C.B. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a 200+ unit condo with 1, 2, or 3 garage assigned spaces. Condo docs specify all residents must park in garage; extra cars need to rent in garage. We have an 80-unit “visitor only” parking lot with 6 handicap designated spots. I have lived here over 20 years, am a paraplegic and 6 years a former trustee. The new chairman has the opinion that all people with handicap plates or placards can park in guest only parking and not have to rent in garage. Closest parking lot space is further distance (over 100 feet) than any underground garage spaces reserved or trust owned. Is he right?
Mister Condo replies:
C.B., I am not an attorney so if you are seeking a legal opinion on this matter, I must suggest you speak with an attorney. But if you are just looking for an opinion, I’ll gladly offer mine.
Condos can be a bit tricky when it comes to how much and where handicapped accessible parking is made available. Unless the buildings are used by folks outside of residents, the grounds are generally not subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). They are considered private property and don’t have to conform to that particular law. However, they do have to comply with Fair Housing and it sounds to me like they are doing so. If a handicapped resident made a written request of the Board to park in guest parking because it was closer to their entrance, I can see where the Board might grant that request. If the handicapped resident is simply trying to avoid paying a garage fee by parking in the guest lot and the Board has approved the parking arrangement, it would seem to me that there is no issue either. If the Board is allowing just this one handicapped individual special treatment and denying others the same treatment, then a foul has been committed and a lawsuit would be the likely remedy.