CBC R-3 building section 704.2

I am designing a house remodel that has an exterior stair that connects a wood deck down to the lower grade rear yard. The stair leaves the deck on the side facing the property side line and continues in that side yard downward. It is right on the property line less the thickness of a block wall.
The steps are currently wood treads with a mix of block and stone underneath. The homeowners would like to rebuild the stairs due to termite damage mostly in the same configuration but of all concrete. Consultations with a plan checker have brought up application of CBC 704.8 which he feels may apply to the stairs and require them to be set back 24'' front the lot line. As a result of allowing a 12'' projection into the 3 ft distance of disallowed openings. The side yard is only 4 ft wide so a 2 ft stair is not workable.
I have questions whether 704.2 applies to this situation although 1024.3 seems more relevant but that would require a 10 foot setback.
Any one here have thoughts on this?
thanks
kk
Original Post
The plan checker is probably going back to the 2001 CBC which restricted exterior stairways from a location where openings were not permitted. That's probably why he referred to Table 704.8.

The the ten-foot setback is overly restrictive based on our UBC experience. I suggest that you accept the three-foot setback and be done with it.

There should be no additional fire/life safety risk if this stair only serves as a means to access the rear yard and is not a required exit.

Chuck Daleo, CBO
To Ron G.
I thought that was the case also but if you read the first and second sentences of 704.2 it does mention balconies and stairs. Since the section from UBC related to protected openings and stairs does not appear in the ICC code, then it looks like one could use this to come to the same answer. i.e. no stairs within 3 feet of lot line.
kk
BTW
my issue was settled by using concrete steps on grade with metal guardrails.
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