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AAB Bldg complaint Somerville 66-70 Union Square
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AAB Bldg complaint Somerville 66-70 Union Square

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  • 1. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Safety Docket Number Architectural Access Board ____________ One Ashburton Place, Room 1310 (Office Use Only) Boston Massachusetts 02108-1618 Phone: 617-727-0660 Fax: 617-727-0665 www.mass.gov/dps GENERAL BUILDING COMPLAINT FORM PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THIS FORM IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND WILL BE DISCLOSED UPON REQUEST.1. What is the name and address of the building believed to be in violation of the Rules and Regulations of this Board? Name: _Union Square Plaza Building Address: _66-70 Union Square City/Town: _Somerville, MA 021432. What is the use of the building (please check one or more)? ____Retail Establishment ____Transient Lodging Facility ____Multiple Dwelling __x__Commercial Building ____Educational Facility ____Medical Care Facility ____Place of Assembly ____Detention Facility ____House of Worship __x__Restaurant ____Transportation Terminal ____Recreational FacilityNote: at least 2 City of Somerville Federally-funded programs currently rent this facilitys office space from the owner, Don Warner. Owner was granted a Variance to remove the platform lift and make the Back Door the Accessible Entrance, on August 9, 2010. As of this writing, November 12, 2010, there is still no accessible route, no Accessible Entrance, no Accessible entrance signage, and the platform lift is sometimes being used as a trash receptacle:3. Does it appear that the building was recently constructed or renovated? Most recent ongoing renovations began in 2008 for the Union Square Main Streets Program (USMS). A new HUD (CBDG)-funded Design Annex space was created by and for USMS. Page 1 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 2. The owner donated at least $20,000 for these alterations, which included a mezzanine not reachable by vertical access. In October 2009, the parking lot was restriped. A separate parking lot complaint is submitted. In 2010, minor alterations are being made, including painting, permanent interior signage, fire safety and communications installations. Prior to 2008: the owner sought AAB variances to provide a Platform Lift instead of Main Entrance Access (1988) and to repair the front without provided accessible route to the downstairs front entrance (1998). In 1988, he estimated he would spend $750,000 to change the facility from a Police Station to a multi-use facility, including Offices and a Restaurant. The assessed value of this building at that time was $120,000. The owner continues to inform his tenants, in writing, that he completed all renovations compliant with the MAAB regulations in effect during his initial renovations.This Building complaint will reference Sections from 521 CMR 1987 regulations.4. What date were you most recently at the building? 11/3/105. How many floors? 4 floors, including an excavated basement with a popular Restaurant/Bar.6. Please check the appropriate section(s) of the Boards regulations that you believe is being violated, then describe each section, as specifically as possible, in the space below.The following pages detail 19 complaints, based on 521 CMR, 1987 regulations.The owner spent over 100% of the assessed value of the building to substantiallyrenovate it, per his AAB Variance Request of 1988.UPCOMING PUBLIC EVENT AT THIS FACILITY INCLUDES: The UnionSquare Winter Craft Market , (facilitated by the City of Somervilles CDBG-funded Union Square Main Streets program), will take place in this buildingon Saturday, December 4 from 11 am to 4 pm, at the downstairs Precinct. OPTIONAL INFORMATION The following information is optional, and your complaint will be processed regardless of whether or not the information is provided. However, you should be aware that the less information that is provided, the longer it will take this office to process your complaint. a. Name and address of the building owner or manager:__Don Warner, HDR Architecture, Inc. | 695 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02111-2623 office: 617.357.7775 | cell: 617.821.2707 | fax: 617.357.7759 b. The Board only considers complaints with respect to buildings which are: 1.) constructed by the state, city or town, and construction, reconstruction, alteration or remodeling occurred after December of 1968; or 2.) privately financed buildings that are open to or used by the public and construction, reconstruction, alteration or remodeling occurred after June 10, 1975. The following information may be obtained by contacting the Local Building Department DATE BUILDING PERMIT(S) WAS ISSUED: __________________________________ ESTIMATE COST(S) OF CONSTRUCTION: ~$750,000 in 1988; $100,000 in 1998; $25,000+ since 2008. Page 2 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 3. c. The assessed value of the building will determine the extent that a building must comply. You may obtain the assessed value of the building by contacting the Local Assessors Office. ASSESSED VALUE OF THE BUILDING AT TIME PERMIT WAS ISSUED: This complaint is about outstanding issues from 1987 regulations, when assessed value during initial substantial renovations was $120,000 per 1988 MAAB notes. ______________________________________________________________________7. Name and address of person/organization filing this complaint (if organization is filing, please provide the Board with the name of a contact person) (required):_ Community Access Project of Somerville8. Individual Signature (required): scanned signature provided Date: 11/12/10The following 7 pages show 16 elements believed to be in violation of 521 CMR, 1987regulations. Photos are included.This is not a comprehensive survey, since we did not measure hallways and certain amenities inhallways such as signage (only temporary interior signage was seen) or height of Exit signage andfire devices, did not survey all bathroom elements, did not survey the newly remodeled USMS andDesign Annex Office spaces, and did not survey the elevator.Below from left to right: Front Main Entrance, beginning of common alleyway route to back, Backdoor w/HP spot Page 3 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 4. 1. 5.3 Accessible route/path of travel. A continuous route of travel, connecting all elements,routes and spaces within or between buildings is still NOT PROVIDED.The back door entrance is over 300 feet away from the front Main Entrance, and within the parkinglot area. Excessive cross slopes measured (after city sidewalk passage from Main Entrance tocurbcut to Sanborn Court): Common alleyway route adjacent to Sanborn Court: 3.4% at beginning,4.7% mid-way, and 6.5% before turning into parking lot. In facility parking lot: 4.2%. midway.(Slopes are OK within 5 feet of back door): Page 4 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 5. 2. 26.4 The accessible entrance(s) shall be on a level which permits access to building elevatorswhere provided.a. the elevator does not provide Public access to the downstairs level, which is the Precinct. (In 1988, itwas The Elephant Walk): b. The elevator does not provide any access to the new first floor Design Access mezzaninespace, which opened to the public in 2009. Two pictures of the mezzanine below, from:http://dannex.org/about-the-design-annex/what-is-the-design-annex/photos/ 3. 26.7 Identification: Any entrance of a facility not accessible by persons in wheelchairs shall have a sign clearly indicating the location of the accessible entrance.There is no signage clearly indicating any accessible entrance in the front or the back: Page 5 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 6. 4. 27.7 Exterior thresholds shall not exceed one-half inch in height, bevelled on both sides. Interiorthresholds shall be flush with the floor. Changes in floor materials may require an edge strip orthreshold flush with the higher material and beveled at a ratio of one-in-four.Back door threshold is over 2 inches:5. 27.11 Doors in the means of egress shall be operable with one hand and with a single effort. Doorsin the paths of ingress shall be able to be unlocked and opened with one hand.The door is kept locked to the public: 6. 28.3 Handrails shall be set on both sides of such stairs at a height of 34 inches above the intersection of tread and riser.Handrails are only on one side of Emergency egress stairs. 2 photos below show that Stair hall: Page 6 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 7. 7. 28.4 The hand-grip portion of handrails shall be not less than one and one-quarter and not more than 2 inches in outside diameter, shall be round in cross section.Foyer handrails are 2 inches wide and rectangular in cross section: 8. 28.5 Clearance between a wall and its wall rail shall be one and one-half inches.See above picture, left. Foyer handrails are 2 inches away from wall. 9. 29.1 The floor on any single story shall be of a common level throughout, except where a ramp (as described in Section 25) connects different levels.The Conference Room, used for State-monitored, (DHCD/ HHS-funded) Board meetings as well as theSomerville Executive Directors Meetings, has a slope thats 8.8%, leading from hallway into ConferenceRoom:10. 30.5 Toilet stalls: Each toilet room shall have at least one stall which: 30.5.1 is 60 inches wide and 72 inches deep;First floor bathroom measures 56 inches wide. Page 7 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 8. 11. 30.5.2 has a door or opening that is 36 inches wide, a self-closing hinge device and a pull device to assist in closing the door... and has a lock located approximately 36 inches above the floor.According to a survey done by IHCD, The door opens to less than 32 inches wide, and does not have aself-closing spring, nor a pull device. The 3 pictures below are copied from the IHCD survey done foran organizational tenant, (page 20, 66-70 Union Square report 6-25-1-2010):12. 30.5.3 water closet is 18 inches from the centerline of the fixture to the nearest side wall,maintainsat least 42 inches clear space, measured from centerline of toilet to the farthest wall or other fixture...approximately 16 inches to nearest side wall approximately 40 inches measured to far wall. 13. 35.1 Buildings having 2 levels shall provide a ramp or elevator to each level; buildings having more than 2 levels shall provide elevator access to each level.This is a 4 level building. No elevator access is provided to the Public to the basement (Precinct) level.There are clear safety reasons for this; however, it means that all programs, services and events heldwithin the Precinct are not accessible. Can a policy solution be implemented; for example, personsrequiring access to the Precinct from the elevator will have access to a 2-way communications system atthe back door, and will be escorted by staff down to the Precinct? 14. 35.9 Door jamb markings indicating floor designations shall be provided at each hoistway entrance on both sides of jamb visible from within the car and lobby at a height of 60 inches Page 8 of 9 Rev, 01/10
  • 9. above the floor. Numbers shall be on a contrasting color background a minimum of 2 1/2 inches high.There are no door jamb markings on either side of hoistway entrance- 1st and 2nd floors checked only:15. 40.1 The ISA shall be displayed in the following locations: 40.1.1 Any entrance of a facility not accessible by persons in wheelchairs shall have a sign clearly indicating the location of the accessible entrance.See photos for Number 3, above: no entrance signage in front, NO entrance signage in back. 16. 40.1.3 where signs, maps, building locations, the ISA shall indicate where accessible toilets, entrances, and elevators are located. the viewers position shall be clearly indicated on these maps. Below is back door Notice with map and location instructions, no indication of HP features: Page 9 of 9 Rev, 01/10

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