Building Codes and Inspections/building code question


My wife had leased a koisk 4 years ago that was built on 1998 as a coffee shop and she had now as a sandwich shop whic did not require any permits to converet from coffee to sandwicth shop as per the city of bakersfield. Recently she was visited by a code enforcement person that wrote her up for having a seating area by the pick window. Once I followed up with it the city now are coming back and opening other issues such as an existing 5x5 shed area that cover the maint water line valave and the opening for the entrance to the underneath of the building area (the crawl space. My question is this shed area was build I would imagine when the building was built and now the city claiming that there is no permit for this 5x5 dettached area by the building and they asking me for drawings, calculations and ... is there is any code expemting these type of small sheds or storage areas that is built to prevent people from destrying the main water valve and the entry to this underneath the building area?

I can't really answer your question since it is outside my area. However, I will put it on another site and see if I get an answer for you. If I do, I"ll come back and put it here. I hope I understand your questions:

1.  A code enforcement official visited and cited you by having a seating area by the pick up window. I suppose that must be some sort of health and safety requirement. However, you followed up, and that triggered more investigations.

2.  They are complaining about a 5foot by 5foot area shed that you think has been there since the building was built. You assume that this shed is there to protect the valve to the main water line, and also the opening to the crawl space under the building. They are saying the that the shed was built without a permit, and that you need to supply them with drawings showing that the shed is built to code.

Do I understand that correctly? If so, can you let me know at my email at Also, you mention that you leased the kiosk in 1998. Does this mean that you now purchased it? Because if you don't own it, I would assume that the owner of the building would be responsible for this, not you. Can you tell me if you purchased the building, and if anything was said then about it not being to code? People are supposed to divulge things like that when they sell a building.

Sharon Toji

Building Codes and Inspections

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Sharon Toji


I have special expertise in the subject of accessibility codes and guidelines (ADA), and most specifically in the field of signage. If you have a question that is not about the ADA or about signs, I suggest you try the following excellent site: Naffa International BCDG (Building Code Discussion Group). The website address is You do have to register, but it's free. You will find discussions here on all kinds of Building Code Q & A topics. You go to the forum that sounds as if it's close to your topic, check out some of the posts and see if it sounds like a fit. Then pose your question. With luck, you may get some really good answers. You can email some of the experts individually by clicking on the headings of their posts. When you ask a question, of me, or of someone on the above site, tell them your state, and maybe your city if it's a large city. That is crucial for answering code questions. Sharon Toji


I am a voting delegate to the American National Standards Institute that writes accessiblity standards used by the International Building Code and are the basis for the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG). I am also a member of the Access Advisory Committee to the California State Building Standards Commission, among other positions.

Signs and the ADA (a manual I have written that is used across the country), and articles in many trade journals.

BA, Reed College Graduate work, University of Munich (Germany) and University of California, Irvine

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