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Pool Lifts

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the Technical Assistance section of the law that covers Public Accommodations and Public Facilities. The 2010 Standards for Accessible Design, which contains the new requirements regarding pool lifts, was adopted September 15, 2010, but compliance is not required until March 15, 2012.

Title III does not apply to residential facilities; however, it covers places of public accommodation within residential facilities. Thus, areas within multifamily residential facilities that qualify as places of public accommodation are covered by the ADA if use of the areas is not limited exclusively to owners, residents, and their guests.

Do mobilehome parks have to have ADA compliant pool lifts?
Generally, swimming pools in mobilehome parks are not defined as a place of public accommodation and therefore do not fall under ADA requirements for pool lifts. However, if a mobilehome park opens up their pool to the public (e.g. water aerobic classes are offered to the general public), then ADA pool lifts would need to be installed. RV parks are open to the public and therefore would be required to have pool lifts in their pools.

The following illustrations show how a swimming pool in an apartment complex or a manufactured housing community would be considered “public” under ADA.

ILLUSTRATION 1: A private residential apartment complex includes a swimming pool for use by apartment tenants and their guests. The complex also sells pool “memberships” generally to the public. The pool qualifies as a place of public accommodation.

ILLUSTRATION 2: Water aerobic classes are held by the local Veteran’s club at a manufactured housing community pool. Individuals that are neither residents nor guests of residents are allowed to attend. This pool may qualify as a place of public accommodation.

If your community’s swimming pool can be defined as a public accommodation, the following ADA pool lift requirement applies:

“All pools larger than 300 linear feet of pool wall perimeter need at least two accessible means of entry, one of which needs to be either a pool lift or a sloped entry. The secondary means of entry can be either a lift or sloped entry, or pool access stairs, transfer system, or transfer wall. Pools with less than 300 linear feet of pool wall perimeter need one accessible means of entry, either a pool lift or sloped entry. Spas need one entry, which can be either a pool lift, transfer system or a transfer wall.”

You can read more background information on these ADA requirements below.

September 15, 2010 Federal Register
“SUMMARY: This final rule revises the regulation of the Department of Justice (Department) that implements title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), relating to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in State and local government services. The Department is issuing this final rule in order to adopt enforceable accessibility standards under the ADA that are consistent with the minimum guidelines and requirements issued by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board), and to update or amend certain provisions of the title II regulation so that they comport with the Department’s legal and practical experiences in enforcing the ADA since 1991. Concurrently with the publication of this final rule for title II, the Department is publishing a final rule amending its ADA title III regulation, which covers nondiscrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in commercial facilities.”

ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual Covering Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities
See section III-1.2000 Public accommodations.

Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III
“Title III prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the activities of places of public accommodation (businesses that are generally open to the public and that fall into one of twelve categories listed in the ADA, such as restaurants, movie theaters, schools, day care facilities, recreational facilities, and doctors’ offices) and requires newly constructed or altered places of public accommodation—as well as commercial facilities (privately owned, nonresidential facilities like factories, warehouses, or office buildings)—to comply with the ADA Standards. 42 U.S.C. 12181B89.”

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