Amended in Senate August 19, 2016

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 leastbegin delete halfend deletebegin insert one-halfend insert 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 be CASps withinbegin delete 24end deletebegin insert 36end insert 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 the State Architect, on or before January 1, 2018, to commence testing and certification of building inspectors as CASps, 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.

This bill, from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019, would increase that state fee to $4 and would 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 building permit. Beginning January 1, 2020, those fees would be reduced to $1. The bill, from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019, 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. Beginning January 1, 2020, those percentages would revert to 70% and 30%, respectively. 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:

10(A) An identification and description of the inspected structures
11and areas of the site.

12(B) A signed and dated statement that includes both of the
13following:

P4    1(i) A statement that, in the opinion of the CASp, the inspected
2structures and areas of the site meet construction-related
3accessibility standards. The statement shall clearly indicate whether
4the determination of the CASp includes an assessment of readily
5achievable barrier removal.

6(ii) If corrections were made as a result of the CASp inspection,
7an itemized list of all corrections and dates of completion.

8(2) For a site that has been inspected by a CASp, if the CASp
9determines that corrections are needed to the site in order for the
10site to meet all applicable construction-related accessibility
11standards, the CASp shall provide a signed and dated written
12inspection report to the requesting party that includes all of the
13following:

14(A) An identification and description of the inspected structures
15and areas of the site.

16(B) The date of the inspection.

17(C) A statement that, in the opinion of the CASp, the inspected
18structures and areas of the site need correction to meet
19construction-related accessibility standards. This statement shall
20clearly indicate whether the determination of the CASp includes
21an assessment of readily achievable barrier removal.

22(D) An identification and description of the structures or areas
23of the site that need correction and the correction needed.

24(E) A schedule of completion for each of the corrections within
25a reasonable timeframe.

26(3) The CASp shall provide, within 30 days of the date of the
27inspection of a business that qualifies for the provisions of
28subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of Section
2955.56, a copy of a report prepared pursuant to that subparagraph
30to the business.

31(4) The CASp shall file, within 10 days of inspecting a business
32pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (g)
33of Section 55.56, a notice with the State Architect for listing on
34the State Architect’s Internet Web site, as provided by subdivision
35(d) of Section 4459.7 of the Government Code, indicating that the
36CASp has inspected the business, the name and address of the
37business, the date of the filing, the date of the inspection of the
38business, the name and license number of the CASp, and a
39description of the structure or area inspected by the CASp.

P5    1(5) The CASp shall post the notice described in paragraph (4),
2in a form prescribed by the State Architect, in a conspicuous
3location within five feet of all public entrances to the building on
4the date of the inspection and instruct the business to keep it in
5place until the earlier of either of the following:

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

7(B) The date when all of the construction-related violations in
8the structure or area inspected by the CASp are corrected.

9(b) For purposes of this section, in determining whether the site
10meets applicable construction-related accessibility standards when
11there is a conflict or difference between a state and federal
12provision, standard, or regulation, the state provision, standard, or
13regulation shall apply unless the federal provision, standard, or
14regulation is more protective of accessibility rights.

15(c) Every CASp who conducts an inspection of a place of public
16accommodation shall, upon completing the inspection of the site,
17provide the building owner or tenant who requested the inspection
18with the following notice, which the State Architect shall make
19available as a form on the State Architect’s Internet Web site:

20
21NOTICE TO PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNER/TENANT:
22

23YOU ARE ADVISED TO KEEP IN YOUR RECORDS ANY
24WRITTEN INSPECTION REPORT AND ANY OTHER
25DOCUMENTATION CONCERNING YOUR PROPERTY SITE
26THAT IS GIVEN TO YOU BY A CERTIFIED ACCESS
27SPECIALIST.

28IF YOU BECOME A DEFENDANT IN A LAWSUIT THAT
29INCLUDES A CLAIM CONCERNING A SITE INSPECTED
30BY A CERTIFIED ACCESS SPECIALIST, YOU MAY BE
31ENTITLED TO A COURT STAY (AN ORDER TEMPORARILY
32STOPPING ANY LAWSUIT) OF THE CLAIM AND AN EARLY
33EVALUATION CONFERENCE.

34IN ORDER TO REQUEST THE STAY AND EARLY
35EVALUATION CONFERENCE, YOU WILL NEED TO VERIFY
36THAT A CERTIFIED ACCESS SPECIALIST HAS INSPECTED
37THE SITE THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE CLAIM. YOU
38WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE COURT AND
39THE PLAINTIFF WITH THE COPY OF A WRITTEN
40INSPECTION REPORT BY THE CERTIFIED ACCESS
P6    1SPECIALIST, AS SET FORTH IN CIVIL CODE SECTION
255.54. THE APPLICATION FORM AND INFORMATION ON
3HOW TO REQUEST A STAY AND EARLY EVALUATION
4CONFERENCE MAY BE OBTAINED AT
5www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-start.htm.

6YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REQUEST, FROM A CERTIFIED
7ACCESS SPECIALIST WHO HAS CONDUCTED AN
8 INSPECTION OF YOUR PROPERTY, A WRITTEN
9INSPECTION REPORT AND OTHER DOCUMENTATION AS
10SET FORTH IN CIVIL CODE SECTION 55.53. YOU ARE ALSO
11ENTITLED TO REQUEST THE ISSUANCE OF A DISABILITY
12ACCESS INSPECTION CERTIFICATE, WHICH YOU MAY
13POST ON YOUR PROPERTY.


15(d) (1) Commencing July 1, 2010, a local agency shall employ
16or retain at least one building inspector who is a certified access
17specialist. The certified access specialist shall provide consultation
18to the local agency, permit applicants, and members of the public
19on compliance with state construction-related accessibility
20standards with respect to inspections of a place of public
21accommodation that relate to permitting, plan checks, or new
22construction, including, but not limited to, inspections relating to
23tenant improvements that may impact access. If a local agency
24employs or retains two or more certified access specialists to
25 comply with this subdivision, at least one-half of the certified
26access specialists shall be building inspectors who are certified
27access specialists.

28(2) (A) Commencing January 1, 2021, all building inspectors
29employed or retained by a local agency who conduct permitting
30and plan check services to review for compliance with state
31construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public
32accommodation with respect to new construction or renovation,
33including, but not limited to, projects relating to tenant
34improvements that may impact access, shall be certified access
35specialists.

36(B) New employees employed or retained by a local agency on
37or after January 1, 2018, and who will conduct permitting and plan
38check services to review for compliance with state
39construction-related accessibility standards by a place of public
P7    1accommodation shall be certified access specialists withinbegin delete 24end deletebegin insert 36end insert
2 months of their initial date of employment.

3(3) If a permit applicant or member of the public requests
4consultation from a certified access specialist, the local agency
5may charge an amount limited to a reasonable hourly rate, an
6estimate of which shall be provided upon request in advance of
7the consultation. A local government may additionally charge or
8increase permitting, plan check, or inspection fees to the extent
9necessary to offset the costs of complying with this subdivision.
10Any revenues generated from an hourly or other charge or fee
11increase under this subdivision shall be used solely to offset the
12costs incurred to comply with this subdivision. A CASp inspection
13pursuant to subdivision (a) by a building inspector who is a
14certified access specialist shall be treated equally for legal and
15evidentiary purposes as an inspection conducted by a private CASp.
16Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude permit applicants or any
17other person with a legal interest in the property from retaining a
18private CASp at any time.

19(e) (1) Every CASp who completes an inspection of a place of
20public accommodation shall, upon a determination that the site
21meets applicable standards pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision
22(a) or is inspected by a CASp pursuant to paragraph (2) of
23subdivision (a), provide the building owner or tenant requesting
24the inspection with a numbered disability access inspection
25certificate indicating that the site has undergone inspection by a
26certified access specialist. The disability access inspection
27certificate shall be dated and signed by the CASp inspector, and
28shall contain the inspector’s name and license number. Upon
29issuance of a certificate, the CASp shall record the issuance of the
30numbered certificate, the name and address of the recipient, and
31the type of report issued pursuant to subdivision (a) in a record
32book the CASp shall maintain for that purpose.

33(2) Beginning March 1, 2009, the State Architect shall make
34available for purchase by any local building department or CASp
35sequentially numbered disability access inspection certificates that
36are printed with a watermark or other feature to deter forgery and
37that comply with the information requirements specified in
38subdivision (a).

39(3) The disability access inspection certificate may be posted
40on the premises of the place of public accommodation, unless,
P8    1following the date of inspection, the inspected site has been
2modified or construction has commenced to modify the inspected
3site in a way that may impact compliance with construction-related
4accessibility standards.

5(f) Nothing in this section or any other law is intended to require
6a property owner or tenant to hire a CASp. A property owner’s or
7tenant’s election not to hire a CASp shall not be admissible to
8prove that person’s lack of intent to comply with the law.

9

SEC. 2.  

Section 4459.5 of the Government Code is amended
10to read:

11

4459.5.  

(a) The State Architect shall establish and publicize
12a program for voluntary certification by the state of any person
13who meets specified criteria as a certified access specialist. No
14later than January 1, 2005, the State Architect shall determine
15minimum criteria a person is required to meet to be a certified
16access specialist, which may include knowledge sufficient to
17review, inspect, or advocate universal design requirements,
18completion of specified training, and testing on standards governing
19access to buildings, including but not limited to housing, for
20persons with disabilities.

21(b) The State Architect may implement the program described
22in subdivision (a) with startup funds derived, as a loan, from the
23reserve of the Public School Planning, Design, and Construction
24Review Revolving Fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature.
25That loan shall be repaid when sufficient fees have been collected
26pursuant to Section 4459.8.

27(c) The State Architect is authorized to work with various
28training organizations to ensure an adequate level of training and
29educational efforts are provided on a statewide basis to prepare
30individuals to become access specialists as required by paragraph
31(2) of subdivision (d) of Section 55.53 of the Civil Code.

32(d) On or before January 1, 2018, the State Architect shall
33commence testing and certification of individuals as certified access
34specialists at a level commensurate with the demand attributed to
35compliance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 55.53
36of the Civil Code.

37

SEC. 3.  

Section 4467 of the Government Code is amended to
38read:

39

4467.  

(a) (1) (A) On and after January 1, 2017, through
40December 31, 2019, any applicant for a local business license or
P9    1equivalent instrument or permit, andbegin delete fromend delete any applicant for the
2renewal of a business license or equivalent instrument or permit,
3shall pay an additional fee of four dollars ($4) for that license,
4instrument, or permit, which shall be collected by the city, county,
5or city and county that issues the license, instrument, or permit.

6(B) On and after January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019,
7in any city, county, or city and county that does not issue business
8licenses or an equivalent instrument or permit, any applicant for
9a building permit shall pay an additional fee of four dollars ($4)
10for that building permit, which shall be collected by the city,
11county, or city and county that issued the building permit.

12(2) (A) On and after January 1, 2020, any applicant for a local
13business license or equivalent instrument or permit, andbegin delete fromend delete any
14applicant for the renewal of a business license or equivalent
15instrument or permit, shall pay an additional fee of one dollar ($1)
16for that license, instrument, or permit, which shall be collected by
17the city, county, or city and county that issues the license,
18instrument, or permit.

19(B) On and after January 1, 2020, in any city, county, or city
20and county that does not issue business licenses or an equivalent
21instrument or permit, any applicant for a building permit shall pay
22an additional fee of one dollar ($1) for that building permit, which
23shall be collected by the city, county, or city and county that issued
24the building permit.

25(b) On and after January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019,
26the city, county, or city and county shall retain 90 percent, and on
27and after January 1, 2020, the city, county, or city and county shall
28retain 70 percent, of the fees collected under this section, of which
29up to 5 percent of the retained moneys may be used for related
30administrative costs of this chapter. The remaining moneys shall
31be placed by the city, county, or city and county in a special fund
32established by the city, county, or city and county, to be known as
33the “CASp Certification and Training Fund.” The fees collected
34in a CASp Certification and Training Fund shall be used for
35increased certified access specialist training and certification in
36that local jurisdiction and to facilitate compliance with
37construction-related accessibility requirements. The highest priority
38shall be given to the training and retention of certified access
39specialists to meet the needs of the public in the jurisdiction as
40provided in Section 55.53 of the Civil Code.

P10   1(c) On and after January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2019,
2the remaining 10 percent of all fees collected under this section,
3and on and after January 1, 2020, the remaining 30 percent of all
4fees collected under this section, shall be transmitted on a quarterly
5basis to the Division of the State Architect for deposit in the
6Disability Access and Education Revolving Fund established under
7Sections 4465 and 4470. The funds shall be transmitted within 15
8days of the last day of the fiscal quarter. The Division of the State
9Architect shall develop and post on its Internet Web site a standard
10reporting form for use by all local jurisdictions. Up to 75 percent
11of the collected funds in the Disability Access and Education
12Revolving Fund shall be used to establish and maintain oversight
13of the CASp program and to moderate the expense of CASp
14certification and testing.

15(d) Each city, county, or city and county shall make an annual
16report, commencing March 1, 2014, to the Division of the State
17Architect of the total fees collected in the previous calendar year
18and of its distribution, including the moneys spent on administrative
19services, the activities undertaken and moneys spent to increase
20CASp training, certification, and services, the activities undertaken
21and moneys spent to fund programs to facilitate accessibility
22compliance, and the moneys transmitted to the Disability Access
23and Education Revolving Fund.

24

SEC. 4.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
25this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
26local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
27pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
284 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



O

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