DoJ: Going off the deep end is our business!

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A new regulation goes into effect today. As with most regs, trial lawyers will benefit, businesses will lose money, pools will end up being closed, and the overall cost will be passed along to you on your next hotel bill. What would we do without Team Obama championing the cause of helping out the middle class?

From the Weekly Standard:

A new regulation from the Justice Department will require “public-access swimming pools across the country to install handicapped-accessible ramps and lifts or face a fine of up to $100,000,” the Hill reports. This regulation could cost “hotels and other organizations . . . to spend up to $9,000 to stay in compliance with the rule.”

The elevators must be permanent structures, not portable ones, though many hotels across the country only realized this “clarification” to the Justice Department’s regulation recently. Hotel operators, especially, are now scrambling to be in compliance.

The regulation itself falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Some believe the big winner in this new rule is trial lawyers. As the Washington Examiner reports, “the ADA … empowered citizens to sue businesses that are not in compliance with DOJ guidelines.” So any hotel—or public pool operator—not in compliance with the Justice Department’s mandate will possibly face legal action.

Not only that, but trial lawyers will be aided by the inevitable “law of unintended consequences.” For example, these lifts will be enticing toys for kids to play with. When somebody gets hurt, or worse, who will get sued? The DoJ? Of course not, though that’s not a bad idea.

If I owned a public pool and was already operating on a tight budget that couldn’t handle a $10,000 hit, plus the inevitable maintenance issues and regulatory red tape, I’d shut down the pool (like many will do) and put up a sign reading “Closed due to excessive Obama-sponsored regulation.”

Comments

22 Responses to “Operation Splash & Furious: Justice Department Orders Public Pool Owners to Install Elevators”

  1. Truesoldier__ on March 15th, 2012 1:34 pm

    This is the last thing hotels need right now. Tourism and travel are down right now (thanks in large part to many other Obama regulations), so hitting the hotel industry with another extra cost is the worst thing that could happen.

    The only question I have is just how many jobs will this new regulation end up killing?

  2. Marshall_Will on March 15th, 2012 1:37 pm

    “Closed due to excessive Obama-sponsored regulation.”

    Yep. Same sign we've hung over America for the last 3+ years.

    When you think about it, ADA is the inception point of PC-driven over-regulation. Pre-dates Smoking Bans and the lot. Recall then Mayor of Carmel ( Clint Eastwood ) battled to keep this at bay. Before he started doing BHO-infomercials…

  3. Marshall_Will on March 15th, 2012 1:41 pm

    "Preserving the Ranch

    Eastwood bought Mission Ranch, a former dairy farm dating to the 1850s, in 1987 for more than $4 million. He testified that his renovations have tried to ensure disabled access while preserving the ranch’s historic character.

    He also pointed out that Monterey County building officials had approved all plans. “I’m not against the ADA; I want to make that clear,” Eastwood said today. “But the small business person cannot be an expert in the ADA and state laws, especially if the planning department says, ‘OK. Go ahead.’”

  4. Truesoldier__ on March 15th, 2012 2:10 pm

    My wife brought up another issue with this as well. Who exactly is going to operate the lift? Will it be some minimum wage front desk personnel, hosusekeeping, etc and what training will they have to have to be "certified" to operate the lifts.

    She said that she is waiting for the DoJ to sponsor a training event that would insulate the companies from lawsuits. Of course the trainers will be union and that will be the real drive behind this whole deal. For an example of this look no further than WA ST. In home caregivers must now take training classes from state trainers (of course all the trainers are union workers). This was done through the initiative process on last Nov ballot. The pro side played ads making it sound like in home caregivers have never had training. The truth was they have always had training, just not via the State Employees Union trainers.

  5. Marshall_Will on March 15th, 2012 2:28 pm

    TS,

    Great points. Then of course we'll have to hire Certified (TM) Lifeguards to ensure their safety & comfort during the 4 hours a month someone w/ disabilities is actually using the pool?

    I always 'ask' if they have a pool ( seldom USE ) Guess the O'stration finally found a way to hire all the bank tellers laid off from the recent introduction of the ATM?

    This is because most hotel chains are closely held, family entities. Fiercely independent and very VOCAL about burdensome regulation. I.e the owners are typically Conservatives. When the Mom & Pops fold.., No Room At The Inn. Is it November yet?

  6. SignPainterGuy on March 15th, 2012 2:43 pm

    Michael Moore likes to swim ? Who knew ? I thought all he needed was a conveyor belt at the all-you-can-eat food bar !

    Doug, when the time comes, I`ll be happy to paint that sign for you, along with the all important one; "We don`t swim in your toilet, PLEASE don`t pee in our pool !"

  7. Joe Redfield on March 15th, 2012 2:51 pm

    At the risk…okay, the certainty, of sounding insensitive, why do we need ramps? Just tip the wheelchair forward and in they go.

  8. Yazsters on March 15th, 2012 3:15 pm

    Sunday, I'm meeting with the home owners association. Last years talk was about the local government's requirement that the community pool be moved 10 feet to the south. It was demeaned to be to close to the ocean. I'm not sure why this is a problem, but to over come the issue a one time fine was paid. Our thinking was the local government was looking for ways to raise money for a proposed new bike path.

    Wonder if this new requirement will come up.

  9. joyannaadams on March 15th, 2012 3:22 pm

    Wow…ANOTHER hit on Orlando.

  10. Truesoldier__ on March 15th, 2012 3:26 pm

    Good point. I hadn't even thought about the pool owned by our HOA. I could very well see some busy body liberal reporting the pool to the DOJ and then complaining latter when the HOA fees go up to cover the expenses of putting in a ramp or lift that will see hardly any use.

    Of course if the DOJ ever showed up in the area I live in we would probably be found to not be a very "disabled friendly" area to live seeing that we are out in the middle of the forest in the hills, without any sidewalks or streetlights.

  11. Marshall_Will on March 15th, 2012 3:35 pm

    Yazsters,

    As an HOA mbr. myself, we're ready to dump ours at a loss just to get out from under 'another' layer of Prog Intrusiveness (TM)

    No, we don't have a pool, but had we I'm sure they'd manage to turn it into an unholy and daily reminder THEY are in charge. We're also prime targets of local gov's because there's so much easy pickings to be had.

    We're at a point we'd rather an aging and decrepit Victorian outside city limits w/ enough DIY projects to keep This Old House on the air to 2020 than a turnkey condo under the jackboot of a wannabe Holder/Chu/Salazar, always knowing what's 'best' for you? So much for downsizing and doing what's right for the environment huh?

  12. Truesoldier__ on March 15th, 2012 5:13 pm

    Nowadays it doesn't seem to matter where you live (if it is in a liberal state). We live outside the city limits in the middle of the forest in a single family home and still have an HOA.

    We have decided that we are moving as soon as we can and have contacted a realtor. We have told the realtor not to even bother showing us a house if it is in a HOA. So far she has not been able to find any homes that are for sale that are not in an HOA.

  13. Marshall_Will on March 15th, 2012 6:44 pm

    "in the middle of the forest"

    And they STILL found me! They've grown so ungainly and out of control, sellers 'not' under the guidance and infinite wisdom of the Prog Academy gleefully boast "Not in an HOA..!" It's a major selling point.

  14. Truesoldier__ on March 15th, 2012 7:11 pm

    No doubt about that. We can't wait to find a new place outside of an HOA. We figure about the only way we will find it is to buy enough acreage so as to have no neighbors..lol

  15. Granny55 on March 15th, 2012 8:24 pm

    Reminds me of a bowling trip I went on years ago. We checked into our hotel thinking yoo-hoo – party – bring on the single guys. Upon entering the lobby we noticed these steps shoved up against the check in counter – but didn't really pay attention. Went to our rooms cracked open some cocktails then headed out for dinner and more cocktails in the local bar scene. Returned to the hotel to get some pool time in to discover that the hotel and the pool was filled with "little people". It was a midget convention. Well let me tell you – "little people" know how to throw back a few bruskis and I never heard one complaint that they could not access the pool or any other amenity the hotel offered. I am sure they are covered under the ADA.

    This is the most ridiculous regulation I have ever heard of in my life. I have traveled extensively and stayed thousands on nights in hotels and never once have I heard anyone complain about not having a lift in a pool.

  16. backwoodsconsr on March 15th, 2012 11:51 pm

    These regulations are brought to you by people whose elevator never has gone all the way to the top.

  17. ChapBix on March 16th, 2012 12:05 am

    "If I owned a public pool and was already operating on a tight budget that couldn’t handle a $10,000 hit, plus the inevitable maintenance issues and regulatory red tape, I’d shut down the pool (like many will do) and put up a sign reading “Closed due to excessive Obama-sponsored regulation.”

    Posting that sign will probably subject you to a lawsuit or harassment.

    I'm wondering if the folks who came up with this regulation have a conflict of interest by having a financial interest in one or more companies that manufacture or sell these elevators or lifts or a related.accessory.

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