Unless an association is a commercial CID, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply. However, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) does and residential associations are required to reasonably accommodate a disabled resident's request for special parking. (Shapiro v. Cadman Towers, Inc. (2d Cir. 1995) 51 F.3d 328.)
Sometimes an association is not able to accommodate the request. In a case out of Florida, the association refused a disabled owners request for a handicap parking space because the location he wanted was in a service area that was already overburdened with service vehicles. The association presented an alternative which the owner rejected. The court found that the association had acted reasonably and did not violate the Fair Housing Act. (Solodar v. Old Port Cove Lake Point Tower Condominium Association, No. 12-80040-CIV-MARRA, U.S. District Ct., S.D. Florida, Feb. 29, 2012.)
In a federal case from New Jersey where all parking was owned in common, the court decided that homeowner associations are obligated to regulate the use of common elements so as to comply with FHA reasonable accommodation requirements for disabled parking. (Gittleman v. Woodhaven Condo. Ass'n, Inc., 972 F.Supp. 894 (D.N.J.1997).)
Los Feliz Towers is a highrise condominium tower in Los Angeles with deeded parking spaces that go with units. It has 20 guest parking spaces but no handicapped spaces. It also has a manager's unit with a parking space located on the top level of the underground parking near the entrance to the condominium. A disabled owner bought a van with a lift on the passenger side and requested the managers parking space because it was accessible. The association refused and the owner sued. The court denied the association's request for a dismissal and allowed the case to proceed. (So. Cal. Housing Rights Center v. Los Feliz Towers HOA 426 F. Supp. 2d 1061 (District Court, C.D. 2005).)
It is not unreasonable for an association to require a disabled owner to surrender his non-accessible parking space in exchange for a handicapped accessible space closer to his unit. (Sporn v. Ocean Colony Condominium Association, 173 F.Supp.2d 244 (D.N.J. 2001).)
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