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Feds extend ADA hotel spa, pool lift deadline
Key West Citizen and Bait Wrapper ^ | May 22, 2012 | MANDY MILES Citizen Staff

Posted on 05/22/2012 7:43:23 AM PDT by Elle Bee

The federal government on Friday extended its deadline for hotel and guesthouse owners to make pools accessible to people with disabilities. It was good news for Florida Keys lodging owners, many of them still scratching their heads over how to interpret the new rules.

The previous deadline for compliance was Monday, but it has been postponed until Jan. 31, according to documents published Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice, which administers the 1991 Americans with Disabilities Act.

The extension was granted as a result of questions, confusion and concerns about the requirements of the pool accessibility rules that require lodging establishments to provide access and exit to pools with either a permanently installed lift that lowers disabled guests into a pool, or with a sloped entry into the pool or spa.

Pools with a perimeter of 300 linear feet or more are required to have two lifts, while smaller pools and spas are required to have at least one lift or sloped entry, according to the ADA rules.

The requirements and implementation had hotel and guesthouse owners nationwide scrambling to find money and lift manufacturers and installers in time to meet the compliance deadline. Backlogs for lift orders were making it impossible for some pool operators to comply, Jodi Weinhofer, president of the Lodging Association of the Florida Key and Key West said in February, when the first March deadline was looming.

Weinhofer has been monitoring efforts by the American Hotel Lodging Association to gain clarification and support from the Department of Justice on the new rules.

Friday's announcement of the deadline extension, however, did not provide that clarification, said Key West hotelier Kate Miano, who owns The Gardens Hotel, a boutique hotel in a historic structure in Key West's historic district.

Miano said she repeatedly has asked representatives from the Justice Department to send an expert to Key West to answer questions, evaluate properties and clarify language in the new requirements that states that properties must provide access to pools and spas to the extent that it is "readily achievable." That term is defined in the ADA as "easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense."

Factors to be considered when determining whether compliance is "readily achievable" include the cost of a permanent pool lift, the resources of the site involved, number of employees, effect on expenses and resources and legitimate safety concerns, the DOJ document released Friday states.

The document acknowledges concerns from lodging establishments that they would have to close their pools entirely if they cannot comply with the accessibility requirements and thus face steep fines for noncompliance.

"Hotels and other public accommodations will not be required to close their existing pools if compliance with the applicable ADA Accessibility Standards is not easily accomplishable or able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense," the document states.

The document further states that the backlog of compliant permanent lifts "would demonstrate that it is not readily achievable to comply with the requirements until such time as a lift becomes available."

Miano ordered a permanent lift earlier this year, but had placed her order on hold until receiving clarification from the government. She and other local hoteliers also are concerned about safety risks that a permanent pool lift would pose to non-disabled guests who could stumble over it at night, or children who could get hurt playing on it at the pool.

She and others have told the government and the national lodging association that they support a portable lift that could be installed before the arrival of a disabled guest and left in place for the duration of their stay.

The document released Friday, which justifies the DOJ's extension, acknowledges the remaining questions and the fact that some owners were considering closing their pools to everyone until such time as they could install a fully compliant, permanent lift.

"These pool operators and owners will need time to undertake a fact-specific analysis about whether the installation of a fully compliant pool lift is 'readily achievable' and to implement their compliance plan," the document states.

The government also is considering comments it has received from people with disabilities and the organizations representing them, most of which opposed the deadline extension, claiming that lodging officials have had since 2010 to comply with the pool lift rules.

"After carefully considering all of these factors, including the unique burden that an additional postponement would impose on individuals with disabilities, the department has concluded that a further extension of the compliance date is warranted."

Until Jan. 31, hoteliers locally and nationally will be seeking further clarification of the requirements.

For more information, visit www.ada.gov or www.ahla.com.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ada; bureaucrats; staterights; tyranny
can you imagine a $10-20K lift for every pool in the country?

Pure bureaucratic tyranny

.

1 posted on 05/22/2012 7:43:34 AM PDT by Elle Bee
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To: Elle Bee

“The extension was granted as a result of...” it being an election year!


2 posted on 05/22/2012 7:53:17 AM PDT by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: Elle Bee

WAY past time for this ADA crap to be repealed or severely restricted.

This crap is getting asinine!

A small office with 10 parking places.... two of them have to be designated as “handicap only”. Just how many truly handicapped people drive?

Our Nation is doomed.....


3 posted on 05/22/2012 7:54:44 AM PDT by clee1 (We use 43 muscles to frown, 17 to smile, and 2 to pull a trigger. I'm lazy and I'm tired of smiling.)
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To: Elle Bee

Don’t forget to thank GHW Bush (R) for this buffoonery.

While you’re at it, thank Richard Nixon (R)for the job killing, electric price soaring EPA.


4 posted on 05/22/2012 8:02:15 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: Balding_Eagle
Don’t forget to thank GHW Bush (R) for this buffoonery.

Why can't the current Congress amend the ADA to specifically exempt pools and spas? Doing nothing while this happens is just as bad as approving the ADA in the beginning.

5 posted on 05/22/2012 8:10:01 AM PDT by Doe Eyes
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To: Elle Bee

The hotel owners and managers should start shutting down their pools and spas and then get on TV saying the Barack Obama’s ADA did this.


6 posted on 05/22/2012 8:11:42 AM PDT by citizen (Obama blames:Arab Spring,Banks,Big Oil,Bush,Ceos,Coal,Euro Zone,FNC,Jpn Tsunami,T Party,Wall St,You)
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To: clee1

Sorry to tell you but 1 - 25 total require 1 only - but I agree with you in principle.


7 posted on 05/22/2012 8:12:48 AM PDT by I am Richard Brandon
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To: Elle Bee
"Hotels and other public accommodations will not be required to close their existing pools if compliance with the applicable ADA Accessibility Standards is not easily accomplishable or able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense," the document states.

What is "easily accomplishable"? Will it involve lots and lots of civil suits where lawyers for handicapped activists looking for cash settlements will sue pool owners by the hundreds because in their opinion installing the lift is easily accomplishable. It is probably just easier to close the pool for everyone rather than risk the suits. And be sure to post a sign proclaiming to everyone that the pool cannot be used because of the ADA. If enough things are closed to both the handicapped and non-handicapped maybe some popular backlash will cause the ADA to be struck down or at least defanged.

8 posted on 05/22/2012 8:13:03 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (You only have three billion heartbeats in a lifetime.How many does the government claim as its own?)
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To: Elle Bee

The pools are readily accessible to anyone in a wheelchair. It’s getting back to the dry part that is the problem...


9 posted on 05/22/2012 8:18:33 AM PDT by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: Elle Bee
Wheelchair ramps for swimming pools?
Yank the pools out. Make sandboxes out of them. Thank you, ADA.

Everybody loses.

10 posted on 05/22/2012 8:19:18 AM PDT by Publius6961 ("It's easy to make promises you can't keep" - B.H.Obama Feb 23, 2012)
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To: Balding_Eagle

Thank you for remembering it was George HW Bush who gave us this ADA nonsense. That information is always LEFT out. I hear a lot of complaining about this ADA on talk radio, but the hosts never want to discuss, or seem to recall who signed it into law. It’s a peculiar form of amnesia and with Patient Zero as GOP nominee. I expect another epidemic of it in the Republican party this fall.


11 posted on 05/22/2012 8:21:01 AM PDT by HarryCrowel
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To: I am Richard Brandon
Sorry to tell you but 1 - 25 total require 1 only - but I agree with you in principle.

You can be as sorry as you want, but States and local ordinances can enhance or interpret the requirement any way they choose. You are simply ignorant.

How about two handicapped spots mandatory for an indoor skateboard facility?

Killed the project.

12 posted on 05/22/2012 8:24:33 AM PDT by Publius6961 ("It's easy to make promises you can't keep" - B.H.Obama Feb 23, 2012)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Elle Bee
It was good news for Florida Keys lodging owners, many of them still scratching their heads over how to interpret the new rules.

Anybody who has tried to comply with the National Electrical Code should sympathize with the difficulty. It is a very different thing to build a pool lift and install one that can deal with every kind of disability. Moreover, I truly do not understand why a physically capable lifeguard would not qualify as a "pool lift" as that might actually be better for dealing with the variety of disabilities presented, with the exception of morbid obesity. Can you imagine the lift capable of dealing with a 600 pound person?

14 posted on 05/22/2012 8:27:55 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The RINOcrat Party is still in charge. There has never been a conservative American government.)
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To: Carry_Okie

You can’t give a lifeguard the responsibility for handling a 400 lb double amputee who wants to get in and out of the pool.


15 posted on 05/22/2012 8:33:24 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: Carry_Okie

Sorry, didn’t read your last sentence. But your post brings up another question. Some disabled people might require special handling - say someone with brittle bone disease. Granted saving them from drowning takes priority over worrying about a broken bone - but are the facilities now going to have to pay for lifeguards to receive training in how to recognize different medical conditions and how to handle them?


16 posted on 05/22/2012 8:37:44 AM PDT by heartwood
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To: Publius6961

Same goes for backyard pools.

I’d love to put a 4’ x 15’ above ground pool in the backyard. However, neighborhood kids use our yard as a “cut-through” getting from one street to the next. They are respectful and cause no problems.

However, pools have proved to be lawyer magnets, so I’d probably have to build a 12’ high fence to protect myself. I have enough money to buy a pool OR a fence, not both. So, I do neither.

(Deep Theological/Literary Question: In Dante’s Inferno, who occupies the lower ring of Hell, Lawyers or Bureaucrats?)


17 posted on 05/22/2012 9:00:25 AM PDT by BwanaNdege (Man has often lost his way, but modern man has lost his address - Gilbert K. Chesterton)
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To: clee1

I have always seen this as just a natural extension of Jim Crow laws.

Think about it... almost all elderly people are white.... and now they all they their own special parking spots, chairs, tables, toilets, water fountains, ect. Just like in the old days.


18 posted on 05/22/2012 9:00:56 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. and the economy died.)
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To: Publius6961

I’d like springboards installed on basketball courts for white guys like me.


19 posted on 05/22/2012 9:39:29 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: heartwood
Granted saving them from drowning takes priority over worrying about a broken bone - but are the facilities now going to have to pay for lifeguards to receive training in how to recognize different medical conditions and how to handle them?

For beach lifeguards, they already do.

20 posted on 05/22/2012 9:53:13 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The RINOcrat Party is still in charge. There has never been a conservative American government.)
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To: heartwood
Some disabled people might require special handling - say someone with brittle bone disease.

Of course, once you have your implant with the codes to your medical records...

Can you imagine designing a lift capable of dealing with every disease, one also capable of being accessible from both above and below simultaneously?

21 posted on 05/22/2012 9:56:39 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The RINOcrat Party is still in charge. There has never been a conservative American government.)
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To: Publius6961

Our 38 spaces require one handicap space and one van-accessible handicap space. No one uses them now but one was used for a few years by a guy 5’-6” and 500 pounds. He died young.


22 posted on 05/22/2012 10:01:02 AM PDT by citizen (Obama blames:Arab Spring,Banks,Big Oil,Bush,Ceos,Coal,Euro Zone,FNC,Jpn Tsunami,T Party,Wall St,You)
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To: clee1

I want to know who made money off the ADA compliant Detectable Warning Pavers, those bump mats you have to go over to get into grocery stores, just about everywhere now. They are for blind people so they know they have left the store and are about to go into the parking lot. It took a lot to find out what the hell they were for. My mother has progressed from cane to walker to wheelchair and they are the most treacherous obstacles! The worst part with the cane and walker was getting her safely over the damn bump mat and now with the wheelchair I feel like her teeth are going to rattle out!

My newphew got married in England right after his father had hip surgery. He was miserable getting around because nothing is ADA. But, he made it thru. Is any other country but ours ADA? Are our businesses the only one that have had to spend billions/trillions on this?

Pool lifts? Are you kidding me? And a blind person at Wal-Mart doesn’t realize they have left the store and are about to go into the parking lot? Really?


23 posted on 05/22/2012 11:06:07 AM PDT by VA40
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To: Carry_Okie

Our local Veterans Club installed an elevator at great expense, the repair guys are out a couple of times a week, some covered by warranty some not. The point is it is almost more dangerous, then not having one. (door opening when the lift is at the bottom)


24 posted on 05/22/2012 11:30:54 AM PDT by Foolsgold (L I B Lacking in Brains)
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To: Publius6961

I’ve seen those parking spots in a SKI lift parking lot!


25 posted on 05/23/2012 5:03:47 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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To: Publius6961

A friend of mine has a handicapped sticker because of her epilepsy.

Yes, she is permitted to drive.


26 posted on 05/23/2012 5:05:19 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going)
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