• Alameda Resumes Universal Design Discussion

  • Two Alameda (city) committees are recommending the city adopt a universal design ordinance that would require new residential projects with five or more units to accommodate people with disabilities. The draft proposal calls for mandating inclusion of a basic set of features in all units plus additional improvements would be required in at least 20 percent of the project. The base requirements have not yet been identified but staff suggested that installing blocking in bathroom walls for future grab bars might be one example. The enhanced features would involve mandatory accessibility to the front door through ramps or elevators; accessibility within the unit to living room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen; a separate shower; and sufficiently sized kitchens and bathrooms to handle wheelchairs. In developments where buyers select from a menu of options prior to construction of the units, builders would be required to offer a host of universal design features available for purchase. Alameda‚Äôs Community Development Department will be working with its Planning Board and Commission on Disability Issues to draft an ordinance in the next several months. While the city has already negotiated universal design requirements through development agreements with a number of developers, staff has reached out to BIA|Bay Area for stakeholder input. Click here to download the staff report to the Planning Board on May 9, 2016. Please provide any comments and concerns to BIA|Bay Area East Bay Governmental Affairs Lisa Vorderbrueggen at lvorderbrueggen@biabayarea.org or 925-348-1956.
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