11-18-93 DJ 202-PL-136 NOV 29 1993

Ms. April E. Poland Leech Architects, Inc. 7785 East 126th Street Fishers, Indiana 46038 Dear Ms. Poland: I am responding to your letter asking for clarification of the requirements of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Department of Justice regulation implementing title III. I apologize for our delay in responding to you. 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 does not constitute a determination by the Department of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA, and it is not binding on the Department. You have asked whether a retail business located in a strip shopping mail is required to install an elevator if it alters the facility to add a mezzanine level that will contain only office space. 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. Section 3.5 of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (Appendix A to the enclosed regulation) 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 cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Blizard, FOIA, Friedlander n:\Udd\blizard\adaltrs\poland

01-02756 -2story 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. Section 36.404(a)(2) of the title III rule defines a "shopping center or mall" for the purpose of applying the elevator exemption to an existing facility, as A series of buildings on a common site, connected by a common pedestrian route above or below the ground floor, that is under common ownership or common control or developed either as one project or as a series of related projects, housing five or more sales or rental establishments. . . . (Emphasis added.) If there is no common pedestrian route connecting the buildings above or below the ground floor on the site that is being altered, then the facility is not a shopping center or mall and the elevator exemption would apply. If no elevator is required in a building, then no accessible means of vertical access to mezzanines within that building is required. If the elevator exemption does not apply, then, under sections 4.1.3(5) and 4.1.6(l)(f) of the ADA Standards, a multistory facility that undertakes an alteration that includes

the addition of an escalator or stairs (where none existed previously) that requires major structural modifications for installation, is required to install an elevator unless it is technically infeasible to do so. When a multistory building does not qualify for the elevator exemption, all floors must be served by elevators, even if the floors are used only by employees. For your information, 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 01-02757