In addition to several of our other community association attorneys, I have recently counseled some of our clients about the applicability of the new pool accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The new ADA pool accessibility requirements apply to state and local government services as well as places of public accommodations (e.g., hotels, fitness centers, etc.), and they call for the provision of accessible means of entry and exit from pools. The Department of Justice recently extended the compliance deadline for existing pools to January 31, 2013.
The new ADA pool accessibility requirements do not apply to most community associations, as the pools and amenities at typical condominiums and HOA communities are strictly for the use of the residents and their guests and are not open to the public.
However, those community associations that operate as a resort/hotel condo and are therefore open to the public will definitely be required to meet the new ADA pool accessibility requirements. In addition, community associations that allow the use or rental of their pool(s) for events and activities that are open to the public (e.g., swimming competitions, water aerobics, etc.) will also very likely be required to comply. For these communities, it is imperative that they consult with their attorney to determine if they must comply with the new ADA pool accessibility requirements.
Finally, if your community association is considering or already allowing the use of its pool for events or activities that are open to the public, I would recommend consulting with the association's attorney to determine whether it should constitute any concerns over the applicability of ADA regulations.
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