The first official rooftop patio in the Iowa City area has been deemed inaccessible to persons with disabilities because a ramp or elevator wasn’t included in the building’s design.
“We were honestly hoping to have an elevator, but there wasn’t space for it,” 30hop co-owner Erik Shewmaker told Press Citizen. “It’s really unfortunate. We wish we could have had one, but it didn’t work out. We tried really hard to make that happen.”
But, the Department of Justice did not agree with the Coralville restaurant and bar. The ADA requires newly constructed facilities to comply with the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. 30 Hop, which opened for business in 2014, is a newly constructed multi-story restaurant and bar with a rooftop patio. The department’s complaint alleges that 30 Hop does not provide an accessible route to the rooftop patio or lower level, has an inaccessible entrance, has no accessible dining tables and has inaccessible bathrooms.
“All newly constructed restaurants and bars must be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
In response, the Justice Department has filed a proposed consent decree with 30 Hop resolving claims that the establishment violated the new construction requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Under the consent decree, which is subject to court approval, the owners of 30 Hop will, among other things, install an elevator between the ground floor and rooftop patio, install a platform lift between the ground floor and the lower level, provide accessible dining surfaces in each area of the restaurant and bar, provide closed risers on the staircase to the rooftop patio, increase the maneuvering clearance at the entrance door, bring the bathrooms into compliance with the ADA requirements for newly constructed facilities, pay a $17,500 civil penalty and pay $3,500 to compensate an individual with a disability who is not able to access the rooftop patio.
The agreement will last for two years.
It is important for business owners as well as building designers and architects to fully understand what is required under the ADA. Accessology provides accessibility consulting services to architects, building owners, universities, municipalities, commercial lenders and other clients throughout the nation. Our team has expert knowledge on the Americans with Disabilities Act and its Accessibility Guidelines, Fair Housing, 504, Texas Accessibility Standards, as well as other state and federal accessibility standards. From Fortune 500 companies to small town building owners, we are trusted as a national leader in accessibility consulting. Please contact us so we can begin working to create accessible environments for all.
Contact us here.