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Back Local News Accessible parking now required for business licenses

Accessible parking now required for business licenses

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COMPLIANCE with the accessible parking provisions of the American with Disabilities Act is now a prerequisite for business license renewal and application, according to the Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities (DISID).

Zenaida Napa Natividad, DISID grants administrator, said the department has developed a set of procedures with the Department of Revenue and Taxation and the Department of Public Works for the implementation of the new requirement.

DISID is now among the agencies that are required to provide clearance to business owners seeking to renew their licenses and first-time applicants.

“In the past, DISID was not one of the agencies that signed off granting permission,” Natividad said.

The departments involved in the permitting process are now revising the building occupancy permit to include DISID as one of the agencies that will sign off on such permit.

Guam has an existing law requiring compliance with accessible parking regulations as a condition for issuance of a business license.

However, Natividad said the law has not been enforced because DISID's Division of Evaluation, Enforcement, and Compliance (DEEC) was inadvertently eliminated as a division.

“So no one was looking or checking. With grant funds from the U.S. Department of the Interior, DEEC was created as a program. DEEC is now digging the laws and studying how we can implement them,” she said.

Site inspections

The procedure requires DEEC staff to conduct an inspection of the accessible parking spaces of a business applying for renewal or a new license with DRT.

“If the accessible parking spaces do not comply with the accessibility guidelines as set forth by the ADA and Guam public laws, DEEC will issue a notice of non-compliance and will give the business between 30 and 90 days to comply,” Natividad said.

If accessible parking deficiencies are not adequately addressed at the end of the grace period of compliance, DEEC will submit the name of the business to the tax department. “Such business will not be granted renewal of business license until the non-compliance issues are taken care of,” Natividad said.

If a new business license applicant will occupy a specific place open to the public to operate the business, DISID will be required to issue clearance alongside with DPW, the Guam Fire Department, Department of Public Health and Social Services, and the Department of Land Management.

Public education

The new requirement is also a component of DISID’s campaign to educate the public about accessible parking and other provisions of ADA.

“For the first time ever in Guam's history, we have our first batch of GovGuam ADA coordinators, as required by ADA Title II,” Natividad said.

In January, DISID held the first Guam Conference on Americans with Disabilities Act.

Natividad said the department is now gearing up for a workshop slated for Nov. 13 and 14.

The Workshop on Accessible Parking and Beyond Accessible Route is geared toward the technical side of accessible parking.

“We will be inviting the engineers, the architects, planners, inspectors, facilities managers, and again our GovGuam ADA coordinators,” Natividad said. “We will have two off-island speakers that have the technical know-how on accessibility compliance and barrier removal.”

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