In North Carolina, although this should apply in many states, Party Walls are defined as buildings along a lot line and the party wall is allowed no openings except under the one exclusion that was made for mall. If you happen to own both buildings along that lot line and need to keep them as separate buildings, (same owner different PIN numbers), rather than combine them and want to open a space in the party wall between them you run into 706.1.1 as there is no provision for two building with the same ownership that need to be kept as separate properties. There is also no variances allowed in NC at the local level, only an "alternate method"
Does anyone know of a precedent being set where openings are allowed in party walls because both building are owned by the same owner in NC or elsewhere? It seems simple enough as the intent of "party wall'' was established as a protective device for different owners but we are having a difficult time getting with out building protective doors, shutters and water curtains. These of course would work for an opening in a protective barrier but really don't apply'in this case as the building would meet the requirement of the exclusion by having sprinkler systems installed in both building that meet the requirement of 903.3.1.1
Any instances of openings being allowed in party walls would be much appreciated.