Access Appeals Commission



To serve the City and County of San Francisco and the general public by hearing written appeals brought by any person regarding actions taken by the Department of Building Inspection in the enforcement of the requirements for Access to Public Accommodations by Physically Handicapped Persons (Part 5.5, Sections 19955-59 of the Health and Safety Code of the State of California), as well as action taken by the Department in the enforcement of the disabled access and adaptability provisions of this code. San Francisco Building Code Section 105.3.

Mission Statement

The Access Appeals Commission (AAC), consisting of a five-members, conducts hearings to approve or disapprove the Departments interpretations of applicable disability access regulations and actions taken by the Department to enforce said regulations and abate violations. It shall establish reasonable rules and regulations for its own procedures, choose its officers, conduct public meetings, designate an official reporter, and make decisions and recommendations by resolution.

The Access Appeals Commission

The AAC consists of five commissioners: two from the disabled community, two experienced in the construction industry, and one public member. The Commissioners are appointed by the Building Inspection Commission and serve at its pleasure.  The Commission consists of:

Mr. Arnie Lerner, FAIA, CASp, President

Mr. William Scott Ellsworth, Vice President
Mr. Kevin Birmingham, Commissioner
Ms. Alyce G. Brown, Commissioner
Mr. Walter Park, Commissioner

How to Contact the AAC

Thomas Fessler, Secretary to the Access Appeals Commission, may be reached at:

Access Appeals Commission
Department of Building Inspection
1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor

San Francisco, CA 94103-2414
(415) 575-6923, FAX (415) 558-6401


The Access Appeals Commission meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. Meetings are accessible, open to the public, and are held commencing at 1:00 p.m. at:

City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 416
San Francisco, CA 94102


Disability Accommodations

To request assistive listening devices, sign language interpreters, readers, large print agendas, or other accommodations, please contact Thomas Fessler 415-575-6923 or at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing.

Language Access

For questions about the Language Access Ordinance, please contact OCEIA at (415) 581-2360 and ask for the Executive Director or Language Access Compliance Officer. Language Assistance:  To request an interpreter for a specific item during the meeting, please contact Thomas Fessler 415-575-6923 or at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing.


The Agenda is published on the Friday before the regularly scheduled meeting. Agendas are posted on the Department's website under Agendas & Minutes, at the Main Library in the Government Documents section, the Bulletin Board located at the ground floor elevator lobby of 1660 Mission Street, and are also available by contacting the AAC Secretary at (415) 575-6923.

2019 AAC Meeting Calendar


Minutes are posted on the Department's website under the Agenda and Minutes link 10 days after approval by the AAC.

Filing an Appeal

An Information Guide with Appeal Forms is available at 1660 Mission St., 1st Floor - Information Desk; 2nd and 3rd floor counters) or by contacting the Commission Secretary at 575-6923.

Access Appeals Commission By Laws (pdf)

Information Guide and Appeal Forms (pdf)