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Condo associations and the challenge of handicap parking spaces

Posted on Tue, Mar 15, 2011 @ 07:59 AM
I live in a deed restricted community that has only three handicapped parking spaces for approximately 365 units. Two are by the pool and one in an poorly lighted parking lot on the same street. I live several blocks away. My condo association board tells me that they cannot deal with my "little" problem and don't understand that the handicapped parking needs to be more dispersed throughout the community. There is also an issue that there isn't a handicapped ramp on each corner. When questioned on this we were told we could take the wheelchair down someone's driveway. What good does it do me to park in a handicapped spot blocks away from my building? I also have handicapped friends who I have to shuttle to my condo from that "not safe" parking area. I've been getting the run around for two years until I got the email this morning calling my problem a "little thing" for the board to have to handle. Yet, they are more than happy to tow her resident's vehicles off because their car bumpers slightly went over onto the sidewalk because another resident felt he bought a condo with a sidewalk and didn't like it.


Please check with your city, county, etc. In most places, there are laws which will state the minimum required parking spaces. In most cases, it will be a percentage of the spaces; sometimes it may be determined by the number of units, etc. If you get no results from your city or county, call the Department of Human Services - I'm sure the Federal Government would be interested in light of the ADA.  
I'm not sure what they will do about the curb situation, but check that all out while you're at it. 
I can't imagine why the board is not making some kind of effort to accommodate those with disabilities in such a large complex.

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:33 AM by c

contact an attorney or the ADA on the web @ http://www.ada.gov/ - they have a publication under Title III for filing a complaint. They also have a number of contact phone #'s as well. Good Luck.

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:57 AM by cebo

Think about what you are asking. You are asking the Association to spend the money of its members (which you are one) for your guests.  
My understanding in classes and in discussions with legal counsel is that Associations are not required to make changes, but they cannot block them either. If you are willing to go through the paperwork and expense, you may be able to have some modifications made at your expense. 
The tow situation has nothing to do with you, so you should not concern yourself with it. A co-owner evidently had a legitimate complaint and the board handled it. What if you were walking with one of your handicapped friends and they had difficulty getting their wheelchair down the sidewalk because the bumper was over it? You would look at it differently. 
I would ask you why your guests are not parking in your driveway. If you also have that many guests who have special needs, it may be worthwhile to try to seek an agreement or accomodation for some parking closer to your unit. 
I would also check with your local government, but often condominium and homeowner associations are seen as private property and do not have to follow the same rules as public properties.

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:59 AM by Joe Schuirmann

The Federal American with disabilities act sets a formula which determines the minimum number of handicap parking spaces that mkust be made available at a facility. The Board must comply with this minium standard or face the legal consequences of failing to do so. You do not necessariy need a lawyer. Use your browser to allow you to look at this act and find that portion that I refer to, Quote those clauses ver batim to Board.

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:50 AM by Scott

How old is your complex?  
When the complex was finished, it had to comply with all State/Local laws. As mentioned earlier, there is usually a minimum number of handicap spaces required. It's doubtful if the local building department missed this -- this is usually a real hot button with the inspectors. 
You may want to check with your local building department. Were some of the spaces eliminated after the complex was finished? 

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:18 AM by Don

Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 contain many provisions, including the prohibition of discrimination in housing-related transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, as well as handicap. It is prohibited for someone to “refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.” 
With regard to a disabled tenant or disabled applicant’s reasonable accommodation request, the owner or manager of the apartment complex can request verification that the tenant or applicant is disabled and needs the requested accommodation to use and enjoy the apartment or community. However, the owner or manager cannot request information about the nature, extent, or severity of a person’s disability. Furthermore, if after a disabled tenant makes a reasonable accommodation request, the housing provider delays responding to the request, after a reasonable amount of time, that delay may be construed as a failure to provide a reasonable accommodation. 
If no such conciliation agreement can be reached, then HUD can recommend that the United States Attorney General file suit. If, after a hearing, it is determined that discrimination has taken place, then the defendant can be ordered (1) to compensate the complainant for actual damages, including humiliation, pain and suffering, (2) to make the necessary corrections so that the complainant will be able to enjoy the condominium unit, (3) to pay the Federal Government a civil penalty; the maximum penalties being $11,000 for the first violation and $50,000 for a third violation within seven years, and (4) to reimburse the complainant for any legal fees and costs incurred in connection with the hearing.

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:16 PM by gazzelle

i am on the board at our association located in florida  
we had so many handicap spots that were never being used  
i called the county and discovered that if the complex was built afer a certain year there were requiremnets made by the county to have a certain number of handicapped parking spots-if the complex is older as ours is, then we need to have a few to accommodate anyone who needs a handicap spot, and that could be just 2-3 
a form filled out by the homeowner from his physician is required at the motor vechicle dept for the person to get a handicap sticker 
also, each owner already has a designated parking space to park in--do you (IN FRONT OF YOUR CONDO) 
as far as the ramp goes, the board must allow one requested by a handicap owner but the owner must pay the expense for it,

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 7:51 PM by grace

Thank you everyone for your prompt advice. I will look into everything. 
In answer to some of the questions about a parking space in front of my condo. Yes, I have that, but my roommate who is also an owner is also handicapped and both of us have handicapped plaques/tags. We both cannot use it at the same time. All I've asked is that they take some of the existing parking spaces and make a few handicapped parking. They more than meet the size requirement. 
In answer to another question, the community is four year old and the last buildings went up 6 months ago and the 3 existing handicapped spaces where there from the beginning of the complex. None have been added since the completion. 
Again, thanks everyone for your assistance.

posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 8:26 PM by Renee'

We live in a 17 unit condo that is move than 50% sold so that the association has now taken over from the sponsor. Our problem is the sponsor has sold or given the handicapped space to one of the unit owners that is NOT handicapped. I thought it had to be free for anyone who visit who is handicapped. Is it legal for the sponsor to do this

posted @ Monday, August 22, 2011 7:19 PM by Phyllis Maldarelli

I am a disabled adult who lives in a condominium complex with no handicap parking. Is there a contingency lawyer in Virginia for this issue?

posted @ Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:15 PM by Julie Edwards

I am a handicapped citizen who lives in Herndon, VA. In my condominium complex there is no handicap parking. I have a permanent blue disability parking permit. Earlier this week I was told by a member of the home owners association to park on the street. It is a block and a half from my home. I wear a back brace and use a cane. I am a single mother with a 10 yr old daughter and the neighborhood is bad. Walking long distances causes me a great amount of pain. I feel as though I've been discriminated against. Is there anyone out there who can help me? My phone number is 804-839-3601. Please call after 12pm and ask for Cynthia. I've been on the phone for 2 days with various organizations and I am getting very frustrated!  
My name is Julie and I'm helping my friend Cynthia because she doesn't have a computer.

posted @ Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:07 PM by Julie Edwards

I live in an older condo complex in Apopka, FL and since there is a shortage of parking spaces, it seems that every winter more and more snowbirds return to our condo villas displaying handicapped parking stickers. These people now have reserved spaces, unlike the rest of us, who sometimes have to park blocks away at night. Our Board of Directors will issue a handicapped space to anyone who has been issued a handicapped ticket. They are not in compliance with the law that states that 1 out of 25 spaces be handicapped. It has become egregious and gone to the other extreme. There are at least 30 handicapped spaces for 100 spots. I am a female senior and I feel that my rights have been stepped on and that I have been discriminated against, not to mention the danger in walking so far in the dark to my condo when I can't find a parking space at night. I would not complain if these people were truly handicapped but they are very active golfers, who are taking advantage of the Americans for Disabilities Act of 1990. Who can I consult when someone takes a good law and abuses it?

posted @ Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:38 PM by Shari O'Hara

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