Cortland, NY City Council Visitability Resolution

Cortland, New York – 2018

Cortland City Common Council

Visitability Resolution


WHEREAS, no statuary requirements presently exist on a state or local level to require that new, single-family and duplex dwellings be constructed to provide access for people with physical disabilities;

WHEREAS, people with physical disabilities can be isolated in their own homes or isolated from the community when the homes contain barriers such as steps or narrow doorways and the person with the disability lacks maneuverability;

WHEREAS, people with physical disabilities experience great difficulty finding affordable, integrated, safe accessible housing options;

WHEREAS, certain features in construction make new homes visitable, and livable, for persons with disabilities;

WHEREAS, anyone, by accident or misfortune may become physically disabled for short or long term and adapting a home after the fact can be cost prohibitive; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the City of Cortland Common Council to recommend the City of Cortland encourage the use of design features necessary to provide accessibility and usability for people with physical disabilities in new, single-family homes and duplexes when such homes are constructed with public funds, as herein described.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this resolution shall be applicable to new, single-family dwellings and duplexes, which receive any public funding; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the following requirements shall be the recommended design requirements for construction of new publicly funded homes when it is determined, at the discretion of the City’s Grant Administrator of Community Development funds, that such design requirements are feasible:

Recommended Requirement 1. Building entrances

Applicable dwelling units shall be designed and constructed to have at least one building entrance on an accessible route served by a ramp or a slope, in compliance with ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards, with a maximum slope of 1: 12, unless it is impractical due to characteristics of the terrain. This entrance should have an accessible door in accordance with ANSI. Any entrance at the front, side or back of the dwelling is acceptable.

Recommended Requirement 2. Interior Door Criteria

All dwelling units, whether or not on an accessible route, shall be designed in such a manner that the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons in wheelchairs. Doors, except those serving closets less than 15 square feet in area, within individual dwelling units intended for user passage must provide minimum 32″ clear opening.

Recommended Requirement 3. Accessible Routes into and Through the Dwelling Unit

An accessible route shall be designed and constructed in such a manner that a 36″ wide level route. Except at doors, must be provided through the main floor of the unit with ramped or beveled changes at the thresholds.

Recommended Requirement 4. Wall Reinforcement in Bathrooms

Reinforcement in the bathroom walls shall be provided at designated locations as specified by ANSI for future grab bar installation

Recommended Requirement 5. Light switches, electrical cords, thermostats and other environmental controls

All applicable dwelling units shall be designed and constructed in such a manner that all premises contain light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other controls in accessible locations, no higher than 48″ and no lower than 15″ from the floor.

Recommended Requirement 6. Usable first floor kitchen with wheelchair maneuvering clearances as set forth in ICC/ANSI All7.1-1998.

Recommended Requirement 7. Usable first floor bathroom with wheelchair maneuvering clearances as set forth in ICC/ANSIA117.1-1998.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the recommendations for using barrier free requirements set forth in this resolution may be waived by the Grant Administrator of the Department of Community Development in the event that the Administrator determines, in his/her discretion, that the requirements are not feasible or will in any way diminish or jeopardize the ability to obtain outside funding; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that nothing contained herein shall be interpreted, construed, or applied in any manner contrary to State or Federal laws, rules, and/or regulations.