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Old 07-04-2020, 02:38 PM   #1
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Does the ADA Act apply to Campground Bathrooms?

Does the Americans with Disabilities Act require a campground that rents to the public, such as a KOA, to have compliant restrooms? High toilets, bars, ramps, etc.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:48 PM   #2
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I'm not sure, but I thought that the ADA Act covers any business serving the public. There may be a minimum size business that is affected.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:54 PM   #3
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I think that the ADA mostly applies to new construction. If there were a simple answer, though, there wouldn’t be an entire industry, with battalions of attorneys and compliance inspectors, dedicated to applying the rules and punishing the laggards.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:16 PM   #4
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It applies to any public accommodation. Those accommodations must be made compliant in both new construction and whenever a major renovation is undertaken. There are exceptions when compliance cannot be achieved due to excessive costs or physical barriers to construction. In the case of an RV park, it is likely they only have to have one compliant restroom and shower per sex to be compliant. They may also be able to only have one unisex facility to meet requirements. If a complaint is filed, and the business is out of compliance, it will have a statutory number of days to become compliant before they face any financial penalties.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:26 PM   #5
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Here's a 2018 article... not sure if anything has changed.

https://insiderperks.biz/making-your...da-accessible/
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Here's a 2018 article... not sure if anything has changed.

https://insiderperks.biz/making-your...da-accessible/
That article refers to making websites accessible to the visually and hearing impaired. In my opinion, it is applications of the ADA to these types of issues actually hurt the disabled community. The idea that someone could be sued over the font size, colors, pictures and sounds of their website just smells of greed from web designers and lawyers, not accessibility.
Furthermore, how can any standard be developed that could used to create these "compliant" websites. One of the things mentioned is written description of photos so the visually impaired are not discriminated against. How detailed must those descriptions be? Is "lady eating a hotdog" sufficient? Or does the lady's physical appearance need to be described and the description need to be: "Obese caucasian woman is eating a hotdog that appears to be garnished with ketchup and relish. She is wearing a bad fitting summer dress that is at best unflattering and makes her look like a beached whale that got tangled in discarded wallpaper. " There is no clear guidance as to why someone who could not see a photo could read a caption. Thankfully, this interpretation of the ADA has not yet gained traction and with luck it will die quickly and quietly.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:33 PM   #7
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I regularly work with ADA in construction projects. Kcdogger has a clear and accurate description of how it works, but there are variations by state. I've also heard of (a few) folks that make their living on lawsuits for non-compliance. I suspect few of those folks go camping. The construction codes have a long history of accepting that old buildings are hard to change.

The word 'reasonable' shows up often in these rules and the court cases. While it's hard to define it does place limits on both ends of the spectrum. Small things are fairly easy to achieve and become all but mandatory. Rebuilding a bathhouse could easily be burdensome.
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:17 PM   #8
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This is from the ADA website... RE: Phoenix Metro RV Park

https://www.ada.gov/janmar01.htm

The ADA website is a bear to find anything!!
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:30 PM   #9
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There is at least one attorney here in CA that makes a living filing ADA lawsuits. He gets a fee just for threatening a lawsuit. A few owners had to close down as the cost to make their business ADA compliant was too much money. I haven't heard anything about him locally in a couple of years.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:12 AM   #10
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The ADA is a complicated issue. We all want those with limitations to be able to enjoy whatever activity the rest of us enjoy. I see no problem with a complaint for non-compliant new construction. ADA compliance is mandatory although some areas do not have code enforcement. But it is unreasonable to expect older parks to retrofit their facilities. Costs can be excessive to the point some will close their doors before they can afford to comply. Take a look at all the unused lifts at motel swimming pools. That lawyer referenced above made a bundle every time he threatened suit for failing to have a handicapped pool lift. Have you ever seen one in use? If you find a park out of compliance, have a word with the owner or manager. Please don't think law suit as your first recourse.
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Old 07-05-2020, 08:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtCamper View Post
The ADA is a complicated issue. We all want those with limitations to be able to enjoy whatever activity the rest of us enjoy. I see no problem with a complaint for non-compliant new construction. ADA compliance is mandatory although some areas do not have code enforcement. But it is unreasonable to expect older parks to retrofit their facilities. Costs can be excessive to the point some will close their doors before they can afford to comply. Take a look at all the unused lifts at motel swimming pools. That lawyer referenced above made a bundle every time he threatened suit for failing to have a handicapped pool lift. Have you ever seen one in use? If you find a park out of compliance, have a word with the owner or manager. Please don't think law suit as your first recourse.
My brother-in-law is a paraplegic and often uses the lifts on public pools and at hotels and motels. just because you didn't see it being used doesn't mean it never gets used. I would hate to see him limited just because you didn't see a need for the lifts. We have also encountered many times when restrooms were non-compliant. Question. How long can you go without a restroom or place to relieve yourself before you are forced to go in your pants? Question. How would you feel about that? Chuck
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Old 07-05-2020, 10:12 AM   #12
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About three years ago we planned to have our miniature golf course professionally rebuilt. We send the preliminary plans to two companies that construct courses nationally. The cost for the rebuilt was going to be in excess of $100,000. We hired one of the companies and they sent out their site planner who took about three seconds to tell us the company would not take on the job. He explained that the new ADA guidelines requiring Miniature golf courses to be wheelchair accessible would make construction impossible. Our site had many elevation changes and narrow pathways that would preclude properly sloped ramps and a wheelchair path throughout the course. He said even though the ADA has a "reasonableness" exception, they were not going to take a chance that the property would be ruled non-compliant and take the risk we would seek redress from his company.
He further explained that at several of their recent projects a person in a wheelchair would pay for a round and would proceed to take measurements and photos of the course. One course owner confronted that individual who explained it was his job to evaluate newly constructed courses for ADA compliance and then report back to his employer who was an ADA attorney.
We chose to close and dismantle our existing course, thus removing a popular amenity from our property . Not sure who came out winners. Surely not us, not the construction company, not our guests, not a disabled person and not even the ADA attorney.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:17 PM   #13
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The short answer is that Yes, ADA definitely applies. What that translates to in practical effect is subject to all the caveats people have mentioned in this topic.
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:43 PM   #14
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Another consideration - the campground is likely an employer and as such must make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, under the ADA.

I wonder if the the authors of the Act thought that while compliance in new construction can be mandated, it would be through the replacement and remodeling of buildings that full compliance would be reached, eventually.. or if they anticipated a more instantaneous response. Inquiring minds, etc...

I've seen venues sued under the ADA and no action taken for decades (a public building, at that) and others that were speed-dialing consultants and architects moments after the Notice was served. The one thing I've learned is that it's better to know up front what is needed than to find out after the hole is dug and the forms are in place.
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