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  1. #1
    SFOLOO's Avatar
    SFOLOO Guest

    Default Need to go in San Francisco

    Got a question regarding the ADA compliant toilet issue.

    We are a first-time small business owner looking to rent a small commercial space in San Francisco. We first though finding a suitable place is tough enough, then we discovered the whole ADA compliant toilet thing. 9 out of 10 place we inspected do not have a ADA size toilet. In fact, most bars, restaurants do not. The cost of changing it to an ADA size and the impact to the floor space would make most commerical space unviable. If the ADA requirements are necessary, why are most shops we see around us don't have the necessary wide door frame or the big toilet? Can someone explain that?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Need to go in San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by SFOLOO View Post
    Got a question regarding the ADA compliant toilet issue.

    We are a first-time small business owner looking to rent a small commercial space in San Francisco. We first though finding a suitable place is tough enough, then we discovered the whole ADA compliant toilet thing. 9 out of 10 place we inspected do not have a ADA size toilet. In fact, most bars, restaurants do not. The cost of changing it to an ADA size and the impact to the floor space would make most commerical space unviable. If the ADA requirements are necessary, why are most shops we see around us don't have the necessary wide door frame or the big toilet? Can someone explain that?
    This is a question that you need to ask the City inspection department. Find out what they require and then you will have your answer from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

    Many of the other places you mentioned might have been grandfathered so that they do not have to meet some requirements. I have heard that San Francisco is a little on the extreme side when it comes to some regulations, among other things..

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Mike Cummins's Avatar
    Mike Cummins Guest

    Default Re: Need to go in San Francisco

    There is a provision of the law that requires employers to provide reasonable accomodations for the disabled but if you can prove that following the strict interpretation of the law would cause undue hardship to your business, no change or modification to existing facilities is required. You would need to meet with local code enforcement officials in the area your place of business is located for their interpretation of the law.

    More information is available here: ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE: REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION AND UNDUE HARDSHIP UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: Need to go in San Francisco

    Mike,

    Unfortunately, there is some renegade attorney in S.F. who targets small businesses. He gets someone in a wheelchair to try to get into the building and if they can't he sues them. While I understand the need for accessibility, this lowlife is abusing the system for his own gain.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  5. #5
    Richard Soundy's Avatar
    Richard Soundy Guest

    Default Re: Need to go in San Francisco

    Gunnar,

    This so called "lowlifer" recently passed by our area on the Central Coast - yep, he tapped approximately 8 to 10 businesses.

    The court system bundled all the suits together and the Judge finally ruled that all the businesses had a time period (fairly long) to come up to code and lawyer + wheel chair bound client got ZERO and in some cases had to pay for incurred legal expenses from defending lawyers.

    Do not worry, our judicial system are aware of these folks and their intent - there is justice!

    VBR - Richard S.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Need to go in San Francisco

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Mike,

    Unfortunately, there is some renegade attorney in S.F. who targets small businesses. He gets someone in a wheelchair to try to get into the building and if they can't he sues them. While I understand the need for accessibility, this lowlife is abusing the system for his own gain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Soundy View Post
    Gunnar,

    This so called "lowlifer" recently passed by our area on the Central Coast - yep, he tapped approximately 8 to 10 businesses.

    The court system bundled all the suits together and the Judge finally ruled that all the businesses had a time period (fairly long) to come up to code and lawyer + wheel chair bound client got ZERO and in some cases had to pay for incurred legal expenses from defending lawyers.

    Do not worry, our judicial system are aware of these folks and their intent - there is justice!

    VBR - Richard S.
    Different attorneys have worked South Florida that way for years, making a very good living doing so.

    The handicapped person gets nothing (as stated in the law), the owner of the property has to come into compliance (within the allotted time, which can vary, but which is usually quite short as there is "no excuse" for not knowing about ADA in this day and time) and for which the owner has to pay "attorney's fees".

    When the owner goes before the judge there is no defense - EVERYONE should be aware of the ADA requirements by now, thus the owner is left with one thing to say, and only one thing to say: "Your Honor, HOW MUCH do I need to write the check for?" Typically, at least down in South Florida, that amount has been a minimum of $5,000 to $7,000 and as high as $10,000 to $15,000 for attorney's fees.

    THEN the owner ALSO gets to pay for the corrections which are needed.

    Not sure how California fell behind Florida in that market?

    Really, though, THERE IS NO EXCUSE ... EVERYONE should know about ADA by now. With doing restrooms over, that would not, should not, fall under "undue hardship" as that expense is not that high.

    Unless you are buying the building, the landlord is responsible, have them make the changes before you lease the space.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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