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California's ADA Parking Lot Requirements

EARTHTEKDecember 15, 2022

Your parking lot needs to be accessible to people with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in California. If your parking lot isn't ADA-compliant, cities, counties, and California may fine you. You can also be sued if someone gets hurt in your parking lot if it doesn't comply with federal, state, or local ADA requirements.

Here at EARTHTEK, we offer a free ADA and California building code audit if to ensure your commercial parking lot meets these requirements.

What is ADA Compliance?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, people with disabilities are guaranteed equal opportunities and are protected from discrimination. The ADA has deemed that disabled people cannot be discriminated against by property or business owners. A business complies with the ADA by providing equal access to a primary function area to all peoples. 

Three situations specifically covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act include:

  1. Municipal, county, state, and federal government agencies
  2. General public-serving organizations and businesses
  3. Organizations that employ 15 or more people

Who Must Meet Parking Lot ADA Regulations

All businesses, even those that don't serve the public directly, must meet accessible design standards in order to comply with the ADA. Existing buildings may require modification to remove restrictive barriers and blockages when possible. Likewise, auxiliary aids and services must be offered in certain situations. 

All private companies, nonprofits, and charities that serve the public or employ 15 or more employees are also subject to the ADA.

California Has Additional Requirements Beyond Federal Guidelines

California has additional requirements in its California Building Standards Code, which are the minimum requirements under the federal guidelines.

Penalties for Noncompliance to ADA

California law imposes a statutory penalty of $4,000 (minimum) for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, along with attorney's fees. The ADA provides people with disabilities with the right to sue in Federal court and obtain orders to stop ADA violations. Violations are punishable no matter where the property owner lives. 

Required Number of Disabled Parking Spaces

The minimum number of required disabled parking spaces is determined by the total number of parking spaces for a given facility. For every 25 spaces in a lot up to 100 total, one disabled space is required. For example, a lot with 60 spaces will need 3 accessible parking spaces. 

Between 101 and 200 total spaces, one additional disabled parking spot is required every 50 spaces (5 total for 101-150, and 6 for 151-200). 

Between 201 and 500 total spaces, one additional disabled parking spot is required every 100 spaces (7 for 201, 8 for 301, and 9 for 401). 

Between 501 and 1000, disabled spaces must make up at least two percent (2%) of the total number of spaces (e.g. a 750-space lot would need at least 15 accessible spaces). 

Any lot with 1001 or more total spaces must have 20 accessible parking spaces plus one percent of all future spaces (e.g. a 2500-space lot would need at least 35 accessible spaces). 

Required Van-accessible Parking Spaces

Parking lots between 1 and 200 total spaces require a minimum of one (1) van-accessible parking spaces. Lots with 200 or more total spaces require at least two (2) van-accessible parking spaces. 

Notable ADA-Compliant Conditions

Hospital Outpatient Facilities

Patient and visitor parking must include at least ten percent accessible spaces. 

Every sixth accessible parking space must be van-accessible.

Outpatient Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Facilities

Twenty percent of patient and visitor parking must be accessible.

A van-accessible parking space must be available for every six accessible parking spaces.

Differences Between Car and Van Accessible Spaces

Car-Accessible Disabled Spaces

  • Must show International Symbol of Accessibility
  • 108” Wide per California regulations
  • 216” Long
  • 60” Access aisle - Sharable with adjacent space
  • Maximum slope - 1:48
  • Curb stops required

Van-Accessible Disabled Spaces

  • Must show International Symbol of Accessibility
  • 98” Vertical Clearance
  • 144” Wide per CA reg.
  • 216” Long
  • 96” Access aisle - Sharable with adjacent space
  • Curb stops required

Accessible Parking Lot Striping & Marking Requirements

  • Marked with 36”x36” international symbol of accessibility
  • Symbol must be white on blue
  • Signage must be visible when parked in the space
  • Access aisle must be outlined with blue, and be painted with hatched lines in a color that contrasts with the ground
  • “No Parking” markings should be visibly written inside access aisles

EARTHTEK can ensure your lot’s striping is ADA-compliant with parking lot striping services to meet municipal, county, state, and federal laws.

Curbs & Ramps

If your curbs or ramps are not currently ADA-compliant per local or federal laws, we can ensure they meet all current regulations, including slope and landing regulations. 

Truncated Domes & Tactile Paving

Truncated domes are mandatory for curb ramps and platform boarding edges, but they must not hinder access for mobility-impaired individuals. 

Contact us for installation, repair, inspection, and maintenance to stay current with all ADA regulations. 

Contact Us Today to Get & Stay ADA Compliant 

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