Be careful applying exemptions under ADA!
ADA does exempt religious entities and private clubs. It also exempts B & B where the homeowner lives on the premises.
But - there are exceptions to the exceptions, were the spaces are leased, open to the general public, or perhaps provide voting facilities for the community for example – these spaces, areas, and facilities are covered. For example, the missions in California are operated and owned by the Catholic Dioceses, but many spaces at the missions are leased to vendors and open to the public as tourist attractions. Some missions provide nurseries and schools also open to the general public. These areas and spaces are covered because the church membership or affiliation is not required to participate and fees are collected in lieu of charitable contributions or offerings. If you visit a California mission and it falls on you and kills you – you can sue the Catholic Dioceses they are not above the law.
In California, as in other states, including Florida, our state constitutions (or codes and regulations – depending on state's administrative structure) do not exempt religious institutions from obeying civil codes, seismic and building codes, health and safety codes, etc... In fact, most people don't realize that the majority of states have civil rights that provide greater protections than the ADA and FHAA!
Here's the rub....
Building codes are created through a different conferring process then federal regulations promulgated from law. Many building codes in the states are published "model codes" that are written and amended by ...well anyone. The provisional model codes don't become enforceable until adopted by the state. It is a false assumption that if you design to the building code you are good to go.
Architects should have a strong understanding of applicable state and federal state laws, since accessibility typically falls under our disciple of practice.
Dawn Anderson, AIA
Principal Architect, #25835
California Access Specialist, #CASp-050
ADA Coordinator, ACTCP #3244212-4617
ICC Combination & Accessibility Inspector/Plan Reviewer, #10117422
OSHPD Inspector of Record, #20314
Texas Accessibility Specialist, #1372
Minnesota Accessibility Specialist (BO) #AS698737
As It Stands
Quality Assurance & Property Inspection
80 Gilman Ave. Suite 2F
Campbell, CA. 95008
Direct: 408) 422-6155
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I agree 100% always adhere to the LATEST ADA regulation & note that they change all the time. What was true yesterday may no longer be to code.
Adrian Martinez AIA