When a new restaurant opens up in an existing facility, it is not necessarily required to bring the bathrooms up to code.
County building inspector Delaney Aycock said the county cannot force the restaurant to change the structure unless it is changing the use of the building.
Southport Building Inspector Wayne Strickland said if the building is being remodeled, then an owner is required to use a portion of his or her budget to increase the accessibility, starting with the entrance.
He said a lot of old buildings in the area do not have the size to make them handicapped-accessible.
Strickland said normally if a remodel is taking place, the city would require handrails and try to ensure it was made as accessible as possible.
If walls are being taken out, the facility must be brought up to code.
Date posted: March 3, 2010
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