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    The Greater Williamsburg area is an exciting place to live and work, especially because of the large number of entrepreneurs who have built businesses from the ground up. These entrepreneurs have taken their passion and made it their profession. Many of us want to take that step. Before you begin, you need to think of the type of business entity you want to form. Our attorneys have extensive business experience, from small one-person companies to publicly traded major corporations. Our attorneys are among the leaders in Virginia in the representation of Common Interest Communities. These communities are generally referred to as "homeowners associations," or "HOAs," and "condominium associations." In the greater Williamsburg area alone, we provide legal assistance to nearly 100 associations. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended a wide array of civil disputes involving community association covenant enforcement, commercial transactions, construction disputes, contracts, real estate matters, boundary line and easement disputes, employment matters, antitrust litigation, copyright violations, administrative proceedings, and estate issues. Real Estate law encompasses a wide variety of matters, and our attorneys have vast experience to assist you. Whether you need assistance with a commercial or residential closing, or you have questions relating to residential or commercial leasing, we provide experienced advice and counsel to our clients. Zoning law can be a complicated maze of statutes and ordinances. We have ample experience in successful applications for rezoning, variance, and special use permit requests. Finally, commercial and residential construction provide special challenges with respect to financing issues and the construction process. We serve as counsel to various financial institutions.

(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



John Tarley

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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