State accessibility regulations were established in the 1982 California Building Code for both public and private structures. Chapter 7 of the Sonoma County Code adopts Chapters 11A and 11B of the California Building Code. The adopted code regulates all aspects of accessibility including improvements within the public right-of-way, covered residential, public and private commercial buildings as well as covered existing structures.
Permit Sonoma investigates complaints regarding accessibility compliance for privately owned public use buildings that have been constructed or modified under permit and inspection after a permit issuance date of July 1970 and multi-family dwellings constructed after a permit issuance date of March 13, 1991. All designated accessible parking, curb ramps, walks, sidewalks, routes, paths of travel, slope and cross slope within privately owned land within the unincorporated territory of the County of Sonoma are enforced by Permit Sonoma.
Permit Sonoma’s accessibility enforcement does not extend to potential violations of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For example, complaints regarding accessibility compliance for existing public use accommodations and multi-family buildings constructed prior to the above noted dates and not modified since that date may nonetheless constitute a violation under federal accessibility regulations based on failure to provide program accessibility but are not building code violations enforced by Permit Sonoma. Additionally, Permit Sonoma’s enforcement of accessibility violations is subject to other limitations. For example, accessibility complaints that relate to accessibility within the public right-of-way, county owned or leased buildings (including Water Agency facilities), public parks and the fairgrounds should be referred to the County Accessibility Coordinator in the Human Resources Department, identified as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as set forth in the Human Resources website.
Construction or tenant improvements completed without required permits, regardless of the actual date of construction, shall be treated as new construction. Failure to construct or maintain accessibility features installed with or without permit or inspection shall be required to be altered, modified, or constructed to meet the code in effect at the time the permit was issued or the violation was identified.