Accessible Business Entrance Program

HELPFUL INFORMATION & FORMS

For Property Owners & Tenants
For Design Professionals & CASp
Learn about Finance Options
Frequently Asked Questions
Resources

Forms and Guidelines:
Information Sheet DA-17
Pre-Sreening Form (Chinese) (Spanish)
Category Checklist Compliance Form (Chinese) (Spanish)
Technical Specifications Guidelines (Chinese) (Spanish)

Contact Us:

1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor
Visit Window #8
415-558-6128
Email: dbi.businessentrance@sfgov.org

The Accessible Business Entrance (ABE) program helps property owners comply with state and federal accessibility laws and helps people with disabilities gain greater access to goods and services offered by businesses in San Francisco. Passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2016 (Ordinance No. 51-16), the ordinance requires that existing buildings with a place of “public accommodation” have all primary entrances accessible for people with disabilities. If your business serves the public, this program may apply to you. 

How to Comply with the Ordinance 

STEP ONE: 

Determine if the building is subject to the program or exempt. If the building is exempt, complete the Pre-Screening Form.

STEP TWO: 

If not exempt, complete a Category Checklist Compliance Form. Buildings are categorized I-IV based on their level accessibility. You need to obtain the services of a California licensed design professional (Architect or Engineer), or Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

STEP THREE:

If you have a Category I building, a California licensed design professional (Architect or Engineer) or Certified Access Specialist (CASp) is required to complete the Category Checklist Compliance Form and submit to the Department with the $96.72 administrative fee. 

If you have a Category II, III or IV building, your design professional will provide workscope and an estimated cost for compliance. Your design professional will complete the Category Checklist Compliance Form, describing a proposal for work to be performed, and submit the form by the due date with the $96.72 administrative fee.

STEP FOUR:

Obtain any necessary permits, perform the work, and obtain a final inspection to receive a Certificate of Final Completion. 

BUILDING CATEGORIES

Buildings fall into one of four categories ranging from fully accessible to major barriers to entry. 

Category I        Building is in compliance (entrance has no steps and is compliant with the requirements of the ordinance).

Category II       Building entrance has no steps, but there are barriers such as non-compliant door handles, an entrance that is too steep, doors that are too narrow, etc.

Category III      Building entrance has one step.

Category IV      Building entrance with more than one step and/or other major barriers to the entry.

 

EXEMPTIONS

Newly constructed buildings with permit application (Form #1/2) dated on or after January 1, 2002 do not need to comply with this Ordinance. Religious organizations, private clubs, and facilities which are not a place of public accommodations may also be exempt.

If you are uncertain whether you are a “Public Accommodation” or if you are exempt, please complete the Pre-Screening Form prior to hiring a design professional or Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE

Category

Submit compliance checklist and specify compliance option

File application for required building permit(s)

Obtain required building permit(s)

Category I

May 23, 2018

N/A

N/A

Category II

May 23, 2018

August 23, 2018

August 23, 2019

Category III

May 23, 2019

August 23, 2019

August 23, 2020

Category IV

November 23, 2019

February 23, 2020

February 23, 2021

 

HELPFUL LINKS

House Key

For Property Owners and Tenants

Inspector

For Design Professionals
and CASp

Calculator

Finance Options

Computer

Resources

Question Mark

Frequently Asked Questions