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AAB Complaint Process

Learn more about the AAB complaint process

Complaint Process

Any person who believes a building or facility is in violation of the Rules and Regulations of the Architectural Access Board may file a complaint. The following is a step by step explanation of how the process works.

Complaints must be filed on the Complaint Forms provided by this office. You may call to request copies of the following forms:

  • Parking Lot Complaint Form
  • Building Complaint Form
  • Sidewalk/Curb Cut Complaint Form
  • Telephone Complaint Form
  • Housing Complaint Form

First identify the building or facility you believe to be in violation by citing the NAME OF THE BUILDING and the EXACT ADDRESS.

Fill out the complaint form in full. (It is important to note that the more information you provide, the faster your complaint will be processed).

To determine what regulations would apply use the following formula

Building Permit Date: Applicable Regulations:
*December 1, 1968 to June 10, 1975 December 1, 1968 REGULATIONS
June 10, 1975 to March 3, 1977 June 10, 1975 REGULATIONS
March 3, 1977 to April 1, 1982 March 3, 1977 REGULATIONS
April 1, 1982 to July 10, 1987 April 1, 1982 REGULATIONS
July 10, 1987 to September 1, 1996 July 10, 1987 AMENDMENTS
September 1, 1996 - March 6, 1998 September 1, 1996 REGULATIONS
March 6, 1998 - February 1, 2002 March 6, 1998 AMENDMENTS
February 1, 2002 - January 27, 2006 February 1, 2002 REGULATIONS
January 27, 2006 - Present January 27, 2006 REGULATIONS

* Only applies to city, state and town owned buildings

What happens once my complaint is received at the AAB?
Once the office receives the completed complaint form, it is entered into the complaint tracking system and given a docket number. A notice of reported violation is sent to the person responsible for performing the work. The notice is sent certified mail, return receipt requested. A copy of the notice is sent to the complainant, local building inspector, independent living center and the local disability commission. Once the owner responds, a copy of the response is automatically sent to the complainant.

What happens if the owner states he/she will comply?
If the owner voluntarily agrees to comply with the regulations, the Board will issue a stipulated order setting forth dates for compliance. The Board will also require the owner to submit information, such as photographs, within five (5) days of the completion date, to verify that compliance has been achieved. If compliance has been achieved, the case is closed.

What if the owner does not respond to the notice of reported violation?
If the owner fails to respond, the Board will send a second letter. If the owner fails to respond to the second letter, a complaint hearing will be scheduled for the owner to appear.

What if the owner does not agree that a violation exists?
If the owner responds by stating that he does not believe a violation exists, a site inspection may be made by this office to determine whether or not the violations, as cited, exist and a hearing will be held if no resolution can be reached.

Must I appear at the hearing?
Yes, you should be prepared to appear at the hearing to explain your position. You may also send a representative to appear in your behalf. You may contact the office for assistance in preparing for the hearing.

What happens if the owner fails to comply with the Board's order?
If the Board issues an order to comply and the owner fails to comply with said order, a hearing will be scheduled to determine whether or not the owner's non-compliance was without justification and whether or not the Board will impose fines. The Board cannot impose fines unless a hearing is held to determine that noncompliance is without justification.

Can the owner request a variance?
Yes, the owner has the right to request a variance from any section of the regulations they feel cannot complied with. The burden of proof is on the owner to prove that to comply with the regulations would be impracticable. Impracticability is defined as being technologically infeasible or the cost of compliance would be excessive without any substantial benefit to disabled persons.

What happens when the owner requests a variance?
Once the Board receives the application for variance, a copy is sent to the complainant. A hearing will usually be scheduled for the complainant and owner to appear. The variance process then begins. (See the Variance Process section on this page, Fact Sheet #3).

Should I attend the variance hearing?
Yes, if possible, the complainant should attend the hearing, or send someone to represent him/her. If it is not possible to attend the variance hearing, it is strongly recommended that a letter be sent to the Board indicating your position on the request for variance. The Board holds the hearing on the application and decides whether to grant or deny the request for variance. The burden of proof is upon the owner of the facility to prove that he/she cannot comply with Board's regulations.

Do I have a right to appeal?
Yes, any person aggrieved by the Board's decision may appeal the decision to Superior Court within thirty (30) days of receipt of the decision.



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