Under North Carolina law, commercial property owners must supply reserved parking spaces for people with physical disabilities. The General Assembly does not specifically regulate how many or the size of accessible parking spaces a property owner must hold, leaving that decision to counties and municipalities. The 2009 North Carolina Building Code specifically regulates the number and size of accessible parking spaces that a property owner must build if he is building or renovating a building.
All parking areas built by property owners must have a certain amount or percentage of accessible parking spaces, which varies depending on the amount of total parking spaces in the parking facility. The building code supplies a table of the minimum number of accessible parking spaces. For instances, for parking facilities with more than 1,000 total parking spaces, the code requires 20 accessible spaces plus 1 additional accessible space for each 100 spaces. For smaller parking areas, a property owner must supply a minimum of one accessible spot for every 25 or 50 spaces. Furthermore, the code provides that at least one of every eight accessible parking spots must be van accessible. Van accessible spaces must be at least 132 inches wide and have an access aisle of at least 60 inches.
The rules regulating the size of handicapped-accessible parking spaces are found in the 2009 International Building Code, which have been explicitly incorporated into the 2009 North Carolina Building Code. Accessible parking spaces must be at least 96 inches wide, painted with blue lines, and be located closely to accessible entrances. There must also be an access route to the accessible parking spaces of at least 98 inches. Accessible parking spaces must also have an access aisle at least 60 inches wide that is free of obstructions. A handicapped sign must designate all accessible parking spaces, at least 24 inches by 24 inches in size, which contains the international symbol of access.
A parking lot not in compliance with the building code or the North Carolina General Statutes is a civil infraction. A judge can issue a fine of between $100 and $250. Furthermore, building inspectors can issue an additional fine, the amount of which varies by county. A building inspection board can also force a property owner comply with the accessibility provisions, and in extreme cases can revoke a construction permit for noncompliance.
- "Illustrated 2009 Building Code Handbook"; Terry Patterson: 2009.
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