Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 20 : Internal Security and Public Safety

Chapter 174 : ACCESSIBILITY STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC BUILDINGS AND PARKING

(Cite as: 20 V.S.A. § 2900)
  • § 2900. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Alteration" means a change to a public building that affects or could affect the usability of the building or any part of the building. "Alteration" includes remodeling, renovation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, historic restoration, changes, or rearrangement in the plan or configuration of walls and full-height partitions. Normal maintenance, reroofing, painting or wallpapering, asbestos removal, lead paint hazard reduction, or changes to mechanical and electrical systems are not alterations unless they affect the usability of the building or facility.

    (2) "Ambulatory disability" means an impairment that prevents or impedes walking. A person shall be considered to have an ambulatory disability if the person:

    (A) cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest;

    (B) cannot walk without the use or assistance of a brace, a cane, a crutch, another person, a prosthetic device, a wheelchair, or another assistive device;

    (C) is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person's forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest;

    (D) uses portable oxygen;

    (E) has a cardiac condition that causes the person functional limitations classified in severity as Class III or Class IV according to standards set by the American Heart Association; or

    (F) is severely limited in ability to walk due to having arthritis, or a neurological or orthopedic condition.

    (3) "Blind" means the visual impairment of an individual whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses or whose visual acuity, if better than 20/200, is accompanied by a limit to the field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no greater than 20 degrees.

    (4) "Covered multifamily dwelling" means a residential unit for sale or rent in a public building consisting of four or more residential units if the building has one or more elevators; and a ground floor residential unit for sale or rent in a public building consisting of four or more residential units, if the building has no elevator. For the purpose of this chapter, "public building" includes, in addition to the definition in subdivision (8) of this section, a cooperative or condominium if the building otherwise meets the definition of "covered multifamily dwelling."

    (5) "Historic building" means any structure that is listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or included in the State Register of Historic Places.

    (6) "Maximum extent feasible" means the situation in which the nature of an existing building or facility makes it virtually impossible to comply fully with accessibility standards. In these circumstances, the alteration shall provide the maximum physical accessibility feasible. Any altered feature of the building or facility that can be made accessible shall be. If providing accessibility to individuals with specific disabilities is not feasible, the facility shall be made accessible to persons with other types of disabilities.

    (7) "Primary function" means a major activity for which the facility is intended. Areas that contain a primary function include the customer services lobby of a bank, the dining area of a cafeteria, the meeting rooms in a conference center, and offices and other work areas in which the activities of the public or private entity using the facility are performed. Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges, or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, corridors, and restrooms are not areas containing a primary function.

    (8) "Public building" means a State, county, or municipal building, airport terminal, bus or railroad station, school building, school, or society hall, hotel as defined in 32 V.S.A. § 9202, restaurant, apartment, church or other house of worship, factory, mill, office building or other building in which persons are employed, store or other space wherein goods are offered for sale at wholesale or retail, nursery, convalescent home, home for the aged, or child care facility; provided that the term "public building" does not include a family residence registered as a child care home under 33 V.S.A. chapter 35, subchapter 1. "Public building" also means a tent or outdoor structure, place of amusement, barn, shed, or workshop, if normally open to the public for the purpose of offering goods for sale at wholesale or retail, public assembly or viewing, entertainment, or education. "Public building" shall not include a working farm or farms, as that term is defined by section 2730 of this title. However, for purposes of this chapter, "public building" shall not include existing housing on a working farm provided to farm employees or a farm building that is open for public tours and for which no fee is charged for those tours.

    (9) "Technically infeasible" means that an alteration of a building or a facility has little likelihood of being made accessible because compliance with accessibility standards would require removal or alteration of a load-bearing member that is an essential part of the existing structural frame, or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces, or features that are in full and strict compliance with the minimum requirements for new construction and are necessary to provide accessibility.

    (10) "Unit" means a self-contained portion of a public building under the control of the owner or lessee of the public building, such as a retail store in a shopping complex or a restaurant in an office building. (Added 2003, No. 141 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 1, 2005; amended 2007, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 123.)