Must I make accessibility upgrades to an existing building?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities, such as buying an item at the store, watching a movie in a theater, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, exercising at the local health club or having the car services at a local garage. Private businesses that provide goods or services to the public are called public accommodations in the ADA. The ADA establishes requirements for twelve categories of public accommodations including: stores and shops, restaurants and bars, service establishments, theaters, hotels, recreation facilities, private museums and schools and others. Nearly all types of private businesses that serve the public are included in a category regardless of size. If you own, operate, lease, or lease to a business that serves the public, then you must comply with ADA regulations and have an obligation to accommodate individuals with disabilities. In addition, all new building features are required to meet current architectural accessibility requirements, including: parking stalls, loading lanes, curb, ramps, and path of travel, sales counter height, door hardware, and restroom layout. The California Building Code accessibility laws require that a minimum of 20% of tenant improvement construction costs, exclusive of accessibility upgrades, be used to upgrade existing building features to make them more accessible. For information on having your business evaluated consider consulting with a design professional with specific expertise, such as a Certified Access Specialist (CASp), which is regulated by the State of California's Division of the State Architect. Should you have further questions regarding this subject, please contact us at 562-373-4116.

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1. What requires a permit?
2. What should I do before obtaining a building permit?
3. What are the costs associated with the issuance of a permit and inspections?
4. How do I apply for a building permit?
5. Will I need Fire Department approval?
6. Will I need any other permits?
7. Must I make accessibility upgrades to an existing building?
8. How do I know if my driveway, sidewalks, or utilities are adequate or need improving?
9. Will a grease interceptor be required for my restaurant?
10. If I hire a contractor, how do I make sure they are licensed?
11. Are inspections required?