One of the biggest concerns that building owners face on an ongoing basis is the never-ending requirement of spending an additional 20% on ADA upgrades every time a new permit is pulled on the property.
We all know that the building owner is responsible to maintain both the exterior and interior “common areas” of a facility, but every time a new tenant moves into a vacant space, the requirement for upgrades is again “triggered” by the local building department.
The amount required to be spent “over and above” by the new tenant moving in is a constant burden on the landlord because most of the time, the additional amount required to be spent is not possible on the inside of a vacant space.
This leaves the landlord responsible to spend the remaining required amount on upgrades on the external “common area”. This isn’t so bad if the property could benefit from needed upgrades, but what about the properties that responsible landlords have been upgrading over several years under the “voluntary barrier removal” process?
Well, one city in the Northern California region has come up with a great solution for those responsible landlords.
The City of Rancho Cordova has come up with a brilliant program to help landlords and property owners achieve full accessibility compliance during challenging times. The Rancho Cordova Building & Safety Division has introduced a Long-Term Accessibility Compliance Program “LTAP” to address the intent of property owners to address the CBC Chapter 11B accessibility upgrade requirements for a property over an extended period of time.
This program would help them to achieve full compliance for the common exterior areas of the site, and not impeded individual tenant improvement permits!
Qualifications for Long-Term Accessibility Compliance Program (LTAP)
1) A CASp Inspection Report is required to participate in the program.
2) Provide a formal “Letter of Request” for approval by the building and safety division to participate inm the program. This letter shall be provided by either a CASp inspectors, Architect or Engineer and shall include the following:
a. Identify the property in questions
b. How will the plan be implemented? Does it require phasing?
c. Specify the overall time frame to complete the LTAP
d. Specify phases of the project such as what work will be completed within a particular time frame.
e. An acknowledgement that a permit will be pulled for each phase of the overall plan.
f. An acknowledgement that a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) will be issued until all phases of the LTAP are completed.
3) A “preliminary plan” shall be submitted along with the letter of request on 11” x 17” minimum size paper. This plan shall consist of site plans and floor plans as applicable with keynotes corresponding to the CASp inspection report that identifies work to be done. Construction details are not required until formal plan submittal.
4) Provide an upgrade plan that corresponds item by item to list the deficiencies determined by the CASP inspection report.
No long-term accessibility compliance plan may exceed a three-year period, with individual phases not exceeding one year each. In special circumstances, with reasonable justification in writing from the applicant, the Chief Building Official may allow an extension of the three-year period to five years.
This program has already helped many landlords gain control of their accessibility upgrade plan and removes some of the uncertainty that many owners have regarding new tenant move-in requirements.