# 113 III-5.

4000 December 9, 1993

DJ 202-PL-699

Mr. James T. Moll, AIA Assistant Vice President T. Rogvoy Associates, Inc. 6735 Telegraph Road, Suite 300 Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48301 Dear Mr. Moll: I am responding to your letter asking if title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a newly constructed sales establishment to provide elevator access to a mezzanine that houses employee offices and storage space. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA and the Department's regulation. However, this technical assistance is not a legal interpretation of the statute, and it is not binding on the Department. To determine if elevator access to a mezzanine in a specific building is required, you must look to the requirement that applies to the building in which the mezzanine is located. In new construction and alterations, title III generally requires that at least one accessible passenger elevator serve each level of a multistory building. However, there is an exception to this general rule. Elevators are not required in facilities that are less than three stories or have fewer than 3000 square feet per story, unless the building is a shopping center or mall; the

professional office of a health care provider; a public transit station; or an airport passenger terminal. Your letter specifies that the sales establishment in question is less than three stories in height but is located in a shopping center. Therefore, to determine if the elevator exemption applies, you must look to Section 3.5 of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (Appendix A to the enclosed regulation) which defines a "story" as: That portion of a building included between the upper surface of a floor and upper surface of the floor or roof next above. If such portion of a building does not include occupiable space, it is not considered a story for purposes of these guidelines. There may be more than one floor level within a story as in the case of a mezzanine or mezzanines. A mezzanine, defined as "that portion of a story which is an intermediate floor level placed within the story and having occupiable space above and below its floor," is not considered a "story" for the purpose of determining if an elevator is required. A single-story building (with or without a mezzanine) is never required to install an elevator. A two-story building that is part of a shopping center or mall is required to install an elevator to provide access to each floor level occupied by a "sales establishment." The term "sales establishment" encompasses all aspects of the business operation, not merely the areas within the facility dedicated to the display or sale of goods. Therefore, the fact that a mezzanine within a sales establishment is not used to sell or display merchandise is not relevant to the application of the elevator requirements. If the sales facility is required to install an elevator, the elevator must connect all levels of the facility, including the mezzanine. For your reference, I am enclosing a copy of this Department's regulation implementing title III of the ADA and the Title III Technical Assistance Manual. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section Enclosures