Amended in Senate August 15, 2016

Amended in Senate August 1, 2016

Amended in Assembly May 31, 2016

Amended in Assembly April 21, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 18, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2873


Introduced by Assembly Member Thurmond

February 19, 2016


An act to amend Section 55.53 of the Civil Code, and to amend Sections 4459.5 and 4467 of the Government Code, relating to public contracts, and making an appropriation therefor.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 2873, as amended, Thurmond. Certified access specialists.

The Construction-Related Accessibility Standards Compliance Act establishes standards for making new construction and existing facilities accessible to persons with disabilities, including inspections by private persons or building inspectors who are certified access specialists (CASps), and provides for construction-related accessibility claims for violations of those standards. That act requires a local agency, commencing January 1, 2014, to employ or retain a sufficient number of building inspectors who are CASps to conduct permitting and plan check services to review for compliance with state construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public accommodation with respect to new construction. The act requires, if a local agency employs or retains 2 or more CASps, that at least half of the CASps be building inspectors who are CASps.

This bill would require, commencing January 1, 2021, that all building inspectors employed or retained by a local agency who conduct permitting and plan check services to review for compliance with state construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public accommodation with respect to new construction or renovations, including, but not limited to, projects relating to tenant improvements that may impact access, be CASps. The bill would also require all new employees employed or retained by a local agency on or after January 1, 2018, and who will conduct permitting and plan check services to review for compliance with state construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public accommodation, to bebegin delete certified access specialistsend deletebegin insert CASpsend insert within 24 months of their initial date of employment. By adding to the duties of a local entity, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law requires the State Architect to establish a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person who meets specified criteria as a CASp with respect to access to buildings for persons with disabilities and to determine minimum criteria for certification.

This bill would require thebegin delete minimum criteria to include familiarity with the applicability and content of various accessibility requirements, including but not limited to specific federal and state requirements. The bill would require theend delete State Architect, on or before January 1, 2018, to commence testing and certification of building inspectors asbegin delete certified access specialists,end deletebegin insert CASps,end insert as specified.

Until December 31, 2018, existing law requires any applicant for a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, or renewal of a local business license or equivalent instrument or permit, to pay an additional state fee of $1 for that license, instrument, or permit. Under existing law, the city, county, or city and county that collected the fee retains 70% of the fee, and the remaining 30% of the fee is deposited into the Disability Access and Education Revolving Fund, a continuously appropriated fund.

Thisbegin delete billend deletebegin insert bill, from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019,end insert would increase that state fee to $4begin delete from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019. The bill would alsoend deletebegin insert and wouldend insert require any applicant for a building permit in a city, county, or city and county that does not issue business licenses or an equivalent instrument or permit to pay an additional fee of $4 for that buildingbegin delete permit from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019.end deletebegin insert permit. Beginningend insertbegin insert January 1, 2020, those fees would be reduced to $1.end insert Thebegin delete billend deletebegin insert bill, from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019,end insert would increase the percentage of the fee retained by a local agency to 90% and the remaining 10% would be deposited into the Disability Access and Education Revolving Fund.begin insert Beginning January 1, 2020, those percentages would revert to 70% and 30%, respectively.end insert By increasing revenue to a continuously appropriated fund, increasing the fee, extending the period of time during which the fee will be collected, and imposing an additional fee, this bill would make an appropriation. The bill would make an appropriation by authorizing local government entities to retain an increased percentage of the increased fee. The bill would require that the moneys retained by a local agency be placed in a special fund established by the local agency, to be known as the “CASp Certification and Training Fund.” The bill would require that fees collected in a CASp Certification and Training Fund be used for increased certified access specialist training and certification in the local jurisdiction, thereby making an appropriation by expanding the purposes for which the retained fee moneys are required to be spent.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Vote: 23. Appropriation: yes. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 55.53 of the Civil Code is amended to
2read:

3

55.53.  

(a) For purposes of this part, a certified access specialist
4(CASp) shall, upon completion of the inspection of a site, comply
5with the following:

6(1) For a site that meets applicable standards, if the CASp
7determines the site meets all applicable construction-related
8accessibility standards, the CASp shall provide a written inspection
9report to the requesting party that includes both of the following:

P4    1(A) An identification and description of the inspected structures
2and areas of the site.

3(B) A signed and dated statement that includes both of the
4following:

5(i) A statement that, in the opinion of the CASp, the inspected
6structures and areas of the site meet construction-related
7accessibility standards. The statement shall clearly indicate whether
8the determination of the CASp includes an assessment of readily
9achievable barrier removal.

10(ii) If corrections were made as a result of the CASp inspection,
11an itemized list of all corrections and dates of completion.

12(2) For a site that has been inspected by a CASp, if the CASp
13determines that corrections are needed to the site in order for the
14site to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility
15standards, the CASp shall provide a signed and dated written
16inspection report to the requesting party that includes all of the
17following:

18(A) An identification and description of the inspected structures
19and areas of the site.

20(B) The date of the inspection.

21(C) A statement that, in the opinion of the CASp, the inspected
22structures and areas of the site need correction to meet
23construction-related accessibility standards. This statement shall
24clearly indicate whether the determination of the CASp includes
25an assessment of readily achievable barrier removal.

26(D) An identification and description of the structures or areas
27of the site that need correction and the correction needed.

28(E) A schedule of completion for each of the corrections within
29a reasonable timeframe.

30(3) The CASp shall provide, within 30 days of the date of the
31inspection of a business that qualifies for the provisions of
32subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of Section
3355.56, a copy of a report prepared pursuant to that subparagraph
34to the business.

35(4) The CASp shall file, within 10 days of inspecting a business
36pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (g)
37of Section 55.56, a notice with the State Architect for listing on
38the State Architect’s Internet Web site, as provided by subdivision
39(d) of Section 4459.7 of the Government Code, indicating that the
40CASp has inspected the business, the name and address of the
P5    1business, the date of the filing, the date of the inspection of the
2business, the name and license number of the CASp, and a
3description of the structure or area inspected by the CASp.

4(5) The CASp shall post the notice described in paragraph (4),
5in a form prescribed by the State Architect, in a conspicuous
6location within five feet of all public entrances to the building on
7the date of the inspection and instruct the business to keep it in
8place until the earlier of either of the following:

9(A) One hundred twenty days after the date of the inspection.

10(B) The date when all of the construction-related violations in
11the structure or area inspected by the CASp are corrected.

12(b) For purposes of this section, in determining whether the site
13meets applicable construction-related accessibility standards when
14there is a conflict or difference between a state and federal
15provision, standard, or regulation, the state provision, standard, or
16regulation shall apply unless the federal provision, standard, or
17regulation is more protective of accessibility rights.

18(c) Every CASp who conducts an inspection of a place of public
19accommodation shall, upon completing the inspection of the site,
20provide the building owner or tenant who requested the inspection
21with the following notice, which the State Architect shall make
22available as a form on the State Architect’s Internet Web site:

23
24NOTICE TO PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNER/TENANT:
25

26YOU ARE ADVISED TO KEEP IN YOUR RECORDS ANY
27WRITTEN INSPECTION REPORT AND ANY OTHER
28DOCUMENTATION CONCERNING YOUR PROPERTY SITE
29THAT IS GIVEN TO YOU BY A CERTIFIED ACCESS
30SPECIALIST.

31IF YOU BECOME A DEFENDANT IN A LAWSUIT THAT
32INCLUDES A CLAIM CONCERNING A SITE INSPECTED
33BY A CERTIFIED ACCESS SPECIALIST, YOU MAY BE
34ENTITLED TO A COURT STAY (AN ORDER TEMPORARILY
35STOPPING ANY LAWSUIT) OF THE CLAIM AND AN EARLY
36EVALUATION CONFERENCE.

37IN ORDER TO REQUEST THE STAY AND EARLY
38EVALUATION CONFERENCE, YOU WILL NEED TO VERIFY
39THAT A CERTIFIED ACCESS SPECIALIST HAS INSPECTED
40THE SITE THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE CLAIM. YOU
P6    1WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE COURT AND
2THE PLAINTIFF WITH THE COPY OF A WRITTEN
3INSPECTION REPORT BY THE CERTIFIED ACCESS
4SPECIALIST, AS SET FORTH IN CIVIL CODE SECTION
555.54. THE APPLICATION FORM AND INFORMATION ON
6HOW TO REQUEST A STAY AND EARLY EVALUATION
7CONFERENCE MAY BE OBTAINED AT
8www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-start.htm.

9YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REQUEST, FROM A CERTIFIED
10ACCESS SPECIALIST WHO HAS CONDUCTED AN
11 INSPECTION OF YOUR PROPERTY, A WRITTEN
12INSPECTION REPORT AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION AS
13SET FORTH IN CIVIL CODE SECTION 55.53. YOU ARE ALSO
14ENTITLED TO REQUEST THE ISSUANCE OF A DISABILITY
15ACCESS INSPECTION CERTIFICATE, WHICH YOU MAY
16POST ON YOUR PROPERTY.


18(d) (1) Commencing July 1, 2010, a local agency shall employ
19or retain at least one building inspector who is a certified access
20specialist. The certified access specialist shall provide consultation
21to the local agency, permit applicants, and members of the public
22on compliance with state construction-related accessibility
23standards with respect to inspections of a place of public
24accommodation that relate to permitting, plan checks, or new
25construction, including, but not limited to, inspections relating to
26tenant improvements that may impact access. If a local agency
27employs or retains two or more certified access specialists to
28 comply with this subdivision, at least one-half of the certified
29access specialists shall be building inspectors who are certified
30access specialists.

31(2) (A) Commencing January 1, 2021, all building inspectors
32employed or retained by a local agency who conduct permitting
33and plan check services to review for compliance with state
34construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public
35accommodation with respect to new construction or renovation,
36including, but not limited to, projects relating to tenant
37improvements that may impact access, shall be certified access
38specialists.

39(B) New employees employed or retained by a local agency on
40or after January 1, 2018, and who will conduct permitting and plan
P7    1check services to review for compliance with state
2construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public
3accommodation shall be certified access specialists within 24
4months of their initial date of employment.

5(3) If a permit applicant or member of the public requests
6consultation from a certified access specialist, the local agency
7may charge an amount limited to a reasonable hourly rate, an
8estimate of which shall be provided upon request in advance of
9the consultation. A local government may additionally charge or
10increase permitting, plan check, or inspection fees to the extent
11necessary to offset the costs of complying with this subdivision.
12Any revenues generated from an hourly or other charge or fee
13increase under this subdivision shall be used solely to offset the
14costs incurred to comply with this subdivision. A CASp inspection
15pursuant to subdivision (a) by a building inspector who is a
16certified access specialist shall be treated equally for legal and
17evidentiary purposes as an inspection conducted by a private CASp.
18Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude permit applicants or any
19other person with a legal interest in the property from retaining a
20private CASp at any time.

21(e) (1) Every CASp who completes an inspection of a place of
22public accommodation shall, upon a determination that the site
23meets applicable standards pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision
24(a) or is inspected by a CASp pursuant to paragraph (2) of
25subdivision (a), provide the building owner or tenant requesting
26the inspection with a numbered disability access inspection
27certificate indicating that the site has undergone inspection by a
28certified access specialist. The disability access inspection
29certificate shall be dated and signed by the CASp inspector, and
30shall contain the inspector’s name and license number. Upon
31issuance of a certificate, the CASp shall record the issuance of the
32numbered certificate, the name and address of the recipient, and
33the type of report issued pursuant to subdivision (a) in a record
34book the CASp shall maintain for that purpose.

35(2) Beginning March 1, 2009, the State Architect shall make
36available for purchase by any local building department or CASp
37sequentially numbered disability access inspection certificates that
38are printed with a watermark or other feature to deter forgery and
39that comply with the information requirements specified in
40subdivision (a).

P8    1(3) The disability access inspection certificate may be posted
2on the premises of the place of public accommodation, unless,
3following the date of inspection, the inspected site has been
4modified or construction has commenced to modify the inspected
5site in a way that may impact compliance with construction-related
6accessibility standards.

7(f) Nothing in this section or any other law is intended to require
8a property owner or tenant to hire a CASp. A property owner’s or
9tenant’s election not to hire a CASp shall not be admissible to
10prove that person’s lack of intent to comply with the law.

11

SEC. 2.  

Section 4459.5 of the Government Code is amended
12to read:

13

4459.5.  

(a) The State Architect shall establish and publicize
14a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person
15who meets specified criteria as a certified access specialist. No
16later than January 1, 2005, the State Architect shall determine
17minimum criteria a person is required to meet to be a certified
18access specialist, which may include knowledge sufficient to
19review, inspect, or advocate universal design requirements,
20completion of specified training, and testing on standards governing
21access to buildings, including but not limited to housing, for
22persons with disabilities. begin delete The minimum criteria shall include
23familiarity with the applicability and content of various
24accessibility requirements, including but not limited to the federal
25requirements described in subdivision (c) of Section 4459 and the
26state standards established in Chapter 11A (commencing with
27Section 1101A) and Chapter 11B (commencing with Section
2811B-101) of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.end delete

29(b) The State Architect may implement the program described
30in subdivision (a) with startup funds derived, as a loan, from the
31reserve of the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction
32Review Revolving Fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature.
33That loan shall be repaid when sufficient fees have been collected
34pursuant to Section 4459.8.

35(c) The State Architect is authorized to work with various
36training organizations to ensure an adequate level of training and
37educational efforts are provided on a statewide basis to prepare
38individuals to become access specialists as required by paragraph
39(2) of subdivision (d) of Section 55.53 of the Civil Code.

P9    1(d) On or before January 1, 2018, the State Architect shall
2commence testing and certification of individuals as certified access
3specialists at a level commensurate with the demand attributed to
4compliance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 55.53
5of the Civil Code.

6

SEC. 3.  

Section 4467 of the Government Code is amended to
7read:

8

4467.  

(a) (1) begin insert(A)end insertbegin insertend insert On and after January 1, 2017, through
9December 31, 2019, any applicant for a local business license or
10equivalent instrument or permit, and from any applicant for the
11renewal of a business license or equivalent instrument or permit,
12shall pay an additional fee of four dollars ($4) for that license,
13instrument, orbegin delete permitend deletebegin insert permit,end insert which shall be collected by the city,
14county, or city and county that issues the license, instrument, or
15permit.

begin delete

9 16(2)

end delete

17begin insert(B)end insert On and after January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019,
18in any city, county, or city and county that does not issue business
19licenses or an equivalent instrument or permit, any applicant for
20a building permit shall pay an additional fee of four dollars ($4)
21for that building permit, which shall be collected by the city,
22county, or city and county that issued the building permit.

begin insert

23
(2) (A) On and after January 1, 2020, any applicant for a local
24business license or equivalent instrument or permit, and from any
25applicant for the renewal of a business license or equivalent
26instrument or permit, shall pay an additional fee of one dollar ($1)
27for that license, instrument, or permit, which shall be collected by
28the city, county, or city and county that issues the license,
29instrument, or permit.

end insert
begin insert

30
(B) On and after January 1, 2020, in any city, county, or city
31and county that does not issue business licenses or an equivalent
32instrument or permit, any applicant for a building permit shall
33pay an additional fee of one dollar ($1) for that building permit,
34which shall be collected by the city, county, or city and county that
35issued the building permit.

end insert

36(b) begin deleteThe end deletebegin insertOn and after January 1, 2017, through December 31,
372019, the end insert
city, county, or city and county shall retain 90begin delete percentend delete
38begin insert percent, and on and after January 1, 2020, the city, county, or city
39and county shall retain 70 percent,end insert
of the fees collected under this
40section, of which up to 5 percent of the retained moneys may be
P10   1used for related administrative costs of this chapter. The remaining
2moneys shall be placed by the city, county, or city and county in
3a special fund established by the city, county, or city and county,
4to be known as the “CASp Certification and Training Fund.” The
5fees collected in a CASp Certification and Training Fund shall be
6used for increased certified access specialist training and
7certification in that local jurisdiction and to facilitate compliance
8with construction-related accessibility requirements. The highest
9priority shall be given to the training and retention of certified
10access specialists to meet the needs of the public in the jurisdiction
11as provided in Section 55.53 of the Civil Code.

12(c) begin deleteThe end deletebegin insertOn and after January 1, 2017, through December 31,
132019, the end insert
remaining 10 percent of all fees collected under this
14begin deletesection end deletebegin insertsection, and on and after January 1, 2020, the remaining
1530 percent of all fees collected under this section, end insert
shall be
16transmitted on a quarterly basis to the Division of the State
17Architect for deposit in the Disability Access and Education
18Revolving Fund established under Sections 4465 and 4470. The
19 funds shall be transmitted within 15 days of the last day of the
20fiscal quarter. The Division of the State Architect shall develop
21and post on its Internet Web site a standard reporting form for use
22by all local jurisdictions. Up to 75 percent of the collected funds
23in the Disability Access and Education Revolving Fund shall be
24used to establish and maintain oversight of the CASp program and
25to moderate the expense of CASp certification and testing.

26(d) Each city, county, or city and county shall make an annual
27report, commencing March 1, 2014, to the Division of the State
28Architect of the total fees collected in the previous calendar year
29and of its distribution, including the moneys spent on administrative
30services, the activities undertaken and moneys spent to increase
31CASp training, certification, and services, the activities undertaken
32and moneys spent to fund programs to facilitate accessibility
33compliance, and the moneys transmitted to the Disability Access
34and Education Revolving Fund.

35

SEC. 4.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
36this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
37local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
P11   1pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
24 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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