Issue: Vertical accessibility to the second floor of an office building.


Analysis:The applicant is requesting a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to the 747 square foot second floor of a $1,646 office building undergoing a $264,000 alteration.According to the applicant it would cost an additional $48,000 to provide vertical access to the second floor.The alteration will incorporate new lever hardware, signage, grab bars and accessible drinking fountains in the second floor office to make the area more accessible.The first floor will be fully accessible and persons with disabilities may be served on that level.


Project Progress:


The project is in plan review.


Items to be Waived:


Vertical accessibility to the second floor, as required by Section 553.509, Florida Statutes.


553.509: Vertical accessibility - Nothing in sections 553.501-553.513 or the guidelines shall be construed to relieve the owner of any building, structure or facility governed by those sections from the duty to provide vertical accessibility to all levels above and below the occupiable grade level, regardless of whether the guidelines require an elevator to be installed in such building, structure or facility, except for:


(1) Elevator pits, elevator penthouses, mechanical rooms, piping or equipment catwalks and automobile lubrication and maintenance pits and platforms;

(2) Unoccupiable spaces, such as rooms, enclosed spaces and storage spaces that are not designed for human occupancy, for public accommodations or for work areas; and

(3) Occupiable spaces and rooms that are not open to the public and that house no more than five persons, including, but not limited to equipment control rooms and projection booths.


Waiver Criteria:There is no specific guidance for a waiver of this requirement in the code.The Commissionís current rule, authorized in Section 553.512, Florida Statutes, provides criteria for granting waivers and allows consideration of unnecessary or extreme hardship to the applicant if the specific requirements were imposed.