I am opening a new business in CA, and the city is requiring us to install a new egress door. The problem is, this egress door leads out to nothing but dirt and grass. I was told by the cities chief building official that we have to have a 5′ x 5′ landing pad outside the door, and that’s all. However, one of his inspectors is telling me that he is wrong, and that we must connect that pad to an existing walkway, 15′ away. Who do I listen to?
If those together don’t make the opening big enough, it might be possible to reconstruct the whole doorway and door, depending on the construction of the building. I rebuilt one doorway in my own home and it only cost around $1,000-$1500 – and that was using a very high end contractor. It was also wood frame construction and drywall, in a non-bearing wall; you’ll have a different scenario, of course, with steel, or with masonry, and/or plaster and lathe, and if it’s a bearing wall.
Construction law is quite difficult, and takes experienced professional expertise. The Division of the State Architect functions as a building oversight agency on state-funded construction projects, and can only direct you to general resources at your local building department. If DSA is the jurisdictional authority, our "California Access Compliance Reference Manual" has all of the building code accessibility regulations and policies used on projects under DSA approval authority. The Manual is available as a free download as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file. The Manual is also available in hardcopy at technical bookstores throughout California.
CVS is one of the largest convenience/pharmacy stores in the United States (hence the industry titled with medicine). In 2017, Kyla Reed, brought a case against CVS to curt after claiming that blind individuals are not able to access key features of the website that are directly integrated with its physical location. For example, if a blind person is unable to order prescriptions online, that is in direct violation with the ADA.
The lack of regulations here has led to the absolute worst-case scenario. People with disabilities have not been served since most companies are unaware this is an issue. Most don’t even realize this is something they have to consider until they receive a demand letter. That has certainly been the case for some of my clients. This leads to a scramble to get compliant. Unfortunately, it can take up to a year to do so depending on the complexity of the site. Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ attorneys across the country are taking advantage of the confusion. More than 260 website accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2016, and significantly more were filed by the end of 2017. But these numbers do not even begin to cover the cases that are settled pre-litigation.