·         Economic Hardship


o   Does the cost of providing vertical accessibility meet or exceed 20% of the cost of the alteration to the primary function area?


o   If the 20% threshold is met, the waiver SHALL be granted.


o   Does not apply to new construction.


§  Fit-outs/Build-outs are considered new construction


·         Historic Nature


o   Has the applicant provided documentation of the historic significance of the building?


o   Would the historic significance of the structure be negatively impacted by the alterations applicant would have to make to provide accessibility?


o   Can be combined with Technical Infeasibility or Economic Hardship


·         Technical Infeasibility


o   Is the structure built in a way that would otherwise place unnecessary, unreasonable, or extreme hardship on the applicant, if they were required to provide accessibility?


§  Has the applicant provided comments from a licensed design professional?


§  Would have to rebuild, demolish, encroach on property lines, etc.













Jason St-Fleur, Esq. - WAV # 368


Issue: Vertical accessibility to the second floor.


Project Type: Alteration to an existing building or facility


Project Progress: Completed / Change of Occupancy


Compliance estimate + Amount spent on accessible features: $107,355 + $16,280 = $123,635


Project Construction Cost + Construction Cost Over Past 3 Years: $ 89,875


  = 138%




The applicant is requesting a waiver from providing vertical accessibility to the second floor of an existing two-story residential building with 1,079 S.F. The applicant is converting the existing residential building (R2 Occupancy) into a boutique hotel (R1 Occupancy) with 2 units. There is no additional construction cost due to change of occupancy. Construction cost of work completed in the past 3 years is $89,875. The completed work consisted of doors, doorbell in audio with strobe, ADA transfer shower, sink, grab bars, ADA toilet, ADA mirror, LED strobe light with alarm, flooring, kitchen cabinets and windows. The applicant submitted an estimate of $107,355 and $185,720 for an elevator and work associated. The Applicant stated that substantial financial costs will be incurred by the owner if the waiver is denied and due to site constraint and floor areas are less than 3000 S.F. the requirement of the Florida Accessibility requirements places an un-due and costly burden to construct an elevator. 


Note: This application was deferred in April by the Commission to allow the applicant to provide clarification regarding the prior construction monies spent and whether 20% of the renovation amount was used to provide accessibility on the ground floor.


Uploaded Documents:

1.      Construction Cost

2.      Cost Estimates For Compliance

3.      Project Plans

4.      Project Photos

5.      Permits

6.      Certificate of Occupancy

7.      Follow up Response





Staff recommends granting the request for waiver for vertical accessibility on the grounds of economic hardship.










Items to be waived:


Vertical accessibility to the structure, as required by section 553.509, Florida Statutes.


553.509 Vertical accessibility. This part and the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for                   Accessible Design do not relieve the owner of any building, structure, or facility              

              governed by this part from the duty to provide vertical accessibility to all levels above                         

              and below the occupiable grade level, regardless of whether the standards require an

              elevator to be installed in such building, structure, or facility, except for:


(a) Elevator pits, elevator penthouses, mechanical rooms, piping or equipment catwalks

and automobile lubrication and maintenance pits and platforms;

(b) 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

(c) 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.

(d)Theaters, concert halls, and stadiums, or other large assembly areas that have   stadium-style seating or tiered seating if ss. 221 and 802 of the standards are met.

(e)All play and recreation areas if the requirements of chapter 10 of the standards are met.

(f)All employee areas as exempted in s. 203.9 of the standards.

(g)Facilities, sites, and spaces exempted by s. 203 of the standards.

(2)However, buildings, structures, and facilities must, as a minimum, comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design.


206.2.4 Spaces and Elements. At least one accessible route shall connect accessible building or

            facility entrances with all accessible spaces and elements within the building or facility

            which are otherwise connected by a circulation path unless exempted by 206.2.3

            Exceptions 1 through 7.

 402.2  Components Accessible routes shall consist of one or more of the following components:

            Walking surfaces with a running slope not steeper than 1:20, doorways, ramps, curb

            ramps excluding the flared sides, elevators, and platform lifts. All components of an

            accessible route shall comply with the applicable requirements of Chapter 4 and 208.3.1.


Waiver Criteria: There is no specific guidance for a waiver of this requirement in the code.

The Commission’s 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.















·         I move to recommend that the Florida Building Commission approve this request for waiver on the grounds of _________________.


o   Economic Hardship

o   Historic Nature

o   Technical Infeasibility


·         I move to recommend that the Florida Building Commission deny this application.


o   No rationale necessary.


·         I move to recommend that the Florida Building Commission defer this request for waiver to the next meetings of the Council and the Commission for the purpose of  allowing the applicant to _________________:


o   Submit requested information

o   Contact building official or building department

o   Etc.