A set of new regulations created in 2010 under the Americans with Disabilities Act was scheduled to go into effect on March 15, 2012. Late last week, the deadline for compliance with these regulations was extended for 60 days with the possibility of an additional extension of time to allow for clarification and further discussion of the impact and manner of implementing and complying with these rules.
A portion of these rules created no small amount of uncertainty for ROCs with community pools as these new regulations seemed to require that any "public pool" have at least one (and in some cases two) means of accessibility for persons with physical disabilities.
What exactly constitutes a "public pool"?
I’m comfortable with advising the board or manager of a ROC that allows only its residents or the family, tenants, or invited guests to use the pool that the community pool is "residential" or "private" rather than public.
However, pools in communities that host swimming meets open to the public, or communities that are partially or entirely designed for short term occupancy by recreational vehicle owners would appear to fall within the "public" arena and these new accessibility rules would seem to apply.
I’ve spoken with several communities that don’t know whether or not their pools are "private" or "public" and others that aren’t sure of the type of accessibility equipment required and we’re hopeful that the additional time will provide all of us with the answers needed to determine whether a community needs to bring its pool into compliance with these new accessibility standards and, if so, what equipment will be allowed to meets these standards.
For now, at least, ROCs that need to comply will have some additional time to do so.
Stay tuned and I hope to see some of you at the Expo in Charlotte County on March 27th!