Rules and Regulations

Establishment of the Board of Appeals

The City of Lawrence, Kansas has adopted the 2015 International Fire Code (IFC) with local amendments pursuant to Ordinance 9199.

In order to hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the fire code official relative to the application and interpretation of this code, there shall be and is hereby created a board of appeals. The board of appeals shall be appointed by the governing body and shall hold office at its pleasure. The fire code official shall be an ex official member of said board but shall have no vote on any matter before the board. The board shall adopt rules of procedure for conducting its business, and shall render all decisions and findings in writing to the appellant with a duplicate copy to the fire code official. (2015 IFC Section 108.1)

An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the intent of this code or the rules legally adopted hereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this code do not fully apply, or an equivalent method of protection or safety is proposed. The board shall have no authority to waive requirements of this code. (2015 IFC Section 108.2)

The board of appeals shall consist of members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to hazards of fire, explosions, hazardous conditions or fire protection systems. (2015 IFC Section 108.3 as amended)

Board of Appeals

2015 IFC Appendix A

A101.1 Scope.

A board of appeals shall be established within the jurisdiction for the purpose of hearing applications for modification of the requirements of the International Fire Code pursuant to the provisions of Section 108 of the International Fire Code . The board shall be established and operated in accordance with this section, and shall be authorized to hear evidence from appellants and the fire code official pertaining to the application and intent of this code for the purpose of issuing orders pursuant to these provisions.

A101.2 Membership.

The membership of the board shall consist of five voting members having the qualifications established by this section. Members shall be nominated by the fire code official or the chief administrative officer of the jurisdiction, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the governing body. Members shall serve without remuneration or compensation, and shall be removed from office prior to the end of their appointed terms only for cause.

A101.3 Terms of office.

Members shall be appointed for terms of four years. No member shall be reappointed to serve more than two consecutive full terms.

A101.3.1 Initial appointments.

Of the members first appointed, two shall be appointed for a term of 1 year, two for a term of 2 years, one for a term of 3 years.

A101.3.2 Vacancies.

Vacancies shall be filled for an unexpired term in the manner in which original appointments are required to be made. Members appointed to fill a vacancy in an unexpired term shall be eligible for reappointment to two full terms.

A101.3.3 Removal from office.

Members shall be removed from office prior to the end of their terms only for cause. Continued absence of any member from regular meetings of the board shall, at the discretion of the applicable governing body, render any such member liable to immediate removal from office.

A101.4 Quorum.

Three members of the board shall constitute a quorum. In varying the application of any provisions of this code or in modifying an order of the fire code official , affirmative votes of the majority present, but not less than three, shall be required.

A101.5 Secretary of board.

The fire code official shall act as secretary of the board and shall keep a detailed record of all its proceedings, which shall set forth the reasons for its decisions, the vote of each member, the absence of a member and any failure of a member to vote.

A101.6 Legal counsel.

The jurisdiction shall furnish legal counsel to the board to provide members with general legal advice concerning matters before them for consideration. Members shall be represented by legal counsel at the jurisdiction’s expense in all matters arising from service within the scope of their duties.

A101.7 Meetings.

The board shall meet at regular intervals, to be determined by the chairman. In any event, the board shall meet within 10 days after notice of appeal has been received.

Instructions for: Fire Code Board of Appeals Letter of Appeal

A101.8 Conflict of interest.

Members with a material or financial interest in a matter before the board shall declare such interest and refrain from participating in discussions, deliberations and voting on such matters.

A101.9 Decisions.

Every decision shall be promptly filed in writing in the office of the fire code official and shall be open to public inspection. A certified copy shall be sent by mail or otherwise to the appellant, and a copy shall be kept publicly posted in the office of the fire code official for 2 weeks after filing.

A101.10 Procedures.

The board shall be operated in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act of the state in which it is established or shall establish rules and regulations for its own procedure not inconsistent with the provisions of this code and applicable state law.