Rule Review - Adoption Justification

Chapter 68. Elimination of Architectural Barriers
(effective January 25, 2019)

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) filed a notice of intent to review and consider for re-adoption, revision, or repeal 16, Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 68, Elimination of Architectural Barriers. The Notice of Intent to Review was published in the August 24, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 5546). The public comment period closed on September 24, 2018.

Texas Government Code §2001.039 require state agencies to review their rules every four years to determine if the reasons for initially adopting the rules continue to exist.  The rules implementing the Elimination of Architectural Barriers program under Texas Government Code, Chapter 469, were scheduled for this four-year review.

The Department reviewed these rules and determined that the rules are still essential in implementing the statutory provisions of Texas Government Code, Chapter 469, Elimination of Architectural Barriers. The rules provide details that are not found in the program statute but are necessary for implementation and operation of this program. For example, the rules detail the registration/licensing requirements and the fees that are specific to this program.  In addition, Texas Government Code, Chapter 469requires that rules be adopted for this program. The Department received three public comments in response to the Notice of Intent to Review. 

One commenter seeks to change the Texas Accessibility Standards to require accessible parking spaces with access aisles be reserved exclusively for vans with wheelchair lifts. This commenter submitted a similar comment to the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. The Committee responded by stating the requested relief requires a change in law. A second commenter believes “[t]he usefulness of the TAS/Elimination of Architectural Barriers is over” because many of the requirements are embedded in building codes. As such, this commenter concludes that the rules are duplicative, obsolete and have outlived their usefulness. The third commenter acknowledges the need for the accessibility standards.  However, the commenter believes the department should adjust the standards to require more accessible parking spaces at medical facilities.

At its meeting on January 11, 2019, the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission), the Department’s governing body, readopted the rules at 16 TAC Chapter 68, Elimination of Architectural Barriers in their current form. As a result of the review process, the Department may propose amendments in the future that may further clarify or supplement the existing rules. Any future proposed changes to the rules will be published in the Proposed Rules section of the Texas Register and will be open for public comment prior to final adoption by the Commission in accordance with the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

The rules are re-adopted by the Commission in accordance with Texas Government Code, §2001.039.  This concludes the review of 16 TAC, Chapter 68, Elimination of Architectural Barriers.

Issued in Austin, Texas on January 25, 2019.

Brad Bowman
General Counsel
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation