Accessible Business Entrance Program Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a place of “Public Accommodation?”

Under State and Federal law, a place of “public accommodation” is generally a business where the public will enter a building to obtain goods and services, such as banks, day care centers, hotels, offices, restaurants, retail stores, etc.  


2. What are the deadlines for compliance?

Compliance deadlines are spread out over four years. Your deadline will depend on the category your building is in. Please see the compliance schedule.


3. How do I find a design professional or a Certified Access Specialist (CASp) inspector?

You can find inspectors here: American Institute of Architects, Division of the State Architect. Additional information may be found on the Office of Small Business website.


4. How much will compliance cost?

Depending upon the scope of work, the cost will vary. An administrative fee is required upon checklist submittal. The cost of a permit (if required) will be based on various agencies fees.


5. What if I can’t afford to do the work?

If owners can show that they comply with the elements of an “unreasonable hardship”, they may be granted an unreasonable hardship by the Department that will require ratification by the Access Appeals Commission. For various sources of financial assistance, please contact the Office of Small Business or at (415)554–6134.


6. What if I can’t fix the entry, what do I do then?

The ordinance requires that you document a technical infeasibility or unreasonable hardship and provide an approved alternate method of providing the goods and services that can be accomplished reasonably. We list many such options in our Information Sheet DA-17 and advice is available from the Access Appeals Commission.


7. Who is responsible for paying for this?

Under the building code, it is the owner of the building who is legally responsible for complying with any code requirements. This ordinance does not interfere with any contractual obligations and negotiations between the owner and lessee(s) with respect to who pays for the upgrades.