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Fact Sheet: Places of Public Accommodation

State inspection of places of public accommodation in non-code areas

Minnesota law requires state inspection of new construction, change of use, alterations or additions to public assembly spaces designed for 200 or more people in areas where there is no local enforcement of the State Building Code.

As of July 1, 2017, construction documents and applications must be submitted to us for building code review and approval before construction can begin on these public assembly spaces. We issue permits and inspect the construction of public assembly spaces in all non-code enforced areas.

Questions and answers about places of public accommodation

What are places of public accommodation?
Publicly or privately owned assembly buildings with a concentrated occupant load of 200 or more people. Examples include sports or entertainment arenas, stadiums, theaters, community or convention halls, special event centers, indoor amusement facilities or water parks and indoor swimming pools.

Does the law apply to new buildings only?
No, the law also applies to additions, alterations and change of use to buildings that contain spaces with an occupant load of 200 or more.

What is the law's purpose? 
It addresses public safety where the building code is not enforced and a large number of lives could be impacted by improper construction. Although the State Building Code is the standard that applies statewide, parts of Minnesota have not adopted enforcement of the code; therefore, there were no requirements for inspections or enforcement to ensure safe construction in these areas.

Does the law apply to just the room or space with 200 or more occupants, or the entire building containing the room or space with 200 or more occupants?
Once the occupancy threshold of 200 or more is met in a room or space, the entire building would fall under the jurisdiction of DLI in these non-code enforced areas.

How do you calculate the occupant load of a single room or space? 
Unless fixed seating is provided that can be counted, the occupant load is based on the intended use. For example, chairs = 1 occupant/7 sq. ft.; standing = 1 occupant/5 sq. ft.; tables and chairs = 1 occupant/15 sq. ft. Multi-use rooms and spaces must be calculated to the highest potential capacity and designed accordingly. The owner must work with a Minnesota licensed design professional to determine the number of occupants.

Does the law apply to barns rented for parties, weddings or receptions? 
Yes, if the barn contains a room or space with an occupant load of 200 or more.

File a complaint

Submit a Places of Public Accommodation Code Compliance Complaint Form.