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LAX APM ADA Coordinator Files (LINXS)

California Building Code Excerpt

Section 11B-221 Assembly Areas

Code excerpt regarding scoping requirements for assembly areas: general, wheelchair spaces, companion seats, designated aisle seats, lawn seating, and semi-ambulant seats.

11B-221 Assembly areas

11B-221.1 General. Assembly areas shall provide wheelchair spaces, companion seats, designated aisle seats and semi-ambulant seats complying with Sections 11B-221 and 11B-802. In addition, lawn seating shall comply with Section 11B-221.5.

Advisory 11B-221.1 General. Several different types of accessible seating are required in an assembly seating area.  Wheelchair seating areas, integrated into the general seating plan, are required so that people using wheelchairs are not isolated from other spectators or their friends and family. These seating areas must comply with Section 11B-221.2.  Companion seats are required next to each wheelchair seating location. The companion seat is a conventional seat that accommodates a friend or companion. These seats must comply with Section 11B-221.3.  Aisle seating is required to be provided in addition to the wheelchair seating areas. At least five percent of aisle seats (but not less than one) are required to either have no armrest on the aisle side or to have a removable or folding armrest on the aisle side. These seats accommodate people who have a mobility disability but who wish to use a seat that is not in a wheelchair seating location. These seats must comply with Section 11B-221.4.  Semi-ambulant seating is required in addition to the spaces provided for wheelchair users. At least one percent of all seats (but no fewer than two) are required to provide 24 inches clear leg room from the front edge of the seat to the nearest obstruction or to the back of the seat immediately in front. These seats accommodate people who have a mobility disability but who wish to use a seat that is not in a wheelchair seating location. These seats must comply with Section 11B-221.6.

11B-221.2 Wheelchair spaces. Wheelchair spaces complying with Section 11B-221.2 shall be provided in assembly areas with fixed seating.

NOTE: When required wheelchair spaces are not occupied by persons eligible for those spaces, individual, removable seats may be placed in those spaces.

Advisory 11B-221.2 Wheelchair spaces. Additional information regarding wheelchair accessible seating in venues that sell tickets for assigned seats is available on the US Department of Justice website at http://www.ada.gov/ticketing_2010.htm.

11B-221.2.1 Number and location. Wheelchair spaces shall be provided complying with Section 11B-221.2.1.

11B-221.2.1.1 General seating. Wheelchair spaces complying with Section 11B-802.1 shall be provided in accordance with Table 11B-221.2.1.1.

Table 11B-221.2.1.1 Number of Wheelchair Spaces in Assembly Areas
Number of SeatsMinimum Number of Required Wheelchair Spaces
4 to 251
26 to 502
51 to 1504
151 to 3005
301 to 5006
501 to 50006, plus 1 for each 100, or fraction thereof, between 501 through 5000
5001 and over46, plus 1 for each 200, or fraction thereof, over 5000

Here is a fully expanded Table 11B-221.2.1.1 from zero through 7001 and over.

Number of SeatsMinimum Number of Required Wheelchair Spaces
1 to 30
4 to 251
26 to 502
51 to 1504
151 to 3005
301 to 5006
501 to 6007
601 to 7008
701 to 8009
801 to 90010
901 to 100011
1001 to 110012
1101 to 120013
1201 to 130014
1301 to 140015
1401 to 150016
1501 to 160017
1601 to 170018
1701 to 180019
1801 to 190020
1901 to 200021
2001 to 210022
2101 to 220023
2201 to 230024
2301 to 240025
2401 to 250026
2501 to 260027
2601 to 270028
2701 to 280029
2801 to 290030
2901 to 300031
3001 to 310032
3101 to 320033
3201 to 330034
3301 to 340035
3401 to 350036
3601 to 360037
3601 to 370038
3701 to 380039
3801 to 390040
3901 to 400041
4001 to 410042
4101 to 420043
4201 to 430044
4301 to 440045
4401 to 450046
4501 to 460047
4601 to 470048
4701 to 480049
4801 to 490050
4901 to 500051
5001 to 520047
5201 to 540048
5401 to 560049
5601 to 580050
5801 to 600051
6001 to 620052
6201 to 640053
6401 to 660054
6601 to 680055
6801 to 700056
7001 and over56, plus 1 for each 200, or fraction thereof, over 7000

11B-221.2.1.2 Luxury boxes, club boxes, and suites in arenas, stadiums, and grandstands. In each luxury box, club box, and suite within arenas, stadiums, and grandstands, wheelchair spaces complying with Section 11B-802.1 shall be provided in accordance with Table 11B-221.2.1.1.

Advisory 11B-221.2.1.2 Luxury boxes, club boxes, and suites in arenas, stadiums, and grandstands. The number of wheelchair spaces required in luxury boxes, club boxes, and suites within an arena, stadium, or grandstand is to be calculated box by box and suite by suite.

11B-221.2.1.3 Other boxes. In boxes other than those required to comply with Section 11B-221.2.1.2, the total number of wheelchair spaces required shall be determined in accordance with Table 11B-221.2.1.1. Wheelchair spaces shall be located in not less than 20 percent of all boxes provided. Wheelchair spaces shall comply with Section 11B-802.1.

Advisory 11B-221.2.1.3 Other boxes. The provision for seating in “other boxes” includes box seating provided in facilities such as performing arts auditoria where tiered boxes are designed for spatial and acoustical purposes. The number of wheelchair spaces required in boxes covered by Section 11B-221.2.1.3 is calculated based on the total number of seats provided in these other boxes. The resulting number of wheelchair spaces must be located in no fewer than 20% of the boxes covered by this section. For example, a concert hall has 20 boxes, each of which contains 10 seats, totaling 200 seats. In this example, 5 wheelchair spaces would be required, and they must be placed in at least 4 of the boxes. Additionally, because the wheelchair spaces must also meet the dispersion requirements of Section 11B-221.2.3, the boxes containing these wheelchair spaces cannot all be located in one area unless an exception to the dispersion requirements applies.

11B-221.2.1.4 Team or player seating. At least one wheelchair space complying with Section 11B-802.1 shall be provided in team or player seating areas serving areas of sport activity.

Exception: Wheelchair spaces shall not be required in team or player seating areas serving bowling lanes not required to comply with Section 11B-206.2.11.

11B-221.2.1.5 Stadium-style movie theaters. In stadium-style movie theaters, the total number of wheelchair spaces required shall be determined in accordance with Table 11B-221.2.1.1. The required wheelchair spaces shall be located on risers or cross-aisles in the stadium section that satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Located within the rear 60 percent of the seats provided in the theater; or
  2. Located within the area of the theater in which the vertical viewing angles (as measured to the top of the screen) are from the 40th to the 100th percentile of vertical viewing angles for all seats as ranked from the seats in the first row (1st percentile) to seats in the back row (100th percentile).

11B-221.2.1.6 Specialty seating areas. In assembly areas, wheelchair spaces shall be provided in each specialty seating area that provides spectators with distinct services or amenities that generally are not available to other spectators. The number of wheelchair spaces provided in specialty seating areas shall be included in, rather than be in addition to, the total number of wheelchair spaces required by Table 11B-221.2.1.1.

Exception: In existing buildings and facilities, if it is not readily achievable for wheelchair spaces to be placed in each specialty seating area, those services or amenities shall be provided to individuals with disabilities, and their companions, at other designated accessible locations at no additional cost.

11B-221.2.2 Integration. Wheelchair spaces shall be an integral part of the seating plan.

Advisory 11B-221.2.2 Integration. The requirement that wheelchair spaces be an “integral part of the seating plan” means that wheelchair spaces must be placed within the footprint of the seating area. Wheelchair spaces cannot be segregated from seating areas. For example, it would be unacceptable to place only the wheelchair spaces, or only the wheelchair spaces and their associated companion seats, outside the seating areas defined by risers in an assembly area.

11B-221.2.3 Lines of sight and dispersion. Wheelchair spaces shall provide lines of sight complying with Section 11B-802.2 and shall comply with Section 11B-221.2.3. In providing lines of sight, wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed. Wheelchair spaces shall provide spectators with choices of seating locations and viewing angles that are substantially equivalent to, or better than, the choices of seating locations and viewing angles available to all other spectators. When the number of wheelchair spaces required by Section 11B-221.2.1 has been met, further dispersion shall not be required. In stadiums, arenas and grandstands, wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed to all levels that include seating served by an accessible route.

Exception: Wheelchair spaces in team or player seating areas serving areas of sport activity shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-221.2.3.

Advisory 11B-221.2.3 Lines of sight and dispersion. Consistent with the overall intent of the ADA, individuals who use wheelchairs must be provided equal access so that their experience is substantially equivalent to that of other members of the audience. Thus, while individuals who use wheelchairs need not be provided with the best seats in the house, neither may they be relegated to the worst.

11B-221.2.3.1 Horizontal dispersion. Wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed horizontally. In assembly areas that have seating encircling, in whole or in part, a field of play or performance, wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed horizontally around the field of play or performance area.

Exceptions:

  1. Horizontal dispersion shall not be required in assembly areas with 300 or fewer seats if the companion seats required by Section 11B-221.3 and wheelchair spaces are located within the 2nd or 3rd quartile of the total row length. Intermediate aisles shall be included in determining the total row length. If the row length in the 2nd and 3rd quartile of a row is insufficient to accommodate the required number of companion seats and wheelchair spaces, the additional companion seats and wheelchair spaces shall be permitted to be located in the 1st and 4th quartile of the row.
  2. In row seating, two wheelchair spaces shall be permitted to be located side-by-side.

Advisory 11B-221.2.3.1 Horizontal dispersion. Horizontal dispersion of wheelchair spaces is the placement of spaces in an assembly facility seating area from side-to-side or, in the case of an arena or stadium, around the field of play or performance area.

11B-221.2.3.2 Vertical dispersion. Wheelchair spaces shall be dispersed vertically at varying distances from the screen, performance area, or playing field. In addition, wheelchair spaces shall be located in each balcony or mezzanine that is located on an accessible route.

Exceptions:

  1. Vertical dispersion shall not be required in assembly areas with 300 or fewer seats if the wheelchair spaces provide viewing angles that are equivalent to, or better than, the average viewing angle provided in the facility.
  2. In bleachers, wheelchair spaces shall not be required to be provided in rows other than rows at points of entry to bleacher seating.

Advisory 11B-221.2.3.2 Vertical dispersion. When wheelchair spaces are dispersed vertically in an assembly facility they are placed at different locations within the seating area from front-to-back so that the distance from the screen, stage, playing field, area of sports activity, or other focal point is varied among wheelchair spaces.

Advisory 11B-221.2.3.2 Vertical dispersion Exception 2. Points of entry to bleacher seating may include, but are not limited to, cross aisles, concourses, vomitories, and entrance ramps and stairs. Vertical, center, or side aisles adjoining bleacher seating that are stepped or tiered are not considered entry points.

Advisory 11B-221.2.3.2 Vertical dispersion Exception 2. Designing spectator seating for accessibility can be more complicated when folding bleachers are utilized. The lower rows of bleacher seats in a bank of bleachers often are omitted to allow for wheelchair positions with companion seating provided on the end of the adjacent row or on portable chairs.

11B-221.2.4 Temporary structures. Wheelchair spaces shall not be located on, or be obstructed by, temporary platforms or other movable structures.

Exception: When an entire seating section is placed on temporary platforms or other movable structures in an area where fixed seating is not provided, in order to increase seating for an event, wheelchair spaces may be placed in that section.

Advisory 11B-221.2.3.5 Removable chairs. Readily removable seats should be designed to facilitate easy, timely and frequent removal and installation. If mechanically fastened to the floor the release mechanisms need to be easily operated by untrained individuals without special tools or knowledge. Seats which have been removed need to be stored so as not to create obstructions.

11B-221.3 Companion seats. At least one companion seat complying with Section 11B-802.3 shall be provided immediately adjacent to each wheelchair space required by Section 11B-221.2.1.

Advisory 11B-221.3 Companion seats. The following advisory language clarifies the operational requirements of 28 CFR Part 36, Section 36.302(f)(4)(i).  People purchasing a ticket for an accessible seat may purchase up to three additional seats for their companions in the same row and these seats must be contiguous with the accessible seat. If contiguous seats have already been sold and are not available, the venue must offer other seats as close as possible to the accessible seat. If those seats are in a different price category, the venue is not required to modify the price and may charge the same price as it charges others for those seats. When designing, best practice is to locate wheelchair spaces in rows where seating for a minimum of four is provided. Where two wheelchair spaces are provided adjacent to one another, one can be used as a companion seat.  Where a venue limits ticket sales to fewer than four tickets, those limits also apply to tickets for accessible seats. Similarly, when a venue allows the purchase of more than four tickets, that policy also applies to tickets for accessible seats, but only three companion seats must be contiguous with the accessible seat.  Many venues offer a group sales rate for groups of a pre-determined size. If a group includes one or more individuals who need accessible seating, the entire group should be seated together in an area that includes accessible seating. If it is not possible to seat the entire group together and the group must be split, the tickets should be allocated so that the individuals with disabilities are not isolated from others in their group.  Additional information regarding wheelchair accessible seating in venues that sell tickets for assigned seats is available on the US Department of Justice website at http://www.ada.gov/ticketing_2010.htm.

11B-221.4 Designated aisle seats. At least 5 percent of the total number of aisle seats provided shall comply with Section 11B-802.4 and shall be the aisle seats located closest to accessible routes.

Exception: Team or player seating areas serving areas of sport activity shall not be required to comply with Section 11B-221.4.

Advisory 11B-221.4 Designated aisle seats. When selecting which aisle seats will meet the requirements of Section 11B-802.4, those aisle seats which are closest to, not necessarily on, accessible routes must be selected first. For example, an assembly area has two aisles (A and B) serving seating areas with an accessible route connecting to the top and bottom of Aisle A only. The aisle seats chosen to meet Section 11B-802.4 must be those at the top and bottom of Aisle A, working toward the middle. Only when all seats on Aisle A would not meet the five percent minimum would seats on Aisle B be designated.

11B-221.5 Lawn seating. Lawn seating areas and exterior overflow seating areas, where fixed seats are not provided, shall connect to an accessible route.

11B-221.6 Semi-ambulant seats. At least 1 percent of the total number of seats, and no fewer than two, shall be semi-ambulant seats complying with Section 11B-802.5.