The City's building permit system exists to safeguard the life, health, property and welfare of the public through plan review, issuance of building permits, licensing of contractors and construction inspection. Licensed contractors, and the property owners who hire them, are responsible to ensure that new construction and alteration work complies with the construction requirements of Title II of the ADA for public projects and the construction requirements of Title III of the ADA for private construction projects. This is part of a broader review by Office of Central Inspection staff used to check for electrical, plumbing, fire and other code conformity. Although the City conducts plan reviews, issues permits and conducts subsequent on-site inspections, the obligation to conform to the law never shifts from the contractor and property owner to the City or anyone else.
The act relating to accessibility of public buildings and facilities, K.S.A. 56-1301 et seq., places the authority to enforce ADA requirements for the design and construction of new, additions to, and alterations of facilities of public accommodation that require a building permit upon the City’s building inspector or agency responsible for that function. The Office of Central Inspection uses the plan review process and the on-site construction inspection process as the primary tools for this purpose. It is the goal of the City of Wichita that no building requiring issuance of a building permit be issued a final certificate of occupancy prior to fully complying with ADA requirements.
For construction work occurring within the corporate limits of the City of Wichita for which a permit application is submitted on or after January 1, 2007, any violation of the standards set out in the act may be enforced by the City Attorney for the City of Wichita. The City Attorney may apply to the district court for a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any individual, corporation or partnership from violating the standards established by the act. The City Attorney may also seek alteration of the facility affected, reasonable expenses, attorney fees and investigation fees. Intentional violations of the district court’s order can trigger additional court-imposed, civil penalties.