The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) is urging park operators to contact their congressional representatives and the U.S. Department of Justice before April 4 to voice their concerns about ADA pool lift requirements.
“ARVC and other groups – including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Hotel and Lodging Association – met with key Administration staff on Monday to express our concerns,” Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO, stated in a news release. “While we appreciated the opportunity to discuss the hardship this recent Department of Justice guidance would impose on our members, there was no indication that the administration would revisit the DOJ’s view that fixed pool lifts are required. We fundamentally disagree with that DOJ conclusion, which is at variance with the final regulation promulgated by DOJ in 2010.”
“As a result,” Bambei said, “we need to redouble our efforts, and that means having as many park operators as possible write letters to the Department of Justice and to their congressional representatives to voice their concerns about the new pool lift requirements.”
Bambei has sent emails to ARVC members across the country asking them to write letters before April 4, which is the deadline the Department of Justice has set to receive comments on the pool lift issue. Comments can also be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=DOJ-CRT-2012-0006-0001.
ARVC is urging park operators to request that the DOJ delay enforcement of its proposed pool lift requirements for six months. The association is also urging its members to request that the DOJ change its January 2012 guidance and permit public accommodations to utilize either fixed or portable lifts, and allow those with more than one pool or spa to employ one portable lift between those bodies of water as needed to accommodate patrons.
“Many of our members find that the proposed requirement for a permanent pool lift is excessive given the limited demand for such equipment. The installation of permanent pool lifts also introduces a new category of risk and liability for other pool users that the Department of Justice has not taken into consideration,” Bambei said, noting that the ADA pool lift requirement is out of synch with previous ADA compliance requirements.
“More time is also needed for parks to comply with the new rules and to purchase the equipment they need,” Bambei said.
Park operators can learn more about the ADA requirements by visiting www.ada.gov.
Editor’s Note: Meanwhile, ARVC issued issued the following call to action today (March 28) in an email blast to its members:
ARVC continues to take the lead for small business and work hard to ensure campground owners and operators voices are heard! Alongside our coalition partners, we are asking members to submit comments to the Honorable Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice on the issue of the Department of Justice’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on delaying the compliance date for certain requirements of the Regulations Implementing Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The NPRMT specifically requests comment on whether or not DoJ should delay compliance for 180 days (or until Sept. 17, 2012). Individuals may also include comment on the underlying substance of the ADA regulations, including whether a portable lift ought to be acceptable and compliant with ADA regulations.
Please Note: The deadline for comment is April 4, 2012.
At the request of ARVC President Paul Bambei, the Public Affairs Committee compiled the following suggestions to support extension and revision and McDermott Will & Emery’s (MWE) letter to the DoJ.
- Unreasonable compliance deadline
- Backorders of equipment make it difficult to comply.
- Potential of lawsuits because of inability to comply by deadline.
- Time to educate and inform park owners/operators.
- 100% of facilities is not consistent with the remainder of ADA compliance requirements.
- Seasonality of many campgrounds and the outdoor location of pools/spas limit demand.
- Retrofitting is not consistent with the previous ADA compliance requirements.
- Compliance with pool lifts requirements will cause conflicts with other requirements – even other ADA requirements (ie., sidewalk width).
- Increased hazard in pool/spa area.
Commenters should submit their comments by only ONE of the methods below:
- Online at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=DOJ-CRT-2012-0006-0001.
- Via standard U S mail and address the comment in the form of a letter as follows:
March/April XX, 2012
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Re: NRPM Delaying the Compliance Date for Certain Requirements of the Regulations Implementing Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
(CRT Docket No. 123; AG Order No. 3327-2012; RIN 1190-AA69)
Dear Disability Rights Section:
I am writing today regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would extend the date for compliance with certain requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design that relate to provision of accessible entry and exit for existing swimming pools and spas.
[**commenters should insert his/her comment on this proposal here. For example, the commenter could say: “I strongly support extending the compliance date for 180 days as proposed because of the confusion surrounding the requirements for small businesses like mine. I operate a small business — an RV park/campground — in (City/State), and these requirements would be particularly burdensome.]
Furthermore, I urge the Department of Justice to permit public accommodations to satisfy the requirements by using a portable pool lift.”
**Commenters should tailor their comments according to their own circumstances.
submit written comments, using to above format, via overnight or courier service, or hand delivery. Comments submitted by one of these methods should be addressed as follows: (please note this address is different from above address)
Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 4039
Washington, DC 20005