CalFire Setbacks

Example 3: Stepped-Gable

As reg reads:

The reg does not address common situations like this. That means the local fire marshal is interpreting the rule. And that’s not good. For this particular house, the far end mirrors this end, dropping back to a lower roof. If each plane is treated as independent, this house could require 6 access paths to the ridge line on the side we wish to put solar on.

Factors to Consider:

  • It’s a gable roof so only one side will be used for solar.
  • The height difference between roof planes is minimal.
  • There are no nearby buildings.
  • There are no prevailing wind issues.
  • Street access is from the north side.


Six access paths on the south side is ridiculous. Access from the north side is all that should be required. In addition, the 3’ ridge setback can not be justified on the south side. That too should be excused, or reduced by half.

« Back