We have spoken with many of you over the past few months about your status relative to the new American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements for swimming pools. The Act requires compliance by March 15, 2012 or by the time your pool opens for the 2012 season.
The ADA does exempt Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) from being compliant as long as the pool is only used by Homeowners and their direct guests. There are some actions that cause a Homeowners’ Association to lose their exemption status. Below are some of the most common examples:
- The Homeowners’ Association sells pool memberships to people outside the HOA.
- The Homeowners’ Association sells day passes to non-members, unaccompanied by a member.
- The HOA Swim Team allows non-HOA members to join the team (especially common for swim teams needing the 15-18 year old spots filled).
- The HOA Swim Team hosts swim meets against teams that are required to be ADA compliant at their pool. If an HOA invites into their pool facility an organization that must comply with ADA standards at their pool then the HOA must now comply with ADA to accommodate them. HOAs should be mindful of this when hosting swim meets.
- The HOA rents the pool to non-HOA members and/ or organizations (daycares, churches, etc).
If your HOA is not engaging in the activities above then you are probably exempt from the ADA standards at your pool.
Private Clubs are also exempt, but they need to meet the definition of a Private Club. Below is the criteria typically used by the Department of Justice and the Courts to determine if a Club is Private (all 5 criteria must be met):
- Members exercise a high degree of control over club operations.
- The membership selection process is highly selective.
- Substantial membership fees are charged.
- The entity is operated on a nonprofit basis.
- The club was not founded specifically to avoid compliance with Federal civil rights laws.
We would be happy to discuss the specifics with you for your community or Club. Please feel free to contact us with additional questions.