BCAB #1573 - Access to Restaurant Roof Deck, Clause & Article

October 23, 2002

BCAB #1573

Re: Access to Restaurant Roof Deck, Clause & Article

Project Description

The project in question is a new 14 storey hotel which includes a restaurant with a roof-top seating area above it. The restaurant is a ground floor suite and the roof deck is less than 100 m2. Access for persons with disabilities is not provided to the roof deck.

Reason for Appeal

Sentence requires all storeys of new buildings to be accessible to persons with disabilities except as permitted by Sentence Clause exempts "the storey next above or below the accessible storey in a suite of not more than two storeys, where the accessible storey is the first storey or basement, provided the storeys next above or below the accessible storey

  1. are less than 600 m2 in area,
  2. do not contain facilities integral with the principle function of the accessible storey, and
  3. do not contain an assembly occupancy with an area more than 100 m2

Article requires restaurants to provide access for persons with disabilities to "all public facilities" and to one percent of the seats such that neither a view of entertainment or circulation in required aisles is blocked.

Appellant’s Position

The appellant contends that the roof deck seating area conforms with the conditions of the accessibility exemptions in Clause and access for person with disabilities is not required. The roof deck only contains additional seating and does not contain "facilities integral with the principle function of the accessible storey" which the appellant takes to mean the washrooms. Accessible washrooms are provided on the main floor. Although the roof deck contains an assembly occupancy it is less than 100 m2

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the rooftop patio area is an integral part of the principle function of the restaurant. It is not permissible to discriminate against persons with disabilities by limiting them from access to all the services and facilities available to others. The ground floor does not offer the same view as the roof deck and Clause does not apply.

Appeal Board Decision #1573

It is the determination of the Board that the roof deck is not required to be accessible for persons with disabilities. The roof deck conforms to all three subclauses of Clause Regardless of whether or not the roof deck is actually a storey, it is less than 600 m2 in area, it does not contain facilities necessary (integral) to the function of the restaurant and is also less than the 100 m2 limit for assembly occupancies.

George Humphrey, Chair