Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914]

  ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 5. PUBLIC WORK AND PUBLIC PURCHASES [4000 - 4563]

  ( Division 5 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

CHAPTER 7. Access to Public Buildings by Physically Handicapped Persons [4450 - 4461]
  ( Chapter 7 added by Stats. 1968, Ch. 261. )

4450.
  

(a) It is the purpose of this chapter to ensure that all buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs, and related facilities, constructed in this state by the use of state, county, or municipal funds, or the funds of any political subdivision of the state shall be accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.

(b) The State Architect shall develop and submit proposed building standards to the California Building Standards Commission for approval and adoption pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 18935) of Part 2.5 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code and shall develop other regulations for making buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs, and related facilities accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. The regulations and building standards relating to access for persons with disabilities shall be consistent with the standards for buildings and structures that are contained in pertinent provisions of the latest edition of the selected model code, as adopted by the California Building Standards Commission, and these regulations and building standards shall contain additional requirements relating to buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs, and other related facilities the State Architect determines are necessary to assure access and usability for persons with disabilities. In developing and revising these additional requirements, the State Architect shall consult with the Department of Rehabilitation, the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties, and at least one private organization representing and comprised of persons with disabilities.

(c) In no case shall the State Architect’s regulations and building standards prescribe a lesser standard of accessibility or usability than provided by the Accessibility Guidelines prepared by the federal Access Board as adopted by the United States Department of Justice to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336).

(d) On or before December 31, 2010, the Division of the State Architect shall prepare and submit to the United States Department of Justice for certification proposed amendments to Part 2 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations that would ensure California’s building standards for disability access in commercial occupancies are consistent with the federal regulations cited in subdivision (c).

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 549, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2009.)

4450.5.
  

The State Architect’s regulations adopted pursuant to Section 4450 shall require that all parking spaces reserved for the handicapped be identified as prescribed by Sections 22511.7 and 22511.8 of the Vehicle Code.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 484, Sec. 1.)

4451.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, this chapter shall be limited in its application to all buildings and facilities stated in Section 4450 intended for use by the public, with any reasonable availability to, or usage by, persons with disabilities, including all facilities used for education and instruction, including the University of California, the California State University, and the various community college districts, that are constructed in whole or in part by the use of state, county, or municipal funds, or the funds of any political subdivision of the state.

(b) When required by federal or state law, buildings, structures, and facilities, or portions thereof, that are leased, rented, contracted, sublet, or hired by any municipal, county, or state division of government, or special district shall be made accessible to, and usable by, persons with disabilities.

(c) Except as otherwise provided by law, buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs, and related facilities subject to the provisions of this chapter or Part 5.5 (commencing with Section 19955) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code shall conform to the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to access for persons with disabilities and the other regulations adopted pursuant to Section 4450 that are in effect on the date of an application for a building permit. With respect to buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs, and related facilities not requiring a building permit, building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to access for persons with disabilities and other regulations adopted pursuant to Section 4450, and in effect at the time construction is commenced shall be applicable.

(d) Until building standards are published in the California Building Standards Code and other regulations are developed by the State Architect and adopted by the California Building Standards Commission pursuant to Section 4450, buildings, structures, sidewalks, curbs, and related facilities subject to the provisions of this chapter or Part 5.5 (commencing with Section 19955) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code shall meet or exceed the requirements of Title III of Subpart D of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

(e) This chapter shall apply to temporary or emergency construction as well as permanent buildings.

(f) Administrative authorities, as designated under Section 4453, may grant exceptions from the literal requirements of the building standards published in the California Building Standards Code relating to access for persons with disabilities, or the other regulations adopted pursuant to this section, or permit the use of other methods or materials, but only when it is clearly evident that equivalent facilitation and protection that meets or exceeds the requirements under federal law are thereby secured.

(g) The Department of General Services shall develop, as appropriate, regulations to ensure that braille, tactile, or visual signage for elevators, rooms, spaces, functions, and directional information is installed as required by Section 4450 and shall develop and implement an effective training program to ensure compliance with all disability access requirements.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 989, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2001.)

4452.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that the building standards published in the State Building Standards Code relating to access by the physically handicapped and the other regulations adopted by the State Architect pursuant to Section 4450 shall be used as minimum requirements to insure that buildings, structures and related facilities covered by this chapter are accessible to, and functional for, the physically handicapped to, through, and within their doors, without loss of function, space, or facility where the general public is concerned.

Any unauthorized deviation from such regulations or building standards shall be rectified by full compliance within 90 days after discovery of the deviation.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1152.)

4453.
  

The responsibility for enforcement of this chapter shall be as follows:

(a) By the Director of the Department of General Services where state funds are utilized for any project or where funds of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions are utilized for the construction of elementary, secondary, or community college projects.

(b) By the governing bodies thereof where funds of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions are utilized except as otherwise provided in (a) above.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 326.)

4453.5.
  

(a) In addition to any other inspection requirements pertaining to building standards of state and school district buildings used by the public, the construction of which are under the jurisdiction of the Office of the State Architect in the Department of General Services, accessibility to persons with handicaps may be inspected pursuant to subdivision (b) in state and school district buildings used by the public in order to determine if the building meets minimum state standards for accessibility to handicapped persons.

(b) Inspection and approval may be made on a voluntary basis by one or more persons who have physical disabilities or who represent the interests of physically disabled persons, who are familiar with the California access laws and standards, and who have been chosen by the Department of Rehabilitation. The Department of Rehabilitation may assign these volunteers to inspect those state and school district buildings used by the public specified in subdivision (a). If the volunteer inspector finds that a building does not meet minimum state standards for accessibility to handicapped persons, the volunteer shall report this information to the Department of Rehabilitation, which shall in turn report the information to the school district if a school building is involved, to the owning agencies if a state building is involved, and to the Office of the State Architect. When, after receipt of this information, the Office of the State Architect confirms that the building does not meet minimal state standards for accessibility to handicapped persons, the Office of the State Architect shall develop a plan to be filed with the jurisdiction owning the building that addresses the correction of the identified deficiencies.

(c) The provisions of this section shall only pertain to state and school district buildings used by the public for which building plans have been filed with the Office of the State Architect on or after January 1, 1985.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 1246, Sec. 2.)

4454.
  

(a) Where state funds are utilized for any building or facility subject to this chapter, or where funds of counties, municipalities, or other political subdivisions are utilized for the construction of elementary school, secondary school, or community college buildings and facilities subject to this chapter, no contract shall be awarded until the Department of General Services has issued written approval stating that the plans and specifications comply with the intent of this chapter.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), for all transportation facilities, other than rail or transit stations, located within state highway rights-of-way, the Department of Transportation is authorized to issue the required written approval stating that the plans and specifications comply with intent of this chapter. If the Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, establishes a certified access specialist program, as described in Section 4459.5, specific to standards governing access to transportation facilities, the Department of Transportation shall within 180 days of establishment of the program begin using engineers certified through that program to verify that the Department of Transportation’s standards, guidelines, and design exceptions comply with the intent of this chapter.

(c) In each case the application for approval shall be accompanied by the plans and full, complete, and accurate specifications, which shall comply in every respect with any and all requirements prescribed by the Department of General Services.

(d) Except for facilities located within state highway rights-of-way, other than rail or transit stations, the application shall be accompanied by a filing fee in amounts as determined by the Department of General Services. All fees shall be deposited into the Access for Handicapped Account, which is hereby renamed the Disability Access Account as of July 1, 2001, and established in the General Fund. Notwithstanding Section 13340, the account is continuously appropriated for expenditures for the use of the Department of General Services, in carrying out the department’s responsibilities under this chapter.

(e) The Department of General Services shall consult with the Department of Rehabilitation in identifying the requirements necessary to comply with this chapter.

(f) The Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, shall include the cost of carrying out the responsibilities identified in this chapter as part of the plan review costs in determining fees.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 299, Sec. 1. Effective September 22, 2005.)

4455.
  

The Department of Rehabilitation shall be responsible for educating the public and working with officials of cities, counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions, private architects, designers, planners, and other interested parties in order to encourage and help them make all buildings, facilities, and improved areas accessible to and usable by handicapped persons for purposes of rehabilitation, employment, business, recreation, and all other aspects of normal living.

(Added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 701.)

4455.5.
  

All new elevators in public buildings or facilities after the operative date of the act that amended this section during the first year of the 1979–80 Regular Session shall have braille symbols and marked arabic numerals corresponding to the numerals on the elevator buttons embossed immediately to the left thereof.

All new door casings on all elevator floors after the operative date of this section shall have the number of the floor on which the casing is located embossed in braille symbols and marked arabic numerals on both sides at a height of approximately 60 inches from the floor.

(Amended by Stats. 1979, Ch. 273.)

4456.
  

After the effective date of this section, any building or facility which would have been subject to this chapter but for the fact it was constructed prior to November 13, 1968, shall comply with the provisions of this chapter when alterations, structural repairs or additions are made to such building or facility. This requirement shall only apply to the area of specific alteration, structural repair or addition and shall not be construed to mean that the entire structure or facility is subject to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1971, Ch. 1458.)

4457.
  

On or after January 1, 1986, all portable buildings purchased, leased, or constructed by a school district shall meet the requirements of this chapter, except as provided in subdivision (f) of Section 4451.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 550, Sec. 2.)

4458.
  

The district attorney, the city attorney, the county counsel if the district attorney does not bring an action, or the Attorney General may bring an action to enjoin a violation of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 872, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2004.)

4459.
  

(a) The State Architect shall develop amendments for building regulations and submit them to the California Building Standards Commission for adoption to ensure that no accessibility requirements of the California Building Standards Code shall be enhanced or diminished except as necessary for (1) retaining existing state regulations that provide greater accessibility and features, or (2) meeting federal minimum accessibility standards of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as adopted by the United States Department of Justice, the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, and the federal Architectural Barriers Act.

(b) The Department of General Services shall use fees deposited in the Disability Access Account established in Section 4454 for the purposes identified in this chapter. The department shall include the cost of carrying out the responsibilities identified in this chapter as part of the plan review costs in determining fees.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the application and scope of accessibility regulations in the California Building Standards Code shall not be less than the application and scope of accessibility requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as adopted by the United States Department of Justice, the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, and the federal Architectural Barriers Act.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 989, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2001.)

4459.5.
  

(a) The State Architect shall establish and publicize a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets specified criteria as a certified access specialist. No later than January 1, 2005, the State Architect shall determine minimum criteria a person is required to meet in order to be a certified access specialist, which may include knowledge sufficient to review, inspect, or advocate universal design requirements, completion of specified training, and testing on standards governing access to buildings for persons with disabilities.

(b) The State Architect may implement the program described in subdivision (a) with startup funds derived, as a loan, from the reserve of the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction Review Revolving Fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature. That loan shall be repaid when sufficient fees have been collected pursuant to Section 4459.8.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 549, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2009.)

4459.6.
  

The State Architect shall appoint an ad hoc advisory committee to assist in developing the requirements for certification as access specialists pursuant to Section 4459.5. This committee shall include individuals with disabilities, and a representative from each of the following:

(a) The Governor.

(b) The Secretary of Health and Human Services.

(c) The Attorney General.

(d) Local government.

(e) Architects.

(f) Building inspectors.

(g) Business.

(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 872, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2004.)

4459.7.
  

(a) (1) No later than October 31 of each year, the State Architect shall publish and make available to the public a list of certified access specialists who have met the requirements of Section 4459.5.

(2) The State Architect shall publish and regularly update on its Internet Web site easily accessible lists of all of the following:

(A) Businesses that have obtained a CASp inspection and have filed, or a CASp has filed on their behalf, a notice pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 55.53 of the Civil Code.

(B) Businesses which have been inspected by a certified access specialist on or after January 1, 2017, including the date of the inspection.

(3) The lists required pursuant to this section shall include a written disclaimer of liability as specified in subdivision (b).

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a state agency or employee of a state agency may not be held liable for any injury or damages resulting from any service provided by a certified access specialist whose name appears on the list published pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) The State Architect may perform periodic audits of work performed by a certified access specialist as deemed necessary to ensure the desired standard of performance. A certified access specialist shall provide an authorized representative of the State Architect with complete access, at any reasonable hour of the day, to all technical data, reports, records, photographs, design outlines and plans, and files used in building inspection and plan review, with the exception of proprietary and confidential information.

(d) By January 1, 2017, the State Architect shall develop a process by which a certified access specialist (CASp) may notify the State Architect that a structure or area on the premises of a business has been inspected by a CASp and to notify the public that the business has a “CASp determination pending,” or has been “Inspected by a CASp,” as provided by paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of Section 55.56 of the Civil Code, which shall include the name and address of the business, the date of the notification, the date of the inspection of the business, the name and license number of the CASp, and a description of the structure or area inspected by a CASp.

(e) By January 1, 2017, the State Architect shall develop a form for a business to notify the public that the business has obtained a CASp inspection pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of Section 55.56 of the Civil Code, which shall include the date of the notification, the date of the inspection, and a description of the structure or area inspected by a CASp.

(f) For purposes of this section, the “structure or area inspected” means one of the following: the interior of the premises, the exterior of the premises, or both the interior and exterior.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 13, Sec. 3. Effective May 10, 2016.)

4459.8.
  

(a) The certification authorized by Section 4459.5 is effective for three years from the date of initial certification and expires if not renewed. The State Architect, upon consideration of any factual complaints regarding the work of a certified access specialist or of other relevant information, may suspend certification or deny renewal of certification.

(b) (1) The State Architect shall require each applicant for certification as a certified access specialist to do both of the following:

(A) Pay fees, including an application and course fee and an examination fee, at a level sufficient to meet the costs of application processing, registration, publishing a list, and other activities that are reasonably necessary to implement and administer the certified access specialist program.

(B) Provide to the State Architect the name of the city, county, or city and county in which the applicant intends to provide services.

(2) The State Architect shall require each applicant for renewal of certification to do both of the following:

(A) Pay a fee sufficient to cover the reasonable costs of reassessing qualifications of renewal applicants.

(B) Provide to the State Architect the name of the city, county, or city and county in which the applicant has provided services since the last day of certification by the State Architect.

(3) The State Architect shall periodically review his or her schedule of fees to ensure that the fees for certification are not excessive while covering the costs to administer the certified access specialist program. The application fee for a California licensed architect, landscape architect, civil engineer, or structural engineer shall not exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250).

(c) All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Certified Access Specialist Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. Notwithstanding Section 13340, this fund is continuously appropriated without regard to fiscal years for use by the State Architect to implement Sections 4459.5 to 4459.8, inclusive.

(d) The State Architect shall post on his or her Internet Web site the name of the city, county, or city and county in which each certified access specialist provides or intends to provide services.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 13, Sec. 4. Effective May 10, 2016.)

4460.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that it is essential that detectable warning and directional surfaces comply with the California Building Standards Code in order to ensure that those products are adequate to meet the safety and accessibility needs of the blind and visually impaired.

(b) All detectable warning products and directional surfaces installed after January 1, 2001, shall be evaluated by an independent entity, selected by the Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, in consultation with the Department of Housing and Community Development when the products and surfaces may be mandated for use in residential housing, that shall issue and register a two-year product approval, renewable upon reevaluation at two-year intervals thereafter. The approval shall include conformation with architectural standards published in the California Building Standards Code as well as durability criteria appropriate for the type of installation, established by the Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, in consultation with the Department of Housing and Community Development when the products and surfaces may be mandated for use in residential housing. The codes developed by the Department of General Services pursuant to this section shall ensure that shape, color fastness, confirmation, sound-on-cane acoustic quality, resilience, and attachment will not degrade significantly for at least five years. The Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, shall impose fees to recover administrative and code development costs, as necessary, to develop standards and administer the registration and approval program. The fees shall be paid by manufacturers of detectable warning products and directional surfaces. All fees shall be deposited in the Access for Handicap Account created pursuant to Section 4454 and may be expended for costs incurred by the Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, in performance of the requirements of this section.

As used in this section, “significant degradation” means that the product maintains at least 90 percent of its approved design characteristics. The Department of General Services may provide exceptions to this section for justifiable cause pursuant to Section 4451.

(c) The independent entity selected by the Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect, shall be recognized as having appropriate expertise in determining whether products governed by this section comply with the California Building Standards Code.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 386, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

4461.
  

If a violation of Section 4450, 4450.5, 4451, 4452, 4453.5, 4454, 4455, 4455.5, 4456, 4457, 4459, or 4460 is alleged or the application or construction of any of these sections is in issue in any proceeding in the Supreme Court of California, a state court of appeal, or the appellate division of a superior court, each party shall serve a copy of the party’s brief or petition and brief, on the State Solicitor General at the Office of the Attorney General. No brief may be accepted for filing unless the proof of service shows service on the State Solicitor General. Any party failing to comply with this requirement shall be given a reasonable opportunity to cure the failure before the court imposes any sanction and, in that instance, the court shall allow the Attorney General reasonable additional time to file a brief in the matter.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 244, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

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