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May 18, 1976

To the Honorable Mayor and
Members of the City Council
Subject: APPEAL BY CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING FROM FIRE MARSHAL'S ORDER TO VACATE FOURTH FLOOR OF 2020 MILVIA

On March 23, 1976 the Council voted to hold a public hearing upon the appeal of the Center for Independent Living under Ordinance #4647-N.S. of the Fire Marshal's order to vacate the Tioga Building.

Background

The Fire Department has had numerous contacts with C.I.L. starting from December 30, 1974. On May 7, 1975 the Fire Marshal ordered members of the C.I.L. from the upper floors of the Krober Building on University Avenue - C.I.L. complied with this order shortly thereafter. Details of that action will be found in Exhibit A. Exhibit A also contains case histories from the National Fire Protection Association on the disastrous results of fires in buildings, housing non-ambulatory persons.

On January 27, 1976 the Fire Department was advised 20 plus non-ambulatory persons were attending class on the fourth floor of the Tioga Building - 2020 Milvia Street. Numerous inspections were made - meetings were held with C.I.L. subsequently the Fire Marshal with the approval of the Fire Chief ordered C.I.L. to remove their operations from the fourth floor of the Tioga Building on February 1976. The State Fire Marshal's Office supported this order. Details again will be found in Exhibit A.

The Fire Department has attempted to work with C.I.L. for housing members of C.I.L. in floors above ground level - the Fire Department has also sought the advice and consultation of professionals throughout the country in the matter of non-ambulatory people occupying upper floors of non-institutional buildings.

The professionals that have responded to date - See Exhibit B - agree with the Fire Department's position and approach in the matter.


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In light of the limited regulations applicable to non-ambulatory people, in other than institutional occupancies, the limited time, staff and expertise available to investigate and develop possible alternatives, the reluctance of the C.I.L. to modify their present rented office space in the Tioga Building for fear of establishing a precedent and the fact that the design of the Tioga Building would not easily accept the necessary remodeling, we must rely on all currently available safety standards and opinions currently within our possession.

It is the Fire Chief's judgment that the only reasonable alternative in this specific instance is that C.I.L. remove their operation from its present location in the Tioga Building.

John L. Taylor
City Manager
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