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ENB-13.15 - Removal of Architectural Barriers in Existing Multi-Tenant Buildings

Administrative Rule Adopted by Bureau Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority

The State Building Code requires that architectural barriers be removed in existing buildings in conjunction with alteration work to the extent that up to 25% of the construction cost be allocated towards their removal. This requirement will typically require improvements outside the area of a tenant improvement, requiring coordination between the tenant designer/contractor and the building management/owner that is more efficiently accomplished for the building as a whole rather than on a tenant-by-tenant basis. For this reason, it is desirable to develop a process that all- a one-time building survey to identify existing architectural barriers and a subsequent improvement plan that can be implemented over a reasonable period of time.
All parties will benefit from such a process. The building management/owner will be able to identify cost with certainty, the disabled community will benefit from having architectural barriers removed on a systematic and prioritized basis, and all parties will benefit from a streamlined permit process.
It should be noted that the Department of Justice in their administration of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law now in effect that also addresses the removal of architectural barriers in existing buildings, recommends the same approach.

Allow an alternate process for the removal of architectural barriers in existing multi-tenant buildings that is equivalent to that required by the State Building Code and is generally compatible with the ADA.

The Building owner agrees to the following:
  • Letter of Participation (LOP). Provide a letter to the Bureau of Buildings agreeing to participate and abide by the process.
  • Building Survey (BS). Commission a Building Survey to identify existing architectural barriers.
  • Improvement Plan (IP) . Develop an Improvement Plan and the schedule to remove architectural barriers based on established priorities.
  • Submittal of Plan. Within 120 days, submit to the Bureau of Buildings the Building Survey and Improvement Plan for review and approval.
  • Implementation Agreement (IA) . Within 45 days, enter into a written agreement with the Bureau of Buildings to implement the Improvement Plan.
The Bureau of Buildings agrees to the following:
  • Building Permits. Issue all building permits pending the Implementation Agreement without regard to the removal of architectural barriers outside the area of work.
  • Review Improvement Plan. Within 10 days from receiving the Improvement Plan from the owner, review the plan with the City/County Disabilities Coordinator and prepare written comments for the owner.
  • Priority. In determining which accessible elements to provide, give priority to those elements that provide the greatest access, in the following order.
a) Accessible parking;
b) An accessible entrance;
c) An accessible route, first to all primary functions of the building and secondly, to other tenant areas;
d) At least one accessible rest roan for each sex or a single unisex rest roam, where such facilities are provided;
e) Accessible public telephones, where provided;
f) Accessible drinking fountains, where provided;
g) When possible, additional accessible elements such as visual fire alarms.
  • Due Consideration. In determining the extent of barrier removal and timelines for implementation, give consideration to the building use and the financial resources of the building owner.
  • Implementation Agreement. Within 45 days from receiving the IP from the mer, enter into a written agreement with them regarding their implementation plan.
  • Record keeping and Enforcement. Maintain appropriate records; track progress of Improvement and Implementation Plans; if necessary, take appropriate enforcement action.
Plans Examiners
  • Provide permit applicant with information packet that explains process. Provide explanation and assistance as needed.

    NOTE: This process is intended for multi-tenant buildings. There may be an occasion when this process is appropriate for single tenant buildings. In such cases, the plans examiner is to obtain the approval of the chief Plans Examiner before preceding.
  • Request LOP.
  • Review LOP and upon approval, finalize permit review and issue building permit. Staple copy of LOP to each set of plans.
  • Send LOP to Plan Review Manager
  • Forward IP to Plan Review Manager
Plan Review Manger (or his/her designee)
  • Track submittal timing of IP and if necessary, take appropriate enforcement action.
  • Within 10 days after submittal review IP with City/County Disabilities Coordinator and if necessary, provide written comments to building owner.
  • If necessary, resolve disagreement between the City and the building owner through the Building Code Board of Appeals.
  • Within 45 days, develop written IA with the building owner.
  • Maintain appropriate records. Provide copy of IA to PAC.
  • Track that the IP is maintained on schedule and if necessary, take appropriate enforcement action.
  • Develop guidelines to assist building owners with what generally will be considered reasonable barrier removal.

Filed by Bureau of Development Services for inclusion in PPD September 29, 2004.
Originally published as Bureau of Buildings Procedure No. B-6-12 dated June 15, 1992.

Table of Contents
ENB-13.01 - Charges for Photocopying Material for the Public
ENB-13.02 - Charges for Researching Documents for the Public
ENB-13.03 - Faxing Permit Applications & Permits
ENB-13.04 - Fee Refunds
ENB-13.06 - Code Hearing Complaints
ENB-13.07 - Construction Contractor Registration
ENB-13.08 - Handling of Under/Over Payment of Mail-in Permits
ENB-13.09 - Confidentiality of Complainants
ENB-13.10 - Approval of Permanent Electrical Power to One and Two Family Dwellings
ENB-13.12 - Inspection and Warrant Policy
ENB-13.13 - Service to Film Companies
ENB-13.14 - Plan Review for Amateur Radio Tower Antenna Structures
ENB-13.15 - Removal of Architectural Barriers in Existing Multi-Tenant Buildings
ENB-13.16 - Plan Review Procedure for Doctor's and Dentist's Office
ENB-13.17 - Residential Plumbing Plan Review and Field Issuance of Permits
ENB-13.18 - Standard for Granting Extensions to Correct Code Violations
ENB-13.19 - Sewer Repair Work Orders for 1 & 2 Family Dwellings
ENB-13.20 - Report on Program Improvements: Neighborhood Inspections and Code Enforcement
ENB-13.21 - Recurring Environmental Violation Enforcement Process and Fines
ENB-13.22 - Fee Waivers
ENB-13.23 - Permitting Original Art Murals