FLORIDA BUILDING COMMISSION
ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COUNCIL
January 23, 2013
Chairman Jack Humburg called the meeting of the Accessibility Advisory Council to order at 2:00 P.M. on January 23, 2013. Members present were Jack Humburg, Barbara Page and Bill Riha.
Review of Minutes of the November 19, 2012 Meeting: In the absence of a quorum, the minutes will be reviewed at the March 21st meeting.
Review of Applications for Waivers from Accessibility Requirements:
Since a quorum was not present, individual Council members recommendations will be presented to the Commission at the February 4, 2013 meeting.
James Avenue Hostel, 1676 James Avenue, Miami Beach: The applicant requested a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to the second floor of an apartment building (built in 1941) being changed to a high end Hostel with 14,908 square feet. The project consists of renovating the building facade, reconfiguration of interior partitions and converting apartment rooms into hostel rooms with an estimated cost of $777,261.00. All amenities on the second floor will be provided on the ground floor. Accessibility to the ground floor has been ensured throughout with new ramps, chair lift at the lobby, 2 accessible rooms with hearing impaired plus 2 hearing impaired rooms, one accessible restroom for each sex and accessible routes. An estimate of $177,400 for an elevator was submitted to substantiate financial costs will be incurred by the owner if the waiver is denied. Allowable items in the estimate reduced this amount to $108,300. Following discussion of whether the elevator addition would constitute disproportionate cost, the applicant’s representative, Brandon Sperk, provided documentation that the building is considered a contributing historical structure in the Miami Beach Historical Preservation area. Jack Humburg, Barb Page and Bill Riha each concurred that requiring the elevator would be create a detrimental impact to the historic significance of the structure and recommended that the waiver be granted.
Harbor Walk Zipline, Destin, Florida: The applicant requested a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to one 65 foot tower and one 93 foot tower with both takeoff and landing platforms on each. Patrons will be able to access the zipline feature from the takeoff platform and return to the starting tower from the landing area. The project will cost $1,172,000 and while estimates of $240,000 to $600,000 to construct waterproof shafts and elevator equipment were provided, the primary hardship to the applicant is technical difficulty and concern that safety for individuals with mobility impairments may not be possible. Section 234.3 of the code states, “Amusement rides shall provide at least one wheelchair space complying with 1002.4 or at least one amusement ride seat designed for transfer complying with 1002.5 or at least one transfer device complying with 1002.6. Exceptions: 1. Amusement rides that are controlled or operated by the rider shall not be required to comply with 234.3. 3. Amusement rides that do not provide amusement ride seats shall not be required to comply with 234.3.” The applicant’s representative, Einar Cristiana, submitted a document outlining the operation of the amusement device which confirmed that a zipline rider is strapped into a harness rather than a seat, and is in full control during the duration of the ride. Jack Humburg, Barb Page and Bill Riha concluded that it would be unnecessary and unreasonable to require two elevators for the attraction and recommended the waiver be granted.
Christian Liaigre, 137 N. E. 40th Street, Miami: The applicant requested a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to the 2,479 square foot second floor of an interior design services center. The first floor will house the showroom and consultation areas of a facility used for displays and inventory for interior designers. The first floor is accessible and customers will be served on that level. The second floor will accommodate inventory storage and is only used by the employees. An estimate of $131,046 was submitted as the overall cost of the project, and a quote of $28,217 was provided for the installation of a lift. The building would be eligible for the federal elevator exemption, but Section 553.509, F. S. requires that vertical accessibility be provided to all levels above and below the occupiable grade. Section 206.3, Florida Accessibility Code, allows the Commission to waive the state requirement to the less restrictive standards in ADAAG. The owner’s representative, Stephen Brasgalla, confirmed that the plans do not show toilet facilities, but when a tenant leases the space, a subsequent permit will be sought to build out necessary facilities for its specific use. Jack Humburg, Barb Page and Bill Riha concurred that it would be unreasonable to require vertical access to the second floor, since it would be disproportionate to the overall cost of the project. They recommended that the waiver be granted.
Naderpour and Associates, 2743 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood: The applicant requested a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to the second floor of an office building undergoing an alteration. All services provided on second floor are duplicated on the first floor. A conference room is also located on the accessible first floor. The building would be eligible for the federal elevator exemption, but Section 553.509, F. S. requires that vertical accessibility be provided to all levels above and below the occupiable grade. Section 206.3, Florida Accessibility Code, allows the Commission to waive the state requirement to the less restrictive standards in ADAAG. An overall project cost $138,815 was provided, and estimates of $54,927 and $27.763 were submitted as documentation for the cost of a lift. Jack Humburg, Barb Page and Bill Riha concluded that it would be unreasonable to require vertical accessibility to the second floor, since it would be disproportionate to the overall cost of the project, and recommended that the waiver be granted.
Haute Headz Salon, 1930 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee: The applicant requested a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to a platform reached by five risers which will have six hair washing stations located on it. An additional accessible station is located on the accessible entry level. This is a $50,000 alteration to an existing building, and the applicant submitted estimates of $10,004 to $12,269 for install a lift to the platform. The overall project also contains upgrades to accessibility features including a lift from the sidewalk to the entry level, an accessible ramp at the front door, hi-lo drinking fountain, door thresholds and lever hardware. According to the applicant, inclusion of these features constitutes $20,000 of the overall $50,000 budget and the additional cost for a lift would be disproportionate. Jack Humburg, Barb Page and Bill Riha determined it would be unnecessary to require vertical accessibility to the platform, since would providing a lift would be disproportionate to the overall cost of the project. They recommended that the waiver be granted.
Palm Bay High School Press Box, 101 Pirate Lane, Melbourne: Ron Treharne represented the applicant and requested a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to a new, 250 square foot press box estimated to cost approximately $102,000. The press box will be located at the top of an existing concrete bleacher system at a high school football field. The press box would be eligible for an exception to vertical accessibility under Section 206.2.7 of ADAAG; however, this exemption is preempted by Section 201.1.1 of the Florida Accessibility Code. The Commission may, however, waive the Florida requirements to the less restrictive provisions of the federal code. According to the applicant, installation of an elevator to the area would cost an additional $174,000. Section 206.2.7 of ADAAG provides an exception to vertical accessibility of press boxes less than 500 square feet. Jack Humburg, Barbara Page and Bill Riha concluded it would be unnecessary to require vertical accessibility to the press box since it would be eligible for the federal exception, and recommended that the waiver be granted.
Gibson Park Construction, 350 N. W. 13th Street, Miami: The applicant requested a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to all rows of a new bleacher system containing 993 seats. Accessible wheelchair and companion seating are provided on the top and bottom rows. The overall project will cost $9,645,278 and consists of baseball/football fields, a playground, pavilion, tot pool, competition pool, vita course, walkways, existing bleacher and a new bleacher system with a press box accessible via LULA. The project was permitted in March, 2012 using the 2007 edition of the code. The owner could have used the 2010 version, which would not have required a waiver, but the design had been developed using the previous standards, so a waiver is needed. Jack Humburg, Barbara Page and Bill Riha decided it would be unreasonable to require vertical accessibility to all levels of the bleachers, and recommended that the waiver be granted.
General Discussion: Jim Richmond, Executive Director of the Florida Building Commission, directed comments regarding the time the Council meetings will be held in the future. Traditionally, the meetings have been in the afternoon, but Mr. Richmond asked the Council to consider morning sessions to allow some members greater flexibility due to existing schedules. No one objected to moving the starting time.
There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting adjourned at 3:20 P.M.