This is an issue that should be of great interest to all apartment industry professionals. From an email alert sent by the Apartment Association of North Carolina:
Dear North Carolina Apartment Industry Professionals:
Confusion Continues on ADA Requirements for Pool Lifts/AANC Schedules April 13th Training
We have been closely monitoring all the information coming down from federal and state authorities in recent months concerning the applicability of the Americans with Disabilities Act on apartment pools in North Carolina. Of particular interest is whether or not either Pool Lifts or Ramps are required as an accessibility feature in enabling disabled individuals to gain access into pools – either in new construction or in existing properties. There was a March 15, 2012 deadline for compliance, but as is often the case with complex laws and rules, it was not clear what the directives were/are. At the end of last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release announcing the implementation of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. As part of its release, the DOJ stated the following:
“Requirements for existing swimming pools will be extended for 60 days. The department will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible six-month extension in order to allow additional time to address misunderstandings regarding compliance with these ADA requirements.”
This means that the compliance date for any apartment communities impacted by the new ADA standards is now May 15. Further, that date could be extended by an additional six months depending on the outcome of the proposed rulemaking.
The AANC has contacted nationally-respected Accessibility expert Dominic Marinelli of United Spinal on the subject of Pool Accessibility. The New York-based Marinelli related:
- The Building Code doesn’t care if a pool is or isn’t open to the “general” public – compliance is still mandated for new construction;
- A “Hold” on the Rule-Making for the Federal Law has been placed for 60 days – once resolved and lifted, this will address existing properties and Rehab triggering;
- Mr. Marinelli has agreed to conduct a free “GoTo” training for our members on this and related subjects on Friday, April 13th from 2:00 to 4:00 PM EDT. We will be devising an agenda for this training and will disseminate details to you. Please reserve this time.