Re: Accessiblilty in CH Kitchens
From: Dick Margulis (
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2018 08:35:01 -0800 (PST)
On 12/26/2018 11:07 AM, Ann Zabaldo wrote:

We are planning a renovation of our community kitchen and are considering how 
to make it more accessible.   Are there others who have tried to do this in 
their community kitchens who could provide advice to us?

When we started planning Rocky Corner, because we're the first cohousing community in Connecticut AND because we are using state money for part of the work, our local health department got involved early and ruled that our common house* falls under their jurisdiction as a food service establishment (we argued otherwise, but they were adamant). As such, our kitchen is subject to a number of codes, one of which bears on accessibility.

We worked with a commercial kitchen designer. He is employed by a used equipment dealer, and he produced a kitchen plan gratis, on the basis that the company will supply a good deal of the equipment. Other commercial kitchen designers quotes us design fees in the thousands of dollars.

The designer was familiar with the various codes, and the plan he drew was ultimately approved by the health department as well as by our architect's code review consultant.

Main takeaways:

1. All aisles are 4' wide, minimum.
2. One prep table is wheelchair height.
3. Faucets can be reached from a wheelchair.

It's not clear to me that the stove will be accessible, although I guess the ovens will be. I'm not sure about the dish line, where height might be an issue. I'd have to ask about that. So, overall, I guess we're about halfway there, if the goal is that someone who uses a wheelchair would be able to do everything in the kitchen. But we meet code.

Hope that helps.


* The underground plumbing and other utilities are in place and the slab is poured. Framing starts next week.

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