APD “right to enter”
    –   TABC Enforcement
Proposed Ordinance Benefits w/
respect to Fraternity Houses

   Proposed Ordinance
    –   12 events per year limitation
            Manageable number of events per year
            Should not overwhelm the capacity of PACE
            12 is very liberal and may be excessive
    –   The temporary nature of the ordinance is established
    –   Codifies the intent of the 30 day limit
    –   Allows additional “day” events
    –   24 hour duration per event
    –   Specifies an exact point when permit is required
    –   Adds and educational component
Accessory Use

   Per the “2003 International Building Code
    –   “The activities that occur in accessory use areas are
        necessary for the principle occupancy to properly function”
   The interpretation of the International Building Code
    requires that accessory uses are limited to spaces
    used only by the occupants of the building.
    –   Meeting rooms in office buildings
   Per Ordinance Criteria - Each Fraternity will be
    inspected and accessory use defined.
    –   New ordinance will specify an exact point when permit is
        required (existing ordinance does not)
Fraternity Assembly Areas

   There are accessory use assembly areas in some of
    the fraternity/sorority houses. During WPDR plan
    review a maximum occupant load for those rooms
    was established based on room size, exiting
    capacity, and the presence of an automatic sprinkler
    system. If the occupant load is greater than 50, the
    room is classified as an assembly occupancy and a
    load card is issued. Those rooms can be used by
    the members and their invited guests for the
    intended purpose of the room, up to the occupant
    load of the room.
Ordinance Associated Rule #6 – The
return of the “Greek Fire Academy”

6.   For Student Housing facilities the Austin Fire
     Department will provide an educational program, to
     include material and training, to the identified
     Permit Applicants of each location on an annual
     basis. This training will be required for the
     continued approval of a Temporary Change of Use
     to a Place of Assembly Permit and will be funded
     by the participants. Educational components will
     include permit requirements and conditions as well
     as other issues often implicated by assembly
     occupancy events (i.e., noise ordinance, street
     permits, TABC issues, parking, etc.).
PACE contacts


   Questions

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