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View Full Version : Handicapped Parking Enforcement


jdrinboston
12-31-09, 06:56 PM
Hello,

I am on the condo board of a recently formed association in Mass., and I'm trying to get the answer to a legal issue that has been giving us trouble. When our building was built, the developer built three handciapped acccessible housing units and included handicapped parking spaces to go along with them. However, those units were sold to non-disabled buyers who were granted deeds to those handicapped parking spaces.

Now we're not sure how to go forward. I've already asked our lawyer, but they seem to be having trouble finding the answer. My question: would police officers enforce i.e. ticket or tow a car of a non-disabled person who is parking in a handicapped spot on private residential property. I ask because I'm afraid a couple of uncooperative residents might make trouble for us and the people who have deeds to those spaces.

A few people have advised me to just paint over the wheelchair symbols and pretend the spaces don't exist, but I'm afraid that might open another can of worms.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.


retdetsgt
12-31-09, 07:38 PM
The general rule is that if it's open to the public, police will issue citations even though the property is private.

Some local ordinances require x many handicap parking places per ever so many regular spaces if it's public parking. You would have to call your local planning commission or board to get that question answered. If there is no requirement, they you can just paint over them. If there is, perhaps you can find three other spaces on the property to designate as handicapped.

But if there is a code requiring the three spaces, you can probably bet the same code allows police to enforce it.

manahmanah
12-31-09, 07:46 PM
If the people that own the home actually own the deed to that parking space, I would suggest asking them to just sell it to the HOA, then paint over it. With that being said, if there is a handicap spot with a non handicap vehicle, it's getting tagged.

I think if all involved are adults about it and the situation is explained to the home owners, there should not be a problem. I'm thinking if THEY own the spot, THEY can paint over it and it would be up to the HOA to find a public spot and designate it as handicap. But I am not a lawyer, so don't take that as word.

I've never heard of an actual parking spot being sold with the home before. :confused5:


ParadeRest
12-31-09, 08:11 PM
If the spot meets the definition of whatever your city defines as a "handicapped space" then yes, any non-handicapped car parked there is fair game for a ticket.

If the spot belongs to the property owner, what's the point of painting a handicapped symbol there anyway? I assume anyone who parks there without permission would be subject to tow.

Contact your lawyer and ask about simply painting over the existing spot.

retdetsgt
12-31-09, 08:29 PM
I

Contact your lawyer and ask about simply painting over the existing spot.

In Orygun, the law requires a certain percentage of parking places in any lot open to the public to be handicapped.

Painting over them w/o replacing them somewhere else in the lot could put the HOA in hot water. My assumption is that if the developer put them in, it was because he was following the law. I can't imagine a developer putting them in just for the hell of it.

I'm sure you could clear it up with a phone call to your local transportation or planning agency. You shouldn't have to pay a lawyer for that.

MountainMan
12-31-09, 10:30 PM
If it is their property they just need to have the spot painted over if thats what they want. Its their property they have to be able to use it. If this is a public use area there may be a handicaped parking requirment by ADA. Just make another spot. I don't have to have a handicapped parking spot at my house why is it any different.

retdetsgt
12-31-09, 10:44 PM
If it is their property they just need to have the spot painted over if thats what they want. Its their property they have to be able to use it. If this is a public use area there may be a handicaped parking requirment by ADA. Just make another spot. I don't have to have a handicapped parking spot at my house why is it any different.

Many condos have parking lots, not like the driveway at your house. I would suspect there are some codes there we know nothing about.

Silver Fox
01-01-10, 12:58 AM
If those handicapped housing units, including the handicapped parking spaces were sold to non-handicapped buyers and it so affirms this fact in the deeds then these units and the parking spaces are private poperty and the owners have every right to paint over the handicap markings.
An unauthorized vehicle, whether handicapped marked or otherwise would have no more right parking in these spaces than some stranger parking in the driveway of your private residence.
After painting over the handicapped markings it might be well to replace with the wording, private property to make it known to everyone that the spaces were no longer handicapped or public parking areas.
Addressing the uncooperative residents or trouble makers matter would be another issue which could be handled through the owners and local police.
i.e. if some stranger parked in my driveway I would tell him or her to move and if they objected I would call the police.

Cat_Doc
01-01-10, 03:06 PM
JDR, you need to inquire with your local authorities to see what the statutes are. Issuing a citation for Handicap parking violations on is one of the few we, in Arizona, can enforce on private property.

Also, as mentioned in previous posters, there may very well be a local law that requires a certain number of Handicap parking spaces and may prohibit removing the designator markings.

Only your local authorities can answer your inquiry with certainty.

ParadeRest
01-01-10, 06:19 PM
In Orygun, the law requires a certain percentage of parking places in any lot open to the public to be handicapped.


It doesn't sound like it's a public lot in this case, it's assigned spots for the owners of the units. At least that's the impression I get.

Silver Fox
01-01-10, 06:54 PM
There are no laws in Georgia requiring handicapped parking spaces on private property.

retdetsgt
01-01-10, 08:29 PM
It doesn't sound like it's a public lot in this case, it's assigned spots for the owners of the units. At least that's the impression I get.

I think that's the gray area. Is it considered public or not? I've never lived in a condo so I'm not well versed in the codes and laws.

The OP should be able to call someone to find out.

retdetsgt
01-01-10, 08:30 PM
There are no laws in Georgia requiring handicapped parking spaces on private property.

How about grocery store parking lots? That's privately owned property.

Silver Fox
01-01-10, 08:35 PM
How about grocery store parking lots? That's privately owned property.


That's true, plus walmart, Sears, Macy's, Sam's club, Etc., but not on privately owned residential property.

jdrinboston
01-01-10, 09:29 PM
Thank you all for taking the time to help answer my question. I do intend to call my local building department on Monday to see if they have any advice.

Just to clarify my situation, I live in a four-story midrise building containing 60 condo-units. The parking spaces are located in a covered carport below the first floor of the building. Each owner is deeded one or two parking spaces depending on if they have a one or two-bedroom unit. Each unit owner's deed contains the wording along the lines of "...this deed also conferes to the grantee exclusive use of parking space number XX and XX". In the case of these specific unit owners, XX happens to be a space with a wheelchair symbol on it.

Our building is on a tight piece or property, and we wouldn't have any room to create four additional spots that meet the width and van clearance guidelies set forth by the ADA for handicapped parking. So I guess the bottom line is, if we are indeed legally required to have handicapped parking, its going to have to be in these four spaces. Unfortunately, these folks have had a sweet setup parking in extra wide spaces next to the door. I'm sure they aren't going to be happy if we need to tell them we need to redraw their deeds and move their parking spaces to the periphery of the parking lot.

Again thank you all and Happy New Year.

Silver Fox
01-01-10, 11:52 PM
[QUOTE=jdrinboston;1069153]. I'm sure they aren't going to be happy if we need to tell them we need to redraw their deeds and move their parking spaces to the periphery of the parking lot.

How can you change or redraw the deeds, when these people own and have deeds to their property?

Happy New Year to you too Sir.

jdrinboston
01-02-10, 12:19 AM
How can you change or redraw the deeds, when these people own and have deeds to their property?

This just conjecture on my part....and mind you I'm not a lawyer, just someone who has been involved in two real estate transactions in his life.

If indeed the developer was required to construct x-number of handicapped parking spaces as part of the site plan as part of a town/state law, it stands to reason those spots can't be conveyed to a private individual and those owners don't have "good title." Meaning it wasn't a legal transaction and the deed to the parking space could be vacated by a court and the owners could be given alternative spaces.

Again, just conjecture on my part

Silver Fox
01-02-10, 01:21 AM
? those owners don't have "good title." Meaning it wasn't a legal transaction and the deed to the parking space could be vacated by a court and the owners could be given alternative spaces.

Again, just conjecture on my part


Hmm, sounds like the makings of a law suit.