Fire Safety Code, Rhode Island

Decisions - Details

STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS
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FIRE SAFETY CODE - BOARD OF APPEAL AND REVIEW
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DECISION
FILE NO.: 100321
LOCATION OF PREMISES: 928 Plainfield Street
APPLICANT: Mr. Steven J. Santilli 5 Brown Avenue Johnston, RI 02919
USE OR OCCUPANCY: Assembly
DATE OF DECISION: 2011-04-06
The above-captioned case was scheduled for hearing on January 25, 2011 at 1:00 P.M.  At that time, Chairman Newbrook and Commissioners Preiss, Jasparro, Richard, Dias and Filippi were present.  The fire service was represented by Assistant Deputy State Fire Marshal Richard Matarese of the Johnston Fire Marshals Office.  A motion was made by Commissioner Dias and seconded by Commissioner Richard to grant the Applicant relief as outlined herein.  The motion was unanimous.

FINDINGS OF FACT
	The numbers of the Decision below correspond with those of a November 4, 2010 inspection report compiled by the Johnston Fire Marshals Office.  The above report was utilized by the Board, the Applicant and the Johnston Fire Marshals Office during the January 25, 2011 hearing on this matter.  Accordingly, the Board hereby incorporates the November 4, 2010 inspection report as its initial findings of fact.  Any modification of the Boards findings, such as correction of a deficiency by the Applicant, shall be noted herein. 
Any deficiency understood by the Board to have been corrected, which is not so corrected, shall be immediately corrected by the Applicant.  The term approved, as used herein, is understood to mean in accordance with the specific provisions related to the particular subject as are contained in this Code, or as approved in particular by the State Fire Marshal or his or her designee.

The Board further finds that a question existed between the parties as to whether or not this facility should be classified as a nightclub or a more limited use assembly occupancy.  In order to address the concerns of both parties, the Board approved the limitation of occupancy provisions outlined herein in order to address this facility as an assembly occupancy.

CONCLUSIONS AND VARIANCE REQUESTS 
	1.  During the January 25, 2011 hearing on this matter, the Board was advised that the Applicant needed minor upgrades to the existing fire alarm system of this facility in order to be code compliant.  Accordingly, the Board hereby directs the Applicant to correct deficiency 1 by upgrading the fire alarm system of this facility, at the direction, to the satisfaction and within a timetable established by the Johnston Fire Marshals Office.
	2.  During the January 25, 2011 hearing on this matter, the Board was advised that this facility was originally reviewed as a nightclub.  The Board was further advised by the Applicant that the area of the facility which prompted the nightclub inspection was not normally open to the public and opened approximately four to six (4-6) times per month.  In light of the above, the Board hereby grants a variance in order to allow the Applicant to maintain a posted occupancy of 299 people as an organized dining facility and if entertainment is provided, to reduce that occupancy to approximately 144 patrons with an approved seating plan developed with the Johnston Fire Marshals Office.  In the event the Applicant wishes to change the above seating plan, the Applicant must first secure the approval of the Johnston Fire Marshals Office prior to implementing such change.
	3.  In light of the parties stipulated reduction of occupancy as outlined in item 2 above, the Board finds that deficiency 3 is moot.
	4.  In light of the parties stipulated reduction of occupancy as outlined in item 2 above, the Board finds that item 4 is moot.
	5.  It is the understanding of the Board that the Applicant has corrected deficiency 5 and that all emergency exits now have self-closers and panic hardware.
	6.  The Board hereby directs the Applicant to correct deficiency 6 by properly upgrading the emergency lighting within this facility, at the direction, to the satisfaction and within a timetable established by the Johnston Fire Marshals Office.
	7.  The Board hereby directs the Applicant to correct deficiency 7 by either rendering the cited decorations properly flame resistant, or removing them, at the direction, to the satisfaction and within a timetable established by the Johnston Fire Marshals Office.
	8.  In light of the above agreement of the parties as to the limitation of occupancy within this facility, the Board notes that the subject facility should be qualified as an organized dining facility as opposed to a nightclub.

STATUS OF DECISION AND APPEAL RIGHTS
	This Decision represents a comprehensive, integrated plan of fire safety for the above-captioned facility under the above-cited use or occupancy.  Accordingly, every variance granted is conditioned upon the Applicants timely and continued compliance with all of the directives of the Board. Every variance granted is further conditioned upon the continued use or occupancy of this facility under the above-cited classification reviewed by the Board.  (See: Board Rules and Regulations, section 6-2-17).
	Failure of the Applicant to initially comply with the full Decision of the Board, within the stated time frame, shall void all variances granted herein.  (See: Board Rules and Regulations, section 6-2-18.)  In the event of complete, timely and continued compliance with the full Decision of the Board, the above cited variances shall be deemed to have vested in the above-captioned facility.  As long as this facility is in continued compliance with the full Decision of the Board, the above-cited variances shall remain with this facility in the absence of any change in use or occupancy mandating review under a separate classification of the Fire Code or a revision of the above-cited classification.  (See: Board Rules and Regulations, section 6-2-19).  

Such changes in use or occupancy of this facility, or failure to continually comply with the Boards Decision shall void all variances granted under the above-cited use or occupancy.  If such change creates a new use or occupancy as outlined in R.I.G.L. 23-28.1-6, all variances granted under the original use or occupancy are void and this facility shall be reviewed under the newly created use or occupancy.  (See: Board Rules and Regulations, section 6-2-20).
	The Applicant may appeal the Boards Decision, within thirty (30) days of the mailing date of this Decision, by commencing an action against the State Fire Marshal in the Sixth division of the District Court.  Commencement of such an action does not operate as an automatic stay of this Decision [R.I.G.L. 42-35-15(c)].
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