Sussex County, DE
 
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Council of Sussex County 5-23-1989 by Ord. No. 586. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 52.
Housing standards — See Ch. 71.
Zoning — See Ch. 115.

§ 45-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Architectural Accessibility Ordinance for Sussex County, Delaware."

§ 45-2 Applicability.

This chapter shall apply to the following buildings in the following occupancies: assembly, business, educational, factory and industrial, institutional and mercantile uses which are newly constructed after the date of adoption of this chapter and/or are substantially altered.

§ 45-3 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish minimum design and construction requirements for newly constructed or substantially altered commercial buildings so that they may be safely and conveniently accessible to people with disabilities.

§ 45-4 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ARCHITECTURAL ACCESSIBILITY
Designed and constructed in accordance with the American National Standard for Buildings and Facilities - Providing Accessibility and Usability by Physically Handicapped People, A117.1 (1986).
ASSEMBLY OCCUPANCY
The use of a building or structure or any portion thereof for the gathering together of persons for purposes such as civic, social or religious functions or for recreation or for food or drink consumption or awaiting transportation (for example, churches, restaurants, movie theaters or museums).
BUSINESS OCCUPANCY
The use of a building or structure or any portion thereof for office, professional or service-type transactions, including normal accessory storage in the keeping of records and accounts (for example, office buildings, banks, bowling alleys or libraries).
EDUCATIONAL OCCUPANCY
The use of a building or structure or any portion thereof for the gathering together of persons for the purpose of instruction (for example, schools or colleges).
FACTORY- INDUSTRIAL OCCUPANCY
The use of a building or structure or any portion thereof for assembling, disassembling, repairing, fabricating, finishing, manufacturing, packaging or processing operations (for example, manufacturing plants, factories, assembly plants, processing plants or mills).
INSTITUTIONAL OCCUPANCY
Buildings, structures or any portion thereof used for the purpose of providing medical care and sleeping facilities for four or more persons who are mostly incapable of self-preservation because of physical or mental disability (for example, hospitals, nursing homes, mental institutions or nursery facilities).
MERCANTILE OCCUPANCY
The use of a building or structure or any portion thereof for the display and sale of merchandise (for example, shopping malls, stores, shops or markets).
SUBSTANTIAL ALTERATION
A significant alteration on an existing building where the alteration exceeds 75% of the square footage as calculated by the building perimeter before such alteration is made. It shall conform to the requirements of this chapter regulating architectural accessibility.

§ 45-5 Minimum requirements.

Each newly constructed or substantially altered building or facility covered by this chapter shall meet the following minimum requirements:
A. 
There shall be at least one accessible primary entrance.
B. 
In all rest rooms intended for use by the public, at least one fixture of each type shall comply.
C. 
All rest rooms intended only for employees shall be adaptable for possible future conversion for use by people with disabilities. An adaptable bathroom is defined and described in the aforementioned American National Standard Al 1 7.1, 1986.
D. 
There shall be one accessible route from the parking area to the accessible primary entrance and throughout the building or facility.
E. 
Parking spaces for use by people with disabilities shall be provided as follows:
Total Spaces in Lot
Required Number of Reserved Spaces
Up to 25
1
26 to 50
2
51 to 75
3
76 to 100
4
101 to 150
5
151 to 200
6
201 to 300
7
301 to 400
8
401 to 500
9
501 to 1,000
2% of total
F. 
Parking spaces for use by people with disabilities shall be provided in accordance to the above-mentioned standards, and such spaces shall be marked by an above-grade sign.
G. 
Covered buildings with occupiable floors above or below grade level in excess of 5,000 square feet per floor shall provide an elevator.

§ 45-6 Exemptions.

The following facilities and areas are exempt from the requirements of this chapter:
A. 
Farm buildings.
B. 
Substantial alterations which are limited solely to the electrical, mechanical or plumbing systems.
C. 
Areas identified for use by employees only and where the employee function is clearly one that cannot be performed by a person with a disability.
D. 
Below- and above-grade floors over 5,000 square feet per floor, if they meet the following criteria:
(1) 
The building is occupied by a single business entity or owner.
(2) 
The inaccessible floor contains nothing unique in terms of service delivery, merchandise or employment opportunities.
(3) 
Essential elements, such as bathrooms and common areas, are on the accessible first floor.

§ 45-7 Building permit requirements.

When a building owner or representative applies for a building permit, the Assessment Division will require, as a condition of granting a building permit, the execution of a certification acknowledging the following:
A. 
That the building owner is aware of the requirement for architectural accessibility in certain facilities.
B. 
That the building owner has received a copy of the American National Standard for Buildings and Facilities - Providing Accessibility and Usability by Physically Handicapped People, A117.1 (1986).
C. 
That the building owner certifies that the facility will be designed and constructed in accordance with these standards and the provisions of this chapter.

§ 45-8 Enforcement, violations and penalties; instances of noncompliance regarding building accessibility.

[Amended 8-3-2004 by Ord. No. 1710]
A. 
Complaints of noncompliance regarding building accessibility may be lodged by any citizen with the Sussex County Building Inspection Office.
B. 
The Building Inspection Office will investigate the complaint of noncompliance and, if a finding of noncompliance is made, shall, in writing, notify the building owner of the alleged violation and require corrective action to be completed in not less than 30 days.
C. 
Failure to take corrective action within the allotted time shall result in prosecution by the Sussex County Constable. The court of jurisdiction shall be the State Magistrate Court. A separate offense may be presented for each day of noncompliance. In addition to criminal penalties, defined herebelow, the civil equitable remedies, including injunction, may be sought in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.
D. 
If found guilty, a penalty of $100 shall be levied for every day that the violation continues uncorrected and for which a verdict of guilty has been ordered on a criminal charge or a finding of liability has been ordered in a civil suit.

§ 45-9 Enforcement; violations and penalties; instances of noncompliance with requirements regarding parking for disabled persons.

[Amended 8-3-2004 by Ord. No. 1710]
A. 
Individuals and artificial entities shall be required to erect and maintain signage on parking spaces or zones for use by persons with disabilities in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and state law.
B. 
The Sussex County Constable shall be charged with the enforcement of this provision as follows:
(1) 
An individual or artificial entity which is required to erect and maintain signage but fails to do so will first be issued a warning by the Sussex County Constable.
(2) 
If, after 30 days after the issuance of the warning described in Subsection B(1), the individual or artificial entity has not erected and/or maintained the required signage, the Sussex County Constable may issue a summons or apply for a warrant with the State Magistrate Court in the name of the offending individual or artificial entity.
C. 
Each day of noncompliance shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to criminal penalties, defined herebelow, the civil equitable remedies, including injunction, may be sought in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware.
D. 
If found guilty, a penalty of $100 shall be levied for every day that the violation continues uncorrected and for which a verdict of guilty has been ordered on a criminal charge or a finding of liability has been ordered in a civil suit.