Factoring in ADA Compliance
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
by: Black Diamond Paving & Concrete

Section: Trends and Tips

Let’s sit down and have a friendly chat about ADA compliance. To many, it can seem like a tangled web of standards and guidelines that seem nearly impossible to translate, much less keep up with. “How many parking spaces do you need?” “How many have to be van accessible?” “Am I or am I not ADA compliant?” These are all questions that take most property managers down a spiral of Google searches, leading to answers that may not even apply to them.

The Human Factor

While there are a lot of questions to consider, the most important question of all is this: how can you not only comply but genuinely make things easier and more accessible for your residents, guests, and clients? Behind every directive and specification is an actual human who will benefit from the attention to accommodations you make—someone whose day-to-day existence will be made exponentially easier when you take the time to give them the tools they need to navigate your property safely.

From a human standpoint, property managers and owners want to assure ADA compliance efforts work well for the people they’re meant to help. This includes providing ample space for van parking and aisle access, as well as clearly marking areas and curb ramps to allow individuals to easily access their vehicles. PM’s and owners will also want to think beyond the legalities and into the practical aspects to ensure the accommodations you provide are right. Some properties may only need to consider the baseline ADA standards, while some—due to the demographics of their visitors/residents—may benefit from a more expanded offering of compliant spaces and features.

The Legal Factor

There’s a lot to contemplate and evaluate when it comes to assessing your properties, and if that doesn’t seem like enough on your plate, feel free to toss on the very real legal and financial ramifications of noncompliance. The 2010 ADA Guidelines are designed to assist all Americans with disabilities as well as their friends, families, and caregivers. Who do the guidelines apply to? Chances are, you’re on the list:
  • Private employers with 15 or more employees
  • Businesses operating for the benefit of the public
  • All state and local government agencies

In addition to the 2010 ADA guidelines, each state and municipality has the option to assign requirements above and beyond the federal recommendations. The state of California has an especially robust set of add-on requirements, and it takes a keen attention to detail to make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. While ensuring your property is up to ADA standards may seem like a hassle, it is well worth the time and money. Fees for noncompliance are steep, sometimes just as much, if not more than the actual cost for the work to be performed. That doesn’t even include the legal fees that tend to coincide with those cases.

As a property manager or commercial building owner, you’ll want to partner with reputable ADA compliance companies that are familiar with translating compliance reports into reasonably priced project proposals that encompass everything required to bring the exterior of your property into compliance.
This may have you wondering if your property has all it needs in place when it comes to ADA. Staying compliant is important to your business and important to the people who frequent your property. 

Thank you to Black Diamond Paving & Concrete, a 2021 BOMA San Diego Annual Supporting Partner, for providing this educational content!