(Amended by Ord. No. 167,969, Eff. 7/11/92.)
(a) General Approvals. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.) The provisions of this Code are not intended to prevent the use of any material, device or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this Code, provided any such alternate has been approved and its use authorized by the Department. For the purpose of this section, "general approval" means approval by the Department of any device, material or method of construction which is not specifically provided for in Chapter IX of the LAMC.
The Department may grant a general approval for an alternate, provided that the alternate is at least the equivalent of the prescribed device, material or method of construction in the Code in terms of quality, effective time period of fire resistance, strength, effectiveness, durability and safety. The Department shall require that sufficient evidence or proof be submitted to substantiate any claims that may be made regarding the adequacy of any alternate device, material or method of construction.
The Department may accept as evidence or as general approval, for purposes of Article 1, Chapter IX of the LAMC, valid evaluation reports on alternate materials, devices or methods of construction developed and published by the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC ES). These reports may be based upon data from testing agencies not approved under LAMC Section 98.0503.
The Department shall use Part III, Recognized Standards in addition to Part II, Uniform Building Code Standards of Division 35, Article 1, Chapter IX of the LAMC in evaluation products for approval where such standard exists for the product or the material and may use other approved standards which apply.
The Department may also accept as evidence or as general approval, for purposes of Article I, Chapter IX of the LAMC, valid evaluation reports developed and published by other nationally recognized model code organizations only under the following circumstances. Such reports may only be accepted if it is proven to the satisfaction of the Superintendent of Building that the responsible organization utilizes a specially trained and experienced engineering review staff, and its standards of evaluation are at least equal to the Department's current evaluation standards.
Before accepting an evaluation report, the Department shall first verify that the code organization publishing the report has utilized a testing agency acceptance system which is reasonably equivalent to the current Department program for testing agency approval. This system must provide for conflict of interest safeguards, covering the agency itself, its owners and individual employees. These safeguards must be at least equivalent to those applied by the Department to approved testing agencies.
Before issuing general approvals based upon the evaluation reports or accepting the evaluation reports as general approval, the Superintendent of Building shall establish rules and regulations setting forth the procedures and conditions for the review of evaluation reports developed and published by the International Code Council Evaluation Service (ICC ES) or other nationally recognized model code organizations.
The Department determination on an application for general approval may be appealed to the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners under the applicable provisions of this article.
(b) Fees and Term of General Approvals. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.)
An application for a technical or clerical modification of a general approval shall be accompanied by a fee as set forth in Table 5-A of this division.
The fees for new general approvals and technical modifications include six hours of Department processing time.
The fees for renewals and clerical modifications include three hours and one hour of Department processing time, respectively.
The initial general approval, when granted, will be valid for one year. An application for renewal must be filed before the expiration of the latest approval or subsequent renewal and, when granted, will be valid for a two year period. Sale and installation shall conform to LAMC Section 98.0502(h).
3. The application fee for the initial review for Department approval of an evaluation report, pursuant to Article 1, Chapter IX of the LAMC, shall be as set forth in Table 5-A of this division. This fee shall be paid in lieu of any other application fee for a general approval described in this section.
A fee as set forth in Table 5-A of this division shall also be required for Department review of any clerical or technical modifications of a valid evaluation report.
The fees for initial review of an evaluation report and for technical modifications of, or additions to, a previously reviewed evaluation report include six and five hours of Department processing time, respectively.
The fees for clerical modifications include one hour of Department processing time.
If a general approval or renewal is based on an evaluation report issued by a nationally recognized model code organization acceptable to the Department, then the general approval and subsequent renewal shall be valid one year and two years, respectively, or as long as the unrevised evaluation report, including any renewals, is valid, whichever is less.
The Department shall review the evaluation reports created pursuant to this section and used as a basis for general approvals, prior to their expiration in order to verify that the reevaluation due dates of the reports remain unrevised and fully accurate in the records of the issuing model code organization. Evaluation reports renewed for two years shall be reviewed bi-annually. An administrative processing fee as set forth in Table 5-A of this division covering the Department costs of the reevaluation review and report distribution shall be required from the entity holding the rights to the general approval.
The fees for review of two year reevaluation reports anticipate two hours of Department processing time;
4. The applicant shall agree in the application to pay supplemental fees at the rate of $104.00 per hour to cover any additional time required by the Department to process general approvals, renewals, reevaluations or modifications which are specified in Subdivisions 1 and 3 of this Subsection (b), and any conditional approvals pursuant to LAMC Section 98.0403.2(a)3. Processing shall include those activities directly related to the general approval for which application has been made and shall include all research, review, correspondence, clerical and consultation time pertinent to the application. The Department may require an estimated supplemental fee to be paid when the application is filed. In any event, the supplemental fee shall be paid in full prior to final action on the application by the Department.
The fees specified in this section, including supplemental fees, are application fees and are not refundable after the Department begins processing the application, regardless of whether the application is approved or denied.
EXCEPTION: Supplemental fees paid in advance which are in excess of the total actual fee are refundable.
5. All applications shall expire 12 months after the Department begins processing the application if the request for approval of a new material, device or method of construction has not been cleared of corrective orders and approved. No approval shall be issued until the application is refiled and a new fee paid.
EXCEPTION: The Department may grant an extension of time if the applicant submits in writing sufficient evidence that unusual conditions or circumstances precluded the approval within the allocated time.
(c) Off-hour Processing of Evaluation Reports. (Amended by Ord. No. 185,587, Eff. 7/16/18.) Upon request by an applicant and accepted by the Department, an off-hour processing fee per LAMC Section 98.0422 may be collected for processing of evaluation reports for alternate materials.
(d) Renewal. (Amended by Ord. No. 169,867, Eff. 7/17/94.) Upon expiration of an approval or upon any change in design, material, method of construction or model designation made during the period of approval, it shall be unlawful to sell, offer for sale or use a product until a renewal has been approved under provisions of this section.
(e) Requests For Extension of Time. (Added by Ord. No. 169,867, Eff. 7/17/94.) Request for extension of time to file for renewals or obtain approval of general approvals, clerical and technical modifications, and renewals shall be made within 90 calendar days following the date of expiration of general approvals and applications for general approvals, modifications, and renewals. If such requests for extensions of time are not received within the allocated time, then a new filing fee shall be required.
(Amended by Ord. No. 180,868, Eff. 10/22/09.)
General Approval of Research Reports (By Los Angeles City)
General Approval of Evaluation Reports (By a Nationally recognized Model Code Organization)
1. Initial application filing
2. Renewal application filing 1 (two year)
3. Reevaluation application filing 2 (two year)
4. Technical Modification
5. Clerical Modification
1 The Department may approve one year renewals for General Approval of Research Reports, if the applicant makes such a request in writing and submit sufficient evidence of the need for a one year renewal. The fee for a one year renewal shall be $1,961.00 for General Approval of Research Reports.
2 The Department may approve one year reevaluations for General Approval of Fire-Safety or Life-Safety Product Evaluation Reports, if the applicant makes such a request in writing and submit sufficient evidence of the need for a one year reevaluation. The fee for a one year reevaluation shall be $603.00 for General Approval of Fire-Safety or Life-Safety Product Evaluation Reports.
3 Fee for Fire-Safety or Life-Safety Products.
4 Fee for Non-Fire-Safety and Non-Life-Safety (non- structural) Products.