In a 24 story R-2 (apartment) building in California, permitted under the 2001 CBC, we have a landscaped roof terrace that can hold an occupancy load of 190 persons. It is furnished for parties with barbecues, chairs and tables. We have three elevators and two fully compliant exit stairways up to this roof, one stair is accessed directly from the terrace, the other stair is accessed through a glass door into a small corridor that connects to the elevator lobby and the exit stair. Residents can access the roof terrace through the glass door which is equipped with a power door opener, activated from both sides of the door, for the handicapped. The doors to the corridor and both stairs open in the direction of egress travel (from the terrace to the stairway) and are equipped with panic exit devices. The Owners wanted to control access to this roof amenity so they installed a card reader at the inside of the glass door with an electric strike that is automatically retracted when the fire alarm is activated. The Fire Department will not grant a Final Occupancy Permit because they say the glass door must be unlocked for any emergency, not just a fire, quoting Section 1008.1.9 from the 2013 CBC which says that "egress doors shall be readily openable from the egress side without the use of a key or special knowledge or effort." The comparable section of the correct 2001 CBC [1003.3.1.8] says "exit doors shall be openable from the inside without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort." We do not think the inspector is even aware of the unfortunate language in the 2001 code that could be construed to support his point of view, but citing the current code he seems to be fixated on the need to keep this door unlocked so occupants of the building can seek refuge on the roof if they ever want to. He seems to regard the door as a "dual egress" function, although he has not said as much. The owner is willing to install an override switch at the door that retracts the strike whenever the switch is activated, with an alarm sounding at the security desk downstairs. The fire inspector is not confident that this will be acceptable to the Building Department so he is asking us to prepare new drawings to be submitted to the city for permit, showing this configuration of locks, card readers, fire alarm override and manual override with alarm. If they accept this, he says he will allow it. Our position as the architects is that the door is code compliant now, even with a card reader. The CBC does not appear to require that the door to the roof be unlocked nor does it forbid the door from being locked. It only requires that it be openable in the direction of egress travel, which in this case is from outside to inside. Is there anything in the code that I can use to convince the inspector that this is the case and we can leave the door as it is with a card reader on it, controlling access to the roof, without adding the manual override and especially not going back in for a permit revision?