I am an owner in a condominium association. The board of directors has retained an outside Contractor to paint stripes on the parking lot, and based on my background in real estate management I know there is serious potential problem lurking here. The issue is that the parking lot is not ADA compliant, and my review of ADA documentation indicates that the lot must be brought into compliance for ADA parking spaces when this sort of work is done. As an FYI ... this is a commercial condominium, not a residential one, and more than half of the units in the building meet the Federal definition of "public accommodation" for ADA access.What options do I have here? The board is interested in doing this work as cheap as possible, and they're willing to run the risk of facing enforcement actions down the road. My concern is that as an owner of one of the units that are "public accommodations," I may face future problems with employees and customers due to barriers to access under the ADA.I have no interest in pursuing legal action at this time, but I'd have no qualms about reporting this matter to the U.S. Justice Department if they go ahead and do this work incorrectly.
Notify board of problems with the proposed work, along with risks of ADA enforcement.
Thank you for your question.Your best option is to contact the Board and inform them that in this case "cheap" will cost them in the long-term when either an owner in the condo Association or makes a call to zoning for a violation and then sues them for violating their Constitutional rights pertaining to valid accommodations, or the zoning board fines them themselves. The legal fees alone may be significant based on what they are spending on this "maintenance" and therefore should give them pause. Beyond that if you personally do not want to pursue legal action, you are effectively stuck since to compel action it would involve calls to zoning, or suits against the Board for breach of their fiduciary duty to the association expressly for failing to take into consideration a known defect and violation.Good luck.Dimitry Esquire41030.8504117245
Is this even a zoning issue? The ADA requirements are based on Federal statute, not local zoning ordinances. My understanding is that this would be pursued through the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, not a local zoning official.
Thank you for your follow-up.This is both municipal and Federal, and the zoning board can also enforce both local ordinances as well as the ADA compliant (or non-compliant) property. You are correct that this is pursed via the US Justice Department, but the local zoning board can also choose to pursue as a plaintiff.Good luck.Dimitry Esquire41030.8572364583
Licensed in PA & NJ , specialize in business/contract disputes, immigration, estate creation & admin
Thanks. The local zoning board will probably not get involved, knowing how they operate in this town. I'd prefer to deal directly with the Feds.
Thank you for your follow-up.That makes sense, as it appears from your facts that the condominium association has some sort of a belief that they may be protected from being pursued by the local board. Sometimes dealing with strangers out of jurisdiction makes more sense.Good luck.Dimitry Esquire41030.8614396181
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).