BCAB #1320 - Access for Persons with Disabilities to Historic Building, Sentence 3.7.4.5.(1)

August 19, 1993

BCAB #1320

Re: Access for Persons with Disabilities to Historic Building, Sentence 3.7.4.5.(1)

Project Description

The building in question is a 107 year old house, of historical significance, which has been converted to an office for a law firm. No significant alterations were been made to the building to facilitate the occupancy change.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence 3.7.4.5.(1) requires access for persons with disabilities to existing buildings where the occupancy classification is changed and, in the opinion of the building official, persons with disabilities could reasonably be expected to use the building and providing access would be practical.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that providing access for persons with disabilities would require such extensive alterations to the building that it could possibly lead to it's demolition. He also points out that although he has no clients with disabilities he frequently serves clients outside his office when it is inconvenient for them to come to the office. He would serve clients with disabilities at their convenience.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that Sentence 3.7.4.5.(1) requires the provision of access for persons with disabilities when the occupancy of a building is changed. The appellant was informed of the need foe access for persons with disabilities prior to the rezoning of the property for office use so the practicality of providing such access could have been assessed at that time.

Appeal Board Decision #1320

It is the determination of the Board that access for persons with disabilities is required for the building unless it can be shown to the satisfaction of the building official that providing such access would not be practical. The Board is not in a position to determine the practicality of providing access.

George R. Humphrey, Chair