RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOL SAFETY ACT. The voting process required is described in Chapter 718 or 719, Florida Statutes, and Rule 61B-23.0021 or 61B-75.005 of the Florida Administrative Code. "There are things that might not be obvious," says Drewes. If you have a PA system, the HOA can make regular announcements over the air. HOA Pool Safety: Debate over Eliminating Lifeguards. It should also be noted that Order 20-91 does not attempt to take away or limit the emergency powers community association boards have to adopt restrictions to protect the residents in their community. Recently, in the Stonebrier Homeowner’s Association, north of Tampa, the Florida Commission on Human Relations who investigates FHA complaints in Florida, found reasonable cause to believe a discriminatory housing practice occurred. The 2020 Florida Statutes: Title XXXIII REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS : Chapter 515 RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOL SAFETY ACT: View Entire Chapter: CHAPTER 515. Q: My condominium association board voted to close the swimming pool in late March due to the COVID-19 threat. 515.27 Residential swimming pool safety feature options; … A family with five children living in the community dropped off four of their children, who were good swimmers, and law enforcement was called since an adult was not present. Although most adults will rarely dive into the shallow end, engage in “horseplay”, or run around the pool deck, such … The phone number for the Florida Department of Health is (866) 779-6121. The office of Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a discrimination lawsuit against the homeowners association and alleged “overly-restrictive pool rules” for families with children. Section 2 of Order 20-91 defines “essential services” by incorporating guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Executive Order 20-89, and further leaves open the opportunity for other “essential services” to be added to the foregoing list. Thereafter, the homeowners association implemented a rule whereby any resident wishing to use the pool would need an amenity card. §720.301, et. 515.21 Short title. Section 1(A) of Order 20-91 directs senior citizens and citizens with significant underlying medical conditions “to stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.”    Section 1(B) of Order 20-91 directs that “all persons in Florida shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.”. The settlement requires the owners to, among other things, build a $10,000 playground. This leaves the homeowner with one option and that is to litigate against the HOA, however before filing a suit, pre-suit mediation must occur. A: No, the swimming pool closure ordered by the board of your condominium association is not overturned by Governor DeSantis’ “Stay at Home” Order. CHAPTER 64E-9 PUBLIC SWIMMING POOLS AND BATHING PLACES 64E-9.001 General. No diving in shallow water and always steer your dive up. They're concerned they could be held liable if they reopen their pool … As a practitioner, it is my experience that pool rules are intended to keep children safe – not to keep them out. The department may not require compliance with rules relating to swimming pool lifeguard standards. R.W. Go in at the first sign of thunderstorms. The Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination against persons on the basis of their “familial status.” The FHA is applicable to both condominium and homeowners’ associations. By Dawn Bauman. As of the date of submission of this column, the list of “essential activities” has not been further expanded by subsequent order. The governor and the LEAP guidelines have limited pool capacity to 50 percent of the fire code limit. The association can close portions … You can place … The law specifically applies to not-for-profit organizations operating residential homeowners associations in Florida. Consider rules restricting or limiting the use of alcohol, and specifying the types of containers that can be used. The FHA makes it illegal to discriminate against any person “in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin….” Therefore, any rule that discriminates on the basis of whether or not a household has children violates the FHA. Please click the "Accept" button if you understand the forgoing statement and wish to proceed. You can also check out our free ebook, "Is It a Good HOA Rule?" to learn more about HOA rules and how they are made. 4. Keeping a green yard requires thought and effort. You should not send us any information through this website that you would want treated confidentially. 64E-9.006 Construction Plan Approval Standards. “Can Pool Remain Closed?,” Naples Daily News. As the seesaw battle of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, HOA boards and managers are torn between the fear of reopening amenities and the desire of residents to enjoy their use. Review your pool, clubhouse, recreation room, exercise room, and common area rules with your association’s legal counsel to ensure they are in compliance with fair housing laws. There are different parameters if your pool was in existence before the guidelines went into effect and if it was built afterward, and you must know which rules apply to your situation. As for deactivating pool keys, both the Condo and HOA Acts provide that the board of directors can suspend an owner’s or resident’s right to use … You can have a list of rules outside so that everyone can read them before entering the swimming pool. Three Unenforceable Rules. 1. 64E-9.0035 Exemptions. It should also be noted that violation of the Governor’s various Executive Orders is a second-degree misdemeanor. Neighborhood pools, gyms and clubhouses are closed. Next Article. The rules contain common sense prohibitions against dangerous pool activities, such as having glass in the pool area and diving into the shallow end. If you have more questions about HOA's and their rules, please ask us in the comment section. One of the family’s sons, once he turned 16, was still denied an amenity card and access to the pool since he only provided a letter from his mother instead of a state issued ID showing residency. The HOA President of The Villas of Cypress West in Tarpon Springs reached out to 8 On Your Side for help. In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death of young children and is also a significant cause of death for medically frail elderly persons. A few days later Governor DeSantis signed the “Stay at Home” Order and specifically defined “swimming” as an essential activity. Beyond the typical “no diving” or “no glass container” rules, we also often see rules prohibiting children under the eighteen (18) from swimming without an adult supervision. Florida law allows for two types of reserve funding, one of which is the pooled method (also referred to as the “cash flow” method) and the other is the component method (also referred to as the “straight-line” method). The FHA creates dangerous waters for community associations. Rules that Govern Conduct Remember to keep your HOA safe from risk, too. Adult supervision is the key to accomplishing the obj . Section 3 of Order 20-91 also allows people to engage in “essential activities”, which are specifically defined as including: “participating in recreational activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines) such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming…”. HOA Voting Rules in Florida. A: The Governor’s Office has issued certain Frequently Asked Questions” (“FAQ”) relating to his recent Orders, including Order 20-91 referenced in the preceding question. On April 1, 2020 Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order Number 20-91 (“Order 20-91”). Board vacancies can be filled only by electing a new member, and the election … SWIMMING POOL LIABILITY FOR CONDOS AND HOA’S. Some of these cases have held that rules requiring adult supervision violate the FHA. Section 1 (A) of Order 20-91 directs senior citizens and citizens with significant underlying medical conditions “to stay at home and take all measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.”. In Florida HOA’s are governed by Chapter 720 of the Florida Statutes. That was too little too late. 515.23 Legislative findings and intent. On April 1, 2020 Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order Number 20-91 (“Order 20-91”). Because children are vulnerable to pool accidents and so could be a source of liability for the association, … The civil suit is seeking a declaratory judgment that the actions of the homeowners association violate the FHA, as well as injunctive relief and unspecified compensatory damages. Other than posting “swim at your own risk” signs, is there anything else we need to do to ensure swimmers safety? Do not use glass containers around the pool. Q: If an association board becomes aware of an individual who is violating one of the Governor’s Orders pertaining to self-isolation, what should be done? Sending an e-mail through this website does not create an attorney client relationship. The Florida Swimming Pool Association reminds everyone that while staying at home during the current pandemic, it is a great time to enjoy swimming pools and hot tubs. 64E-9.003 Forms. Swimming Pool Policies, Rules and Regulations. After hiring an attorney to compel the homeowners association to change its rules, to no avail, the family filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”). My position remains that since community associations are located on private property their boards have legal authority, based on various statutes and their own governing documents, to adopt additional, more restrictive protocols than those imposed by the government to address the COVID-19 threat. These are amenities most homeowners pay for in their HOA dues. And almost every set of pool rules contains a statement similar to this: “No one under the age of 18 may use the pool unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.” It makes sense, right? As such, the Governor’s inclusion of swimming as an “essential activity” does not mean that all community association swimming pools, which were previously closed, must now be reopened. There are no other temperature requirements. Pool Rules and Procedures at Your Homeowners Association. B.T. State Laws Impacting Florida Associations Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, Fla. Stat. To prevent heat stroke, the State of Florida requires that swimming pools (or spa pools) with heaters operate at a maximum temperature of 104° F. Spa pool rules must also state that the maximum use is 15 minutes. No running or rough play in or near the pool. To determine whether your pool needs to be compliant with the ADA requirements, you should have a discussion with your association’s attorney. Recently, in the Stonebrier Homeowner’s Association, north of Tampa, the Florida Commission on Human Relations who investigates FHA complaints in Florida, found reasonable cause to believe a discriminatory housing practice occurred. The homeowners’ association had rules prohibiting children under the age of 16 from using the pool without adult supervision. Under the law, swimming pools … Although these rules may have been enacted from a risk management standpoint, they must also be considered against the framework of the Fair Housing Act. § 720.301, et. 64E-9.005 Construction Plan or Modification Plan Approval. On the topic of enforcement, the FAQ confirms that “law enforcement” will enforce the respective Orders. Previous Article. 64E-9.002 Definitions. Do not play with drains of any kind. A family with five children living in the community … In May, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a settlement with a Denver-area apartment complex over its rules governing kids' behavior in the complex. Public Swimming Facilities are regulated by Florida Administrative Code 64E-9. Day to day management of the pool is the responsibility of the Pool Management Company. seq., governs the formation, management, powers, and operation of HOAs in Florida, specifically applying to not-for-profit organizations operating residential homeowners associations in Florida. If Association representatives become aware of violations of governmental orders, a suggested first step is to inform the individual that they are in violation. HOAs should place signs in the swimming pool area to remind homeowners to practice safe behaviors. Does this mean that my condominium’s swimming pool closure is overturned by the Governor’s Order? In high-traffic areas such as the shower room, place visual cues to encourage social distancing. You can minimize these risks for residents in your HOA community by employing the following six swimming pool safety tips. The GHOA Board of Directors administers the Pool Rules and Regulations. While pools provide a great way for HOA residents of all ages to cool off, get exercise, and socialize in the summer heat, they can also present safety risks. Pools operated by private condominium and cooperative associations with less than 32 units are generally exempt from certain regulations, but still have to comply with water quality standards. However, while they can be popular with owners, pools create a number of liabilities for the association that need to be addressed to avoid safety and legal concerns. Now, some of you want … Hopefully this will result in compliance. 64E-9.007 Recirculation and Treatment System Requirements. The Florida Homeowners’ Association Act (HAA), Fla. Stat. The Grove Homeowner’s Association Swimming Pool is a privately-owned recreation entity, entirely funded by annual assessment paying members. 64E-9.008 Supervision and Safety. A clock must be visible from the spa pool. If the condominium or cooperative has more than 32 units, any pool or spa is considered a ‘public pool… 515.25 Definitions. Community association pools are often considered ‘public pools’ subject to regulation by Chapter 514, Florida Statutes. seq., governs the formation, management, powers, and operation of HOAs in Florida. Although there is no agency that enforces the Florida HOA statutes, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation deals with elections and recalls. ■ Limit the number of people in the pool or the gym at any one time. Never stand or play on a pool cover. Here are three rules to look out for. Learn More About HOA Rules. Several lawsuits have tested swimming pool rules on the basis that they discriminate against families with children. Our association is considering eliminating the lifeguard at our pool. Florida statutes provide that an association may schedule board meetings with less than the required notice. Post your pool rules, and don’t be afraid to follow through. Be sure not to step into unsafe legal territory with your pool rules and regs. Rules should address conduct, not age or status – and constitute the least restrictive means to meet a compelling business necessity (such as safety and peaceful enjoyment). Stat. § 720.303 (6) (b). The annual election for board members is most likely the biggest voting event for Florida homeowner's association members. After FCHR found reasonable cause that a discriminatory practice occurred, the homeowners association changed its rules to allow parents to sign an affidavit to swear to a child’s residency and age. If it does not, you can report the violation to local law enforcement and/or the Florida Department of Health. However, as a backup, state law in Florida requires residents who have swimming pools, spas or hot tubs to also have at least one safety feature in place. When I was young, every summer my friends and I would look for a pool in the local area to swim in during hot days. Feb 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM / by HOA Manager. A private swimming pool run by a condo or homeowners’ association can be a very attractive amenity to potential homebuyers. Advise visitors not to run in the pool area, not to engage in rough play, and not to engage in risky behavior on slides and diving boards. Partner Post: Landscape Watering Guide. 64E-9.004 Operational Requirements. Drowning Prevention Drowning Prevention: Our division is represented on the local Safe Kids Coalition Water Safety Committee. A community associations pools typically have prominently displayed pool rules. Pools and spa owners should follow current guidelines of only allowing 10 people in the pool and deck area at a time. 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