|By: None Specified|
|Date: January 3, 2011|
On September 15, 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published revised regulations for Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the revisions have limited applicability in the apartment context, they do include a new accessibility standard for swimming pools.
Title III of the ADA requires that swimming pools open to the public (e.g., that sell memberships to people outside an apartment property’s resident community) must be brought into compliance with the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design by May 21, 2012.
All covered pools must provide an accessible means of entry/exit. Such accessible means include a pool lift or sloped entry, and either a transfer wall, transfer system or pool stairs. The type of and number of access depends on the size and type of structure (e.g., pool, spa, wading pool).
Property owners subject to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act through federally-assisted housing programs (excluding Section 8 housing voucher program) may also have compliance obligations for new construction or renovated properties.
This NMHC/NAA guidance provides more information on the requirements. Pool operators are advised to review both the new ADA requirements and their local code requirements; the more stringent requirement prevails.
UPDATE: COMPLIANCE DATE EXTENDED
On March 20, 2012, the Department of Justice issued final rules extending the original compliance date of March 15, 2012 to January 31, 2013 to allow pools more time to prepare for the new regulations.
NMHC/NAA submitted a letter to the DOJ in early April in support of a compliance deadline extension. In a March 13 letter to the DOJ, we explained that conflicting guidance and interpretation of the new standards gave little time for affected pool owners to come into compliance. In addition to extending the compliance date, we asked DOJ to issue clear guidance and reconsider their decision not to allow the use of less expansive portable lifts and shared lifts to comply with the rules.
The compliance date for any apartment communities impacted by the new ADA standards is now January 31, 2013.
- New ADA Standards for Pool Accessibility Take Effect
- NMHC Guidance: Revised Pool Accessibility Requirements
- DOJ Summary: Accessible Pools-Means of Entry and Exit
- NMHC/Coalition Letter: More Guidance, More Time Required
- Final Rule: Extending ADA Pool Lift Compliance Deadline
- NMHC/NAA Letter to DOJ Subcommittee on ADA Pool Accessibility