W.W. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can the Board President refuse a condo owner of a handicap spot that has a handicap placard?
Mister Condo replies:
W.W., thank you for writing. Handicapped parking is always a topic of contention at condominiums and the decision to grant special parking for handicapped persons really comes down to who owns the parking lot and has control over the assignment of spaces. For the most part, the Association and not the individual unit owners own parking areas at condominiums. That isn’t to say that there aren’t exceptions. I have seen some condominiums that have deeded parking associated with a unit, meaning an individual unit is sold with the parking space(s) included on the deed of the unit. This is not particularly common but you should check your deed to see if your parking space is included.
For most associations, the Board of Directors or Trustees are the governing authority for the parking lot. If that is the case where you live, then the Board (not the Board President) has the ability to grant or deny requests for designated handicapped parking spaces. This has nothing to do with your handicapped placard which gives you handicapped parking at all sorts of municipal and public parking lots. However, your association parking lot is very likely not accessed by the public and is private property, which means the parking lot owners can make their own rules. They still have to follow local fire codes and such but they may not be subject to the same scrutiny that a typical shopping plaza has to follow, for instance.
All that being said, have you written a request to your Board asking about designated handicapped parking? Are there others in your association who would like handicapped parking? The Board serves the needs of the association members. If they aren’t doing so, elect Board members that will. Perhaps you should consider running for the Board yourself and bringing this issue to the attention of all unit owners. Although you should be prepared that if there isn’t enough demand for handicapped parking, the issue may not have any traction. Good luck, W.W.!
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