The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted on July 26, 1990, provides comprehensive rights and protections to individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, State and local government services, and telecommunications. The goal of the ADA is to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.
The City of Larkspur works to ensure that people with disabilities have access to City programs, services, activities, and facilities. The ADA Coordinator for the City of Larkspur works in the Building Department and coordinates the City’s efforts to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. The ADA Coordinator is available to answer questions from both citizens and City employees about accommodating persons with disabilities.
City of Larkspur ADA Transition Plan, click here.
The Certified Access Specialist (CASp) Program
In response to an overwhelming need for disabled accessibility guidance within the business community, the State of California has enacted laws establishing a program known as the Certified Access Specialist Program, or CASp. As stated by the California Department of General Services (DGS), "The program is designed to meet the public's need for experienced, trained, and tested individuals who can render opinions as to the compliance of buildings and sites with the State of California codes and regulations and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for accessibility." The program is administered by the Division of the State Architect, which also writes and promulgates most of the disabled access standards utilized at the state level.
Small and large business owners, landlords of multi-family dwelling units, and even government entities can benefit from the program and the services provided by CASp-certified individuals. By having their sites inspected and obtaining an access report that identifies all areas of non-compliance, owners will know definitively what they need to do to bring their businesses into compliance. In doing so, they can help protect themselves from possible litigation while making it much easier for persons with disabilities to access their site and conduct business. There are no requirements to obtain a building permit for these services until such time that any repairs or alterations are undertaken to remove architectural barriers identified in the CASp report, and the Larkspur Building Division will gladly assist in this process.
Those interested in learning more about this program and possibly utilizing the services of a CASp certified individual should visit the state's website here. There is information about the program's rules and regulations, a list of individuals currently certified, the specific legal protections offered by participation in the program. Also, for those so inclined, the website provides information how one can become certified as a CASp. By being proactive and taking steps to bring their sites into accessibility compliance, merchants and landlords can do the right thing while improving their bottom lines.
Complaint for Disabled Access Investigation
The purpose of this procedure is to provide individuals with a convenient method to report disability access law violations in Larkspur, and to establish a process for resolving as promptly as possible alleged violations of state disabled access regulations in either buildings owned or leased by the City of Larkspur or that are constructed or altered with city funds, or privately owned public accommodations that are not publicly funded.
There are two ways to submit a complaint:
Fill out the Complaint for Disabled Access Investigation online form.
ADA/Disability Access FAQ
What is the purpose of the disability access complaint procedure?
The purpose of this procedure is to provide individuals with a convenient method to report disability access law violations in Larkspur, and to establish a process for resolving as promptly as possible alleged violations of state disabled access regulations in either (i) buildings, -structures, sidewalks, curbs and related facilities that are owned or leased by the City of Larkspur or that are constructed or altered with city funds ("public projects"), or (ii) privately owned public accommodations (i.e., businesses that are open to the public) that are not publicly funded ("private projects").
What state laws and regulations govern accessibility?
State law requires all public and private projects to be accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. See Cal. Government Code 4450 et seq. for public projects and Cal. Health and Safety Code 19955 et seq. for private projects. The State Architect has issued specifications for the construction or alteration of buildings and structures in the State Building Code, which is published as part of the California Building Code and which is often referred to as "Title 24" reflecting where it was formerly located in the California Code of Regulations, Under state law, the City is responsible for complying with Title 24 in its public projects and for enforcing the Title 24 requirements in private projects that are subject to the City's jurisdiction through the City's building permit and building inspection programs. For certain projects built before the first version of Title 24 was adopted in 1981, the applicable standards are the 1961 American Standards Association Standard (the "ASA Standards"). In addition, California Civil Code Sections 54 and 54.1 require that persons with disabilities have equal access to accommodations available to the public, and make a violation of the federal Americans with Disability Act also a violation of state law. For a detailed description of these state laws and regulations, please see Exhibit A. For the purposes of this Procedure, all of the above-referenced laws and regulations shall be referred to as the "Law."
Who may file a disability access complaint?
Anyone who believes that a public or private project does not comply with the law because it contains deviations from the specifications set forth in the law may file a complaint under this procedure. An authorized representative of such a person may also file a complaint on the complainant's behalf. To the extent authorized by law, the identity of the complainant will be kept confidential.
When should a disability access complaint be filed?
Complaints should be filed as quickly as possible when alleged deviations are discovered so that they can be investigated and promptly resolved prior to completion of the construction work if possible.
What happens after a disability access complaint is filed?
After receiving a complaint, the City Manager or his designee or his/her designee will investigate all allegations within fourteen (14) days of receiving the complaint. The investigation will include interviews with: (a) the complainant; (b) the business owner, if a Private Project, or the responsible City Department or other public agency, if a Public Project; and (c) any other person the City Manager or his designee believes to have relevant knowledge concerning the complaint.
The City Manager or his designee also will consider any written or photographic evidence that is provided. After completing the investigation, the City Manager or his designee will review the factual information gathered through the investigation to determine whether the allegation is in fact a deviation from the Law. For Public Projects undertaken by the City, the City shall then take all actions necessary to correct any deviation from the Law which it confirms as a result of any investigation within ninety (90) days of the confirmation of such deviation, unless the deviation or deviations are so substantial that that they cannot be corrected within ninety (90) days of confirmation. In such circumstances, a specific timetable shall be prepared to assure that the deviations will be corrected within a reasonable period of time.
For Public Projects of other public entities, the City will forward the complaint to the appropriate state or federal agency. These agencies will process the complaint in accordance with their own regulations and procedures.
For Private Projects, the City shall send the responsible party and/or owner a written notice of violation demanding that the deviation be corrected within ninety (90) days of the confirmation of such deviation, unless the deviation or deviations are so substantial that that they cannot be corrected within ninety (90) days of confirmation. In such circumstances, a specific timetable will be prepared to assure that the deviations will be corrected within a reasonable period of time. If the responsible party and/or owner does not correct the deviation within ninety (90) days, commence to correct it if it is of such magnitude that it cannot be corrected within ninety (90) days, or comply with the timetable prepared by the City for correcting the deviation, the City shall refer the matter to the City Attorney for appropriate legal action.
How will the complainant be informed of the status of the disability access complaint?
Within seven (7) days of receipt of each complaint, the City shall send a letter to the complainant confirming receipt of the complaint, along with a timetable and a description of the process that will be used by the City in investigating the complaint and preparing a response.
After completion of the investigation, the City shall provide the complainant with another letter advising the complainant of the resolution of the complaint, including informing the complainant about his or her right of appeal. Where the City determines that any or all of the violations alleged in a complaint are unfounded, the City's letter shall include the factual and legal basis for such determination. In addition, upon completion of the corrections of the deviations where required, the Compliance Officer will then notify the complainant in writing of the completion of the remedial work. Also, the complainant will be notified if the matter is referred to the City Attorney for appropriate legal action.