Proposed Administrative Rules

Chapter 68. Elimination of Architectural Barriers.
Proposal Filed. January 13, 2020 – Published in the Texas Register: January 24, 2020
Deadline for Public Comment: February 24, 2020

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to an existing rule at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 68, §68.100 and new rule §68.104, regarding the Elimination of Architectural Barriers Program. These proposed changes are referred to as “proposed rules.”

EXPLANATION OF AND JUSTIFICATION FOR THE RULES

The rules under 16 TAC, Chapter 68, implement Texas Government Code, Chapter 469, Elimination of Architectural Barriers.

The proposed rules update a reference from the “Commission” to the “Department.” The proposed rules also implement necessary changes required by House Bill (HB) 3163, 86th Legislature, Regular Session (2019).

The proposed rules were presented to and discussed by the Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee at its meeting on December 16, 2019. The Advisory Board did not make any changes to the proposed rules. The Advisory Board voted and recommended that the proposed rules be published in the Texas Register for public comment.

SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY

The proposed rules amend §68.100, by updating the reference from the “Commission” to the “Department.”

Proposed new §68.104 implements statutory changes required by HB 3163, which set requirements for paved accessible parking spaces. This includes painting the international symbol of access on paved accessible parking spaces along with the words "NO PARKING" adjacent to the space. It also added a requirement for signage identifying the potential consequences for parking illegally in an accessible space.

FISCAL IMPACT ON STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Tony Couvillon, Policy Research and Budget Analyst, has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, there are no estimated additional costs or reductions in costs to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules. Compliance with new statutory requirements and associated costs will be the responsibility of the facility owners.

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, there is no estimated increase or loss in revenue to the state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT STATEMENT

Mr. Couvillon determined that for each year of the first five years the proposed rules are in effect, no impact on local employment is anticipated. The required changes will only be for new construction projects that must be registered with the Department, pursuant to Government Code, §469.101. The additional requirements will not change the number of people working on these projects. Therefore, the agency is not required to prepare a local employment impact statement under Government Code §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFITS

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect, the public benefit will be to ensure that access aisles are clear and accessible parking spots are available for persons with disabilities. The new signage and lettering requirements will allow for clearer notice of which parking spaces are accessible only spaces and that parking is not allowed in the adjacent aisles. The proposed rules should prevent vehicles that should not be parking in those spaces and aisles from parking in them and thereby make parking more accessible for persons with disabilities.

PROBABLE ECONOMIC COSTS TO PERSONS REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH PROPOSAL

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect, there will be minimal costs to persons who are required to comply with the proposed rules. A single sign that meets both the new and existing requirements can be purchased in lieu of two signs to comply with the current and new requirements. Alternately, if a building owner only needs an additional sign that meets the new requirements for an accessible space regarding enforcement of violators (towing), this cost would be minimal. There would be no additional costs associated with inspection by registered accessibility specialists to ensure compliance that the new requirements have been met.

FISCAL IMPACT ON SMALL BUSINESSES, MICRO-BUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES

Mr. Couvillon has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed rules are in effect, there will be no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities as a result of the proposed rules. Since the agency has determined that the proposed rule will have no adverse economic effect on small businesses, micro-businesses, or rural communities, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, as detailed under Government Code §2006.002, is not required.

ONE-FOR-ONE REQUIREMENT FOR RULES WITH A FISCAL IMPACT

The proposed rules do have a fiscal note that imposes a cost on regulated persons; however, the proposed rules fall under the exception for rules that implement legislation under Government Code §2001.0045(c)(9). Therefore, the agency is not required to take any further action under Government Code §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT STATEMENT

Pursuant to Government Code §2001.0221, the agency provides the following Government Growth Impact Statement for the proposed rules. For each year of the first five years the proposed rules will be in effect, the agency has determined the following:

1. The proposed rules do not create or eliminate a government program.

2. Implementation of the proposed rules do not require the creation of new employee positions or the elimination of existing employee positions.

3. Implementation of the proposed rules do not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency.

4. The proposed rules do not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency.

5. The proposed rules do not create a new regulation.

6. The proposed rules do expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation. The proposed rules implement changes to the statute by expanding the requirements for accessible parking spaces by requiring new signage regarding violators, conspicuously marking spaces, and painting the access aisles adjacent to paved accessible spaces.

7. The proposed rules do not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to the rule's applicability.

8. The proposed rules do not positively or adversely affect this state's economy.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The Department has determined that no private real property interests are affected by the proposed rules and the proposed rules do not restrict, limit, or impose a burden on an owner’s rights to his or her private real property that would otherwise exist in the absence of government action. As a result, the proposed rules do not constitute a taking or require a takings impact assessment under Government Code §2007.043.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Vanessa Vasquez, Legal Assistant, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711, or facsimile (512) 475-3032, or electronically: erule.comments@tdlr.texas.gov . The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

The proposed rules are proposed under Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and Government Code, Chapter 469, which authorize the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposed rules are those set forth in Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 1051, and Texas Government Code, Chapter 469. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposed rules.

§68.100. Technical Standards and Technical Memoranda.

(a) (No change.)

(b) The Texas Department [ Commission ] of Licensing and Regulation may publish Technical Memoranda to provide clarification of technical matters relating to the Texas Accessibility Standards, if such memoranda have been reviewed by the Elimination of Architectural Barriers Advisory Committee.

§68.104. Accessible Parking Spaces.

(a) A paved accessible parking space must include:

(1) the international symbol of access painted conspicuously on the surface in a color that contrasts the pavement;

(2) the words "NO PARKING" painted on any access aisle adjacent to the parking space. The words must be painted:

(A) in all capital letters;

(B) with a letter height of at least one foot, and a stroke width of at least two inches; and

(C) centered within each access aisle adjacent to the parking space; and

(3) a sign identifying the consequences of parking illegally in a paved accessible parking space. The sign must:

(A) at a minimum state “Violators Subject to Fine and Towing” in a letter height of at least one inch;

(B) be mounted on a pole, post, wall or freestanding board;

(C) be no more than eight inches below a sign required by Texas Accessibility Standards, 502.6; and

(D) be installed so that the bottom edge of the sign is no lower than 4 feet and no higher than 6 feet above ground level.

(b) A sign that meets the requirements set in Texas Accessibility Standards, 502.6 that includes the required language in subsection (a)(3)(A) satisfies this section.

REVIEW BY AGENCY COUNSEL

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency’s legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on January 13, 2020.


Brad Bowman
General Counsel
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation