QUESTION: How is an accessibility waiver obtained?
DETERMINATION: OSSC Section 1101.6 references ORS 447.250 for accessibility
waivers. Pursuant to ORS 447.250, a waiver may be approved to lower
or modify a State of Oregon accessibility standard when a determination
is made that a statute or specialty code requirement exceeds the standards
or specifications imposed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
or the Fair Housing Act (FHA). In no instance shall an accessibility
requirement be lowered or modified below ADA or FHA standards. See
the attached flowchart that summarizes the process in ORS 447.250
for obtaining an accessibility waiver.
ANALYSIS: The determination above results from staff review and analysis
of ORS 447.250. In order to process a waiver, a person or governmental
entity that constructs, renovates, alters or modifies an affected
building, covered multifamily dwelling or its related facilities must
determine that a particular statute or specialty code requirement
exceeds the standards imposed by the ADA or FHA.
Additionally, full compliance with the statute or specialty code
requirement must be impractical in that it would defeat the purpose
of the project. The applicant must set forth a proposal for the work
complying with the statutory or specialty code requirement to the
maximum extent that is considered practical. They may then apply to
the appeals board having jurisdiction over the project for a waiver
or modification of the statutory or specialty code requirement
through the waiver process. The following steps summarize the accessibility
If the waiver request is for a jail, prison or correctional
facility it must be submitted to the Building Codes Structures
Board (BCSB). If the BCSB denies the waiver request, the applicant
may, within 30 days of the appeals board decision, appeal to the
BCD Administrator who will then consider the waiver request.
If the waiver request is for any other building or project,
the applicant must determine if there is a local appeals board
with jurisdiction over the project. If a local appeals board exists,
the waiver is submitted to the local appeals board. If the local
appeals board denies the waiver request, the applicant may, within
30 days of the appeals board decision, appeal to the BCD Administrator.
If a local appeals board does not exist, the waiver request
is submitted directly to the BCD Administrator.
In considering a waiver request, the appropriate appeals board
or Administrator will investigate the application and shall seek
the advice of the Oregon Disabilities Commission (ODC), as well
as other expert testimony as required. If the appeals board or
Administrator finds that the proposal would constitute a substantial
compliance with (or acceptable alternate to) the particular accessibility
requirement, a waiver may be granted. If the appeals board or
Administrator finds otherwise, the application will be denied
with notice given to the applicant.
As explained above and clarified in the attached flowchart, anyone
aggrieved by the final decision of an appeals board regarding a request
for a waiver or modification of a State of Oregon accessibility requirement
may, within 30 days of the decision, appeal to the BCD Administrator.
The BCD Administrator has been delegated this authority from the Director
of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). The request
to the BCD Administrator must be accompanied by a $20.00 check or
money order made out to DCBS.
In order for the Administrator to consider a waiver request, the
final decision of the local appeals board, if one exists, must be
submitted in writing. The completed application, local appeals board
decision (if applicable) and fee must be mailed or delivered to:
Director, Department of Consumer and Business Services
c/o Administrator, Building Codes Division
1535 Edgewater Street NW
Salem OR 97301-3878
Pursuant to ORS 447.250