AUG 8 1997 The Honorable Richard Burr Member, U.S.

House of Representatives 2000 West First Street Suite 508 Piedmont Plaza Two Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27104 Dear Congressman Burr: I am responding to your inquiry on behalf of XXX of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who wrote to you about the architectural design standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). XXX seeks information about the standards of the ADA as they pertain to accessibility to "private buildings" that serve the public, such as restaurants, banks, grocery stores. XXX also asks whether the standards that apply to covered buildings differ depending on when the building was constructed. Please excuse our delay in responding. Title III of the ADA applies to "places of public accommodation," which are defined to include private facilities that house operations that affect commerce and fall within at least one of the 12 categories of business or service establishments, such as places of lodging, recreation, entertainment, and so forth, that are identified in the ADA. The definition of public accommodation encompasses most private sector business establishments that routinely operate in our country. Under title III, all newly constructed places of public accommodation (and those undergoing alterations), as well as commercial facilities (factories, warehouses), must comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. A building is covered under the new construction requirements only if it was first occupied after January 26, 1993, and its last application for a building permit or permit extension was certified as complete after January 26, 1992. Public accommodations in buildings occupied before January 26, 1993, that are not otherwise being altered, are required to remove architectural barriers where such removal is "readily achievable." The concept of readily achievable incorporates the common sense notion of removing architectural barriers where it is both easy and inexpensive to

accomplish. Barrier removal under the readily achievable cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, McDowney, Talian, FOIA jtalian\myfiles\congress\f-burrwile.ifo.wpd\sc. Young-Parran -2standard is never required to exceed the requirements for new construction. XXX specific concern apparently was prompted by his belief that the ADA requires the installation of automatic doors, while his local building code does not. The ADA design standards specify requirements for particular elements of a building. The requirements pertaining to doors are found in section 4.13 of the Appendix to the enclosed regulation. These technical provisions permit, but do not require, the use of automatic doors and doors that swing open in either direction. Doors that pull open are permitted, but appropriate maneuvering space also must be provided. If Winston-Salem local codes require a particular type of exterior door opening, such a requirement does not necessarily conflict with the ADA because the ADA does not preempt all State and local regulations in the area of accessible design. States and localities are free to enact and enforce code provisions that provide equal or greater access than the ADA standards. To the extent possible, covered entities must comply with both the State or local code and the Federal requirement. If the State or local code provisions differ, however, from the ADA requirements in a way that results in less accessibility, then an entity subject to title III of the ADA is required to comply with the Federal standard. The design standards of the ADA are described in full in the enclosed title III regulation and interpretative manual. I hope this information is helpful to respond to XXX He also may seek additional advice on the architectural barrier removal and design standards from several informational hotlines described on the enclosed summary of ADA telephone information services. Most of the hotlines are toll-free and have operators to answer questions on specific ADA subjects. I hope this information is useful in responding to your constituent.

Sincerely, Isabelle Katz Pinzler Acting Assistant Attorney General Civil Rights Division Enclosures WASHINGTON OFFICE: RICHARD BURR 1513 Longworth HOB 5th District, North Carolina Washington, DC 20515 COMMITTEE (202) 225-2071 COMMERCE Fax (202) 225-2995 SUBCOMMITTEES DC INFO LINE: HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT (202) 226-0320 ENERGY AND POWER EMAIL:Richard.BurrNC05@mail.house.gov OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS WWW.http://www.house.gov/burr/ Congress of the United States DISTRICT OFFICE 2000 West First Street House of Representatives Suite 508 Piedmont Plaza Two May 5, 1997 Washington, DC 20515-3305 Winston-Salem, NC 27104 (910) 631-5125 Fax (910) 725-4493 Ms. Sally Conway Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Post Office Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035 Dear Ms. Conway: My constituent, XXX recently contacted my office regarding a problem he is having with some buildings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that he believes do not address the accessibility statutes of the Americans with Disabilities Act. XXX has cited several buildings in Winston-Salem that he says have exterior doors that only open to the outside (pull open). These are standards the city of Winston-Salem has set, but he understands that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires any building to either have doors that swing open both ways, or can be

opened automatically. I would appreciate any information that will address the following concerns: What are the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act as they pertain to accessibility to private buildings that serve the public (restaurants, banks, grocery stores, etc.), and are the statutes different for buildings that were built before the act was signed into law, as opposed to those built after the law was enacted. Please mail your response to my Winston-Salem office. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Richard Burr Member of Congress RB:bv