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(Yet Another) Update on ADA Compliance regarding HOAs, Condos and Swimming Pools

We blogged about the extension granted by the Department of Justice for existing pools to comply with the new ADA Standards for providing accessible entry and exits. Just days after issuing its “Final Rule,” the Department of Justice published a fact information page with Questions and Answers regarding Accessibility Requirements for Existing Swimming Pools at Hotels and other Public Accommodations. The DOJ’s Q&A attempts to answer questions regarding whether your pool shall require accommodations. This blog post analyzes the Q&A.

The Q&A specifically addresses Community Pools stating: “Community pools that are associated with a private residential community and are limited to the exclusive use of residents and their guests are not covered by the ADA accessibility requirements. On the other hand, if a swimming pool/club located in a residential community is made available to the public for rental or use, it is covered under Title III of the ADA.”

If your community pool is made available to the public for rental or use, you are required to make it ADA accessible, but only when it is “readily achievable.” The DOJ states, “Providing access is not readily achievable if it would involve significant difficulty or expense.” The Q&A guidance provides that if a fixed lift that meets all of the 2010 Standard’s requirements can be installed without much difficulty or expense, it should be installed. If full compliance is not readily achievable, a non-fixed lift that otherwise is compliant with the 2010 Standards may be used if it is readily achievable.

“Readily achievable” is determined on a case-by-case basis focusing on whether compliance with ADA requirements is unduly burdensome. Businesses are encouraged to develop a plan to provide access into the pool when it becomes readily achievable. The DOJ indicates that this is an ongoing obligation, and if compliance becomes readily achievable in the future, the business must comply with the 2010 Standards.

What does that mean for the swimming pool in your HOA and Condo? This issue is complex, especially if you are selling pool memberships to parties other than the members of the community association, opening up the pool to persons other than members or guest, or using the pool for swim teams and swim competitions. Consequently, the DOJ’s Q&A does not change our recommendation. Because of the uncertainty of defining “readily achievable” on a case-by-case basis, you should consult your community association attorney for advice on whether the ADA Standards for Accessible Design apply to your existing pool. 


Susan new photo1 150x150 ADA Compliance – (Another) Update on HOAs, Condos and Swimming Pools

Tarley Robinson, PLC, Attorneys and Counsellors at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia


 

 

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John Tarley

John is the firm's managing partner and chairs the firm's small business, zoning, and litigation practice areas.

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Filed under: Common Interest Community, HOA, HOA litigation, State & Federal Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Unit Owners Association by John Tarley

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