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BFD Exception Process

Only the Barrier Free Design Board can grant exceptions from Michigan's barrier free code requirements. A person requesting an exception must demonstrate compelling need to warrant an exception. A "compelling need" includes, but is not limited to, structural, site, economic and technological limitations, jurisdictional conflicts or historical structures, under conditions prescribed by rule of the Construction Code Commission.

To request an exception, a completed application, fee, and detailed building or site drawings of all nonconforming areas must be submitted to the Bureau’s construction code plan review program.

Upon receipt of an exception application, division staff reviews the application within 10 business days. If the application is incomplete, the applicant will be notified of the additional items necessary to complete the application. If the application is complete, a hearing will be scheduled by the Bureau of Hearings.

The applicant has the responsibility at the hearing to explain the compelling reasons why an exception from the requirements is warranted for this project. After the hearing, the judge will prepare a written recommendation, which summarizes the facts in the case and recommends a decision to the Board. As the recommendation is transmitted to the Board, the applicant and the other parties to the case will also receive copies.

A minimum of 10 days will transpire from the date of the recommendation and the date the Board takes final action. This period of time is provided to assure the applicant and the other parties an opportunity to review the recommendation and offer any written clarification or arguments believed necessary for the Board to consider before taking action. Such clarification or arguments shall be in the form of a sworn statement.

Action taken by the Board can be appealed to Circuit Court in the county where the project is located within 60 days of the Board's Final Order. In addition, the Board may order a rehearing in a contested case on its own motion or on request of a party.

The law authorizes the Board to grant exceptions for stated time periods and conditions.

If an exception is granted, the Final Order of the Board will clearly detail any conditions or limitations established by the Board, which apply to the project. The Final Order must be displayed in a conspicuous location within the building and/or be available with the manager of the building for examination by the public, as a condition of the granting of the exception.

Application for Barrier Free Design Rule Exception

Questions regarding BFD Exceptions should be directed to the Bureau's construction code plan review program at 517-241-9313.