Foodservice Equipment Reports

California Approves New Restroom Accessibility Provisions

On Jan. 24, the California Building Standards Commission unanimously approved the Division of the State Architect’s proposed accessibility regulations for the 2013 California Building Code.

This update integrates into a single comprehensive code both the most accessible standards of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 2010 California Building Code.

Foodservice operators should pay particular attention to wording in the amendment that adjusts the location of accessible restrooms from the adjacent wall or partition. A range of 17- to 18-in. will be allowed instead of 16- to 18-in. as originally proposed by DSA. The amendment changes emergency regulations that went into effect in August 2012.

The 18-in. dimension was changed to a range of 16- to 18-in. in the 2010 ADA Standards, which became mandatory nationwide March 15, 2012.

The rationale for the change is twofold: It minimizes the need to make future incremental adjustments when toilet facilities are remodeled or updated after the 2013 Code becomes effective; targeting the middle of the 17- to 18-in. range also complies with both editions of the code, and the 2010 ADA standards, while allowing for construction tolerances.

Additionally, using the smaller 16- to 17-in. dimensions doesn’t reduce the footprint or area requirements for the toilet and bathing facilities.

More information, as well as background on the final express terms of the DSA proposal, as approved and amended by the commission, will be posted at dsa.dgs.ca.gov.