||When there are unusual conditions or an alternative design the owner has the option of submitting a "Petition for Variance" to propose an alternate method of achieving the code intent. Anything in an administrative code can be petitioned, except for those items that are part of a state statute. Petitions for variances to state administrative codes are reviewed by staff or delegated authorities.
Petitions are not a means of avoiding the code, but rather a way to permit an alternate method of meeting the intent of the code. As part of the petition, the designer or owner must propose ways of providing an equivalent degree of safety. These alternate conditions, if approved, will be incorporated into the final petition.
A Petition for Variance can be submitted at any time; either prior to the plan submittal, during a plan review (if a problem with a code section is discovered during the review), or after review and approval of the plans (which might result, for example, from a change due to field conditions).
As it relates to petitions associated with buildings and structures, a position statement from the local building official is needed if they did the plan review or have related outstanding orders. In cases related to fire or life safety issues, the fire department position statement must be provided. (Overall, it is best to check with local fire department offices.