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walkereng
walkereng, Bachelor's Degree
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Question for an architect: For residential property,

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Question for an architect:
For residential property, building is on slope, and it has pitch roof. How do you measure the maximum height limit of 40' to determine if the existing building is within the height limit? Thank you.

I can help. What jurisdiction are you located in?

There are generally two height limits for a residential building. one is for the Building Code and one is for Local Zoning Requirements.

Is your limit related to a Building Department requirement or a Planning/Zoning Department requirement?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Planning code. You mean every city has its own planning codes in CA? Thanks.

Yes they do.

The California Building Code is a mandate that all jurisdictions in the State have to follow.

Planning Codes are different in every City and every County area.

What City are you located in?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The questions involved in the city of San Francisco, ca Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
If we call are you the one who will answer the phone or a stranger will. Thanks.

I have found the section in the San Francisco Planning Code that explains how to measure the height of your structure.

Take a look at the following link in Section 260: Height Limit Measurement

http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/California/planning/planningcode?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:sanfrancisco_ca$sync=1

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How do you interpret section 260 (a) (1) (c) and 260 (b) (2) (A)? Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Are you still available to respond to our question? Thanks.

Yes, can I get with you tomorrow?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Please view the attachment and show how and where you would measure to find the maximum allowable height allowable that is 40’. Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi,
This is the planning code to measure height limits (below)
Please tell us how to interpreter it on the rough drawing we sent you.
The side walk is 17 feet wide sloping upward in front of the building about 3 feet, and there is about 6 inches in height between the front property line to the curb downward slope.SEC. 260. HEIGHT LIMITS: MEASUREMENT.
(a) Method of Measurement. The limits upon the height of buildings and structures shall be as specified on the Zoning Map, except as permitted by Section 206. In the measurement of height, the following rules shall be applicable:
(1) The point above which such measurements shall be taken shall be as specified as follows.(C) Where the lot slopes upward from a street at the centerline of the building or building step, such point shall be taken at curb level for purposes of measuring the height of the closest part of the building within 10 feet of the property line of such street; at every other cross-section of the building, at right angles to the centerline of the building or building step, such point shall be taken as the average of the ground elevations at either side of the building or building step at that cross-section. The ground elevations used shall be either existing elevations or the elevations resulting from new grading operations encompassing an entire block. Elevations beneath the building shall be taken by projecting a straight line between ground elevations at the exterior walls at either side of the entire building in the same plane.

So on the front elevation of your house, grade will be considered the top of curb level, since I assume the front of your house is within 10' of the property line. The C/L of your house will be established by splitting your house in 1/2 with a line that extends out perpendicular to the curb. Follow that line till it intersects your front elevation and take the height from the top of curb to the top of your roof at the C/L.

Here is a link to a standard method used in the Building code to measure the average grade plane along a house on a variable slope.

http://bcdg.hoop.la/fileSendAction/fcType/0/fcOid/330620847500555124/filePointer/330902322494975107/fodoid/330902322494975105/Grade_plane_commentary-_IBC_commentary.pdf

I hope this helps.

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walkereng and other Engineering Specialists are ready to help you

Good Luck dealing with the City!

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