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Opinion: Required vertical access in apartment buildings

Inquiry: 

96-20

Subject: 

Required vertical access in apartment buildings

Code:

1994 UBC Section 1103.2.2 and Minnesota Statute 471.469

Submitted By:

RSP Architects 

Approved By:

Thomas R. Joachim, State Building Official

Issue Date: 

February 27, 1996; October 14, 1996 

Question:  

Does Minnesota's accessibility code require that an accessible route be provided to all levels of a multi-story apartment building?

Answer:

Although UBC 1103.2.2 requires an accessible route be provided to all portions of buildings that are required to be either accessible or adaptable, it was the intent of Minnesota's original rulemaking action to regulate multi-story apartment buildings in a manner so as to equal the provisions of the Federal Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act does not require floors of multi-story apartment buildings to be accessible by ramp or elevator, although the intent is not reflected in the code. Nevertheless, this conflict between intent and actual code language is superseded by Minnesota Statute 471.469.

Approved by Building Codes and Standards Access Committee September 26, 1996.

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