Timothy J. Moran
Catherine A. Bendor
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section -
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 514-4305
Facsimile: (202) 514-1116
For the Plaintiff United States of America
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PARTNERSHIP; J.R. SIMPLOT;
S-SIXTEEN MANAGEMENT, LLC;
SIMPLOT CONSTRUCTION, INC.;
ARCHITECTS, PA; HUBBLE
1. The parties submit this Consent Order to resolve the United States' lawsuit alleging that the defendants have violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3604 et seq. (FHA) and that defendants other than Defendants Armstrong Architects and Hubble Engineering have violated Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§12181-12189 (ADA). Specifically, the United States alleges that the defendants have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of handicap and have denied rights to a group of persons because of handicap, which denial raises an issue of general public importance, by: (a) failing to design and construct the Village at Columbia Apartments, located at 2500 East Red Cedar Lane in Boise, Idaho, with the features of accessible and adaptable design required by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C), and its implementing regulations; and (b) failing to design and construct those portions of the Village at Columbia Apartments which are places of public accommodation as defined by Title III of the ADA so as to be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by 42 U.S.C. §12183(a)(1) and the Department of Justice's implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, including the Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A (the Standards).
2. Defendant J. R. Simplot, originally named in the Complaint, will be dismissed with prejudice. Such dismissal shall take effect after the United States has received written notice that the required damages funds have been deposited into an escrow account as described in paragraph 28. Any subsequent reference to "Defendants" in this document does not include J.R. Simplot.
3. Village at Columbia Apartments consists of 25 two and three-story buildings containing a total of 254 units, including 100 ground-floor units. There is a rental office/ clubhouse building and other common use facilities on site. It was designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. S-Sixteen Limited Partnership owns and developed Village at Columbia. S-Sixteen Management, LLC is the general partner of S-Sixteen Limited Partnership. Simplot Construction, Inc. and Titan Construction Corporation built Village at Columbia. Hubble Engineering, Inc. provided the civil engineering services for Village at Columbia. Armstrong Architects, P.A. designed Village at Columbia.
4. The Fair Housing Act provides that all ground-floor units in non-elevator buildings that contain four or more units designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, are "covered units" under the Act. Such units must include certain basic features of accessible and adaptable design to make them usable by a person who is or who becomes disabled. 42 U.S.C. §§3604(f)(3)(C) and (f)(7)(B). The features of accessible and adaptable design required by the Act include: (a) public and common use areas that are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; (b) doors for passage into and within all premises that are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons using wheelchairs; (c) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (d) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and environmental controls in accessible locations; (e) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (f) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual who uses a wheelchair can maneuver about the space. 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C).
5. Seventy-six (76) of the one hundred (100) ground-floor units at Village at Columbia are "covered multifamily dwellings" within the meaning of the FHA, 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(7)(B). These 76 units, as well as the public and common use areas of Village at Columbia, are subject to the Act's design and construction requirements, 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C).
6. The Village at Columbia clubhouse/rental office is a public accommodation within the meaning of Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §12181(7). As such, the statute and its implementing regulations require that they be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 42 U.S.C. §12183(a)(1) and 28 C.F.R. Part 36 and Appendix A.
7. The Defendants deny that the Village at Columbia Apartments were designed and constructed in violation of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Defendants' willingness to enter into this Agreement does not constitute any admission of liability on their part. However, all parties agree that the United States' claims against the Defendants should be resolved without further proceedings or an evidentiary hearing. As indicated by the signatures below, all parties agree to the entry of this Consent Order.
Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED:
I. GENERAL INJUNCTION
8. Defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors, and assigns acting on behalf of the above-named defendants, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of the defendants are hereby enjoined from: (a): discriminating on the basis of disability, as prohibited by the FHA, 42 U.S.C. §§3604(f)(1), (2), and (3); and (b) discriminating on the basis of disability, as prohibited by Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §12183(a)(1), and as set forth in the Department of Justice's implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, including the Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A; (1)
9. Public and Common Use Areas
Within six (6) months of the entry of this Order, the Defendants shall modify the public and common use areas of Village at Columbia as specified in Appendix A. The Defendants shall pay all expenses associated with these modifications and shall attempt, in good faith, to minimize any inconvenience to the residents of Village at Columbia.
10. Unit Interiors.
Within one (1) year from the date of the entry of this Consent Order,Defendants shall commence and finish all modifications of the interiors of the covered units (2) at Village at Columbia as set forth in Appendix B, with the exception of those modifications specified to be performed upon request of a resident. The Defendants shall pay all expenses associated with these modifications and shall attempt, in good faith, to minimize any inconvenience to the residents of Village at Columbia. Defendants shall make such modifications pursuant to the following terms:
- Prospective Tenants: As part of the application package for prospective tenants, Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership shall include a notice (1) informing the prospective tenant that modifications to make the ground floor units more accessible are available; (2) that the modifications will be provided on request; (3) that the modifications offered will be provided at no cost to the tenant; and (4) that the scheduling of the modifications will take into account the preferences and convenience of the tenant. The application package shall include the "Modification Selection Form" as described in paragraph 10 a.
- Modifications in Vacated Units.For each covered ground-floor unit that is vacated during the term of this Order, Defendants shall complete the required modifications within thirty (30) days from the date on which the tenant who is residing in the unit as of the date of this Order vacates such unit or before a new tenant moves into such unit, whichever date is earlier. For each covered ground-floor unit that is vacant as of the date of entry of this Order, Defendants shall complete the required modifications within sixty (60) days of entry of this Order or before a new tenant moves into such unit, whichever date is earlier.
- For all occupied units in which the tenant does not specifically request modifications, modifications shall be completed within one year after the entry of this Order, with the exception of those modifications to be provided only upon request of a resident.
- Defendants shall endeavor to minimize inconvenience to the tenants in scheduling and performing the modifications to covered ground floor units. In the event a tenant of a unit scheduled to undergo a modification incurs undue hardship (defined as a dislocation from the unit for more than 24 hours consecutively), the Defendants will pay such tenant the applicable government per diem rate for food for the local area and provide housing at the Northwest Lodge or Courtyard by Marriott (both in Boise, Idaho)for each day of undue inconvenience or hardship. Such payment shall be made prior to the commencement of any modification work on the resident's unit, so that the resident can use the money while dislocated.
Current Tenants. Within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Order, Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership shall distribute to each tenant who resides in a covered ground-floor dwelling a notice, informing the tenants(1) of the allegations in this lawsuit and that to settle this lawsuit the defendants have agreed to modify certain features of their apartments to make them more accessible; (2) that the modifications will be provided on request; (3) that the modifications offered will be provided at no cost to the tenants; and (4) that the scheduling of the modifications will take into account the preferences and convenience of the tenants. This notice shall be substantially equivalent to the form of Appendix C, and shall include a "Modification Selection Form" substantially equivalent to that included in Appendix C. Within ten (10) days after distributing the notices, Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership shall certify to the United States in writing that the notices have been distributed and describe the manner in which they were distributed. If the management of Village at Columbia receives a request to perform the modifications from a current tenant of a ground-floor unit in response to that notice, Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership or its Manager shall: (1) inform the tenant that the modifications will be performed within thirty (30) days of the date of the request; and (2) complete the modifications within thirty (30) days of the date of the request and within ten (10) business days from the date on which the modification construction begins. With respect to modifications that Defendants are only required to make upon request by a resident, Defendant shall make such modifications as soon as practicable but no later than thirty (30) days after the request was made.
11. Defendants shall enter into a contract with a neutral inspector approved by the United States (hereinafter "Inspector") to conduct on-site inspections of the modifications that have been performed under this Order (with the exception of those modifications required only upon request of a resident) to determine if the modifications have been completed in accord with the specifications in Appendices A and B. Such inspector shall have expertise in the design and construction requirements of the ADA and applicable HUD Guidelines.
12. The inspection shall take place within thirty (30) days of the completion of all of the modifications to units and common use areas (with the exception of those modifications required only upon request of a resident). Defendants shall give the United States at least three weeks' notice of the inspection and shall give the United States an opportunity to have its representative present for the inspection. The United States shall bear any expenses incurred to have its representative present at the inspection.
13. The Inspector shall set out the results of each inspection, including deficits, if any, in writing, and shall send that report by mail and by fax to Counsel for the United States (3) and Defendants. If the inspection indicates that not all of the required retrofits have been made as specified in Appendices A and B, Defendants shall correct any deficiencies within a reasonable period of time as determined by the Inspector, and shall pay for another inspection by the same Inspector to certify the deficiencies have been corrected. This process shall continue until the Inspector certifies that all of the necessary modifications have been made.
14. Defendants shall pay all fees and costs associated with these inspections, and such payments shall be made without regard to the Inspector's findings. Upon reasonable notice to Defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect the modifications made by Defendants in accordance with this Consent Order to ensure compliance.
15. Defendants may not charge any additional rent, deposit or other fee for the units in which modifications are implemented because of the contemplated or completed modifications.
16. Defendants will modify and maintain one unit on the ground floor of a covered building so that it includes all applicable accessibility features listed in Appendix B, including those features that Defendants are only required to include upon request by a resident. Such unit shall be available as a model unit and shall be shown to all prospective tenants and residents. Defendants shall make this unit available for viewing no later than five (5) months after the entry of this Order.
17. The sale or transfer of ownership, in whole or in part, of Village at Columbia shall not affect Defendants' continuing obligations to modify the property as specified in this Consent Order, although Defendants may contract with any other individual or entity to complete the modifications. Should Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership decide to sell or transfer any ownership of Village at Columbia, in whole or in part, or any portion thereof, prior to the completion of the required modifications as specified in Appendices A and B, Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership shall (a) at least thirty (30) days prior to completion of the sale or transfer, provide to each prospective buyer a copy of this Consent Order and written notice of Defendants' obligations to complete required modification work and to allow inspections; and (b) provide to the United States, by facsimile and first class mail, written notice of its intent to sell or transfer ownership, a copy of the notice sent to each prospective buyer, and each buyer's name, address and telephone number.
III. NON-DISCRIMINATION IN FUTURE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
18.During the term of this Consent Order, Defendants S-Sixteen Ltd. Partnership and Simplot Construction, Inc. shall maintain and provide to the United States the following information and statements regarding any covered, multifamily dwellings intended to be developed, built, designed, and/or engineered in whole or in part, by any of them or by any entities in which they or their successors in interest have a position of control as an officer, director, member, or manager, or have a ten percent (10%) or larger ownership share. These Defendants shall provide the following information to the United States thirty (30) days after entry of this Order, one year after entry of this Order, and then annually for the remainder of the term of this Order:
(a) the name and address of the project;
(b) a description of the project and the individual units; /P>
(c) the name, address and telephone number of any site engineer(s) and/or civil engineer(s) involved with the project;
(d) a statement from all site engineer(s) and/or civil engineer(s) involved with the project acknowledging and describing his/her knowledge of and training in the requirements of Section 804(f)(3)(C) of the Fair Housing Act and in the field of accessible site design and certifying that he/she has reviewed the engineering documents for the project and that in his or her opinion the design specifications therein fully comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Guidelines and, where applicable, the ADA;
(e) the name, address and telephone number of the architect(s) involved with the project;
(f) a statement from all architects involved with the project acknowledging and describing his/her knowledge of and training in the requirements of Section 804(f)(3)(C) of the Fair Housing Act and in the field of accessible site design and certifying that he/she has reviewed the architectural plans for the project and that in his or her opinion the design specifications therein fully comply with the requirements of the Act and Guidelines and, where applicable, the ADA.; and
(g) if the engineering documents or architectural plans are revised, and the revisions are reasonably likely to have any impact on the accessibility of the dwellings or complex, Defendants shall obtain and maintain, and provide to the United States upon request, a statement from the site engineer(s) or architect(s), as applicable, that all specifications in the revised engineering documents or architectural plans, as pertinent, comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Guidelines and, where applicable, the ADA.
19. Defendant Titan Construction Co. shall, upon request, provide to the United States a list of all covered multi-family housing for which it has served as general contractor during the term of this Decree. The request may be made by the United States at any time during the term of this Decree.
20. For the term of this Decree, if Defendants Armstrong Architects or Hubble Engineering prepare any architectural or site plans, drawings, or blueprints for covered multifamily housing, they shall include on such plans, drawings, or blueprints a statement that the documents comply with the Fair Housing Act and the Guidelines and, where applicable, the ADA. For the term of the Decree, Defendants shall, on request, provide to the United States a list of all such multi-family housing that they have designed or are designing during the term of the Decree.
IV. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
21. Within 30 days of the entry of this Order, Defendants shall provide a copy of this Order to all of their agents and employees with any type of supervisory responsibility for the design or construction of covered multifamily dwellings. Defendants shall secure a signed statement from each agent or employee acknowledging that he or she has received and read the Order, and has had an opportunity to have questions about the Order answered. This statement shall be substantially equivalent to the form attached as Appendix D.
22. During the term of this Order, within 30 days after the date he or she commences an agency relationship or employment with Defendants, each new agent or employee with supervisory responsibility for the design or construction of covered multifamily dwellings shall be given a copy of this Order and be required to sign a statement acknowledging that he or she has received and read the Order, and has had an opportunity to have questions about the Order answered. This statement shall be substantially equivalent to the form attached as Appendix D.
23. Defendants shall also ensure that they and any other employees and agents who have supervisory authority over the design or construction of covered multifamily dwellings have a copy of, are familiar with, and personally review the HUD Guidelines published in the March 6, 1991 Federal Register and the 1998 Revision of HUD's Fair Housing Act Design Manual.
24. Within 90 days of the date of entry of this Order, Defendants and all employees and agents whose duties, in whole or in part, involve supervisory authority over the development, design and/or construction of any covered multifamily dwellings shall undergo training on the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act. The training shall be conducted by a qualified third party, who is approved by the United States and is unconnected to Defendants or their employees, agents or counsel, and any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by Defendants. Defendants shall provide to the United States, within 30 days after the training, the name(s), address(es) and telephone number(s) of the trainer(s); copies of the training outlines and any materials (with the exception of copyrighted materials) distributed by the trainers; and certifications executed by all Defendants and covered employees and agents confirming their attendance, in a form substantially equivalent to the form attached as Appendix E.
V. PUBLIC NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
25.Within ten (10) days of the entry of this Order, Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership shall post and prominently display in the Village at Columbia rental office and in the rental offices of all other properties owned and/or managed by it a sign no smaller than ten (10) by fourteen (14) inches indicating that all dwellings are available for rent on a nondiscriminatory basis. A poster that comports with 24 C.F.R. Part 110 will satisfy this requirement.
26. For the duration of this Order, in all future advertising in newspapers, and on pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature regarding Village at Columbia, or any new covered multifamily complexes that Defendant S-Sixteen Limited Partnership may develop or construct, such Defendant shall include, in a conspicuous location, a statement that the dwelling units include features for persons with disabilities required by the federal Fair Housing Act.
VI. DAMAGES FOR INTERMOUNTAIN FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL
27. The defendants shall pay to the Intermountain Fair Housing Council a total of $2,000.00 in monetary damages. Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this Order, Defendants shall send to counsel for the United States a check in that amount payable to Intermountain Fair Housing Council. The Intermountain Fair Housing Council shall receive the check after executing a copy of the written release attached hereto at Appendix F, which shall be provided to Defendants.
VII. DAMAGES FOR AGGRIEVED PERSONS
28. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order, Defendants shall deposit in an interest-bearing escrow account the total sum of $40,000.00 for the purpose of paying damages to any aggrieved persons who may have suffered as a result of the Defendants' alleged failure to design and construct Village at Columbia in compliance with the FHA and the ADA. Any interest that accrues shall be the property of this fund, which shall be referred to as the "Settlement Fund." Within ten (10) days of depositing the funds into the escrow account, Defendants shall provide written notice to the United States that the funds have been deposited.
29. Within fifteen (15) days of the entry of this Order, the Defendants shall publish the Notice to Potential Victims of Housing Discrimination ("Notice"), attached hereto as Appendix G, informing the public of this settlement and of the Settlement Fund. The Notice shall be no smaller than three columns by six inches and shall be published on four (4) separate occasions in the Idaho Statesman. The publication dates shall be separated from one another by at least five (5) days, and at least two (2) of the publication dates shall be Sundays. Within ten (10) days of the final publication date, the Defendants shall provide copies of the newspaper pages containing the Notice to counsel for the United States. Within fifteen (15) days of the entry of this Order, the defendants also shall send a copy of the Notice to the following organizations: (1) Intermountain Fair Housing Council; (2) LINC (Living Independence Network Corporation); and (3) Co-Ad, Inc.
30. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order, the Defendants shall send by first-class mail, postage prepaid, a copy of the Notice to each tenant of the covered ground-floor apartments at Village at Columbia and to the last known forwarding address of any past tenant of a covered unit who lived at Village at Columbia at any time after January 1, 1998. Within forty-five (45) days of entry of this Order, the Defendants shall provide to counsel for the United States proof that the Notice has been sent. The Defendants shall also make available for inspection and copying any documents the United States believes may reasonably assist in the identification of aggrieved persons. Nothing in this section shall preclude the United States from making its own efforts to locate and provide notice to potential aggrieved persons.
31.Allegedly aggrieved persons shall have 120 days from the date of the entry of this Decree to contact the United States in response to the Notice. The United States shall investigate the claims of allegedly aggrieved persons and, within 180 days from the entry of this Order, shall make a preliminary determination of which persons are aggrieved and an appropriate amount of damages that should be paid to the each such person. The United States will inform the Defendants in writing of its preliminary determinations, together with a copy of a sworn declaration from each aggrieved person setting forth the factual basis of the claim. The Defendants shall have 21 days to review the declaration and provide to the United States any documents or information that they believe may refute the claim.
32. After receiving the Defendants' comments, the United States shall submit its final recommendations to the Court for approval, together with a copy of the declarations and any additional information submitted by the Defendants. The United States' entire submission shall be simultaneously served on the Defendants. (4) When the Court issues an order approving or changing the United States's proposed distribution of funds for aggrieved persons, the Defendants shall, within 10 days of the Court's order, deliver to the United States checks payable to the aggrieved persons in the amounts approved by the Court. In no event shall the aggregate of all such checks exceed the sum of the Settlement Fund, including accrued interest. No aggrieved person shall be paid until he/she has executed and delivered to counsel for the United States the release at Appendix F.
33. If after all payments to aggrieved persons have been made a balance remains in the Settlement Fund, the Court shall order that any balance remaining be returned to the Defendants.
VIII. REPORTING AND DOCUMENT RETENTION
34. One hundred twenty (120) days after the date of entry of this Consent Order, Defendants shall submit to the United States an initial report regarding the signed statements of attendance for Defendants, employees and agents who have completed the educational program specified in Section IV of this Consent Decree. Thereafter during the term of this Order, each year on the anniversary of the entry of this Order, Defendants shall submit to the United States a report containing the signed certifications of new employees and agents that, in accordance with Section IV of this Consent Order, state that they have received and read the Order, and have had an opportunity to have questions about the Order answered.
35. Defendants shall advise the United States in writing within fifteen (15) days of receipt of any written administrative or legal fair housing complaint against them, against any property they own or manage, or against any employees or agents of Defendants working at or for any such property, regarding discrimination on the basis of disability, or alleging interference, retaliation, intimidation, or coercion on the basis of a person having exercised rights protected by the Fair Housing Act or having aided, assisted, or encouraged others in exercising such rights. Upon reasonable notice, Defendants shall also provide the United States all information it may request concerning any such complaint.
36. For the term of this Decree, the Defendants are required to preserve all records related to this Decree, for all covered multifamily properties designed, constructed, owned, operated, or acquired by them. Upon reasonable notice to Defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any records of Defendants pertaining to the Village at Columbia Apartments that bear on compliance with this Order. Upon reasonable notice to Defendants, the United States may also inspect any part of the Village at Columbia Apartments, including residential units, and shall have the right to conduct such inspections at any and all reasonable times, provided however that the United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to Defendants that may be caused by such inspections.IX. DURATION OF DECREE AND TERMINATION OF LEGAL ACTION
37. This Decree shall remain in effect for three (3) years after the date of its entry.
38. The Court shall retain jurisdiction for the duration of this Decree to enforce the terms of the Decree, after which time the case shall be dismissed with prejudice. The United States may move the Court to extend the duration of the Decree in the event of Defendants' noncompliance.
39. The parties shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of, and compliance with, this Decree prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. However, in the event of a failure by Defendants to perform any act required by this Decree in a timely manner, or in the event any Defendant otherwise acts in violation of any provision thereof, the United States may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order requiring performance of such act or deeming such act to have been performed and an award of any damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys' fees which may have been occasioned by the violation or failure to perform.
IX. TIME FOR PERFORMANCE AND COSTS OF LITIGATION
40. Any time limits for performance imposed by this Decree may be extended by the mutual agreement of the parties.
41. Each party shall bear its own costs and attorney's fees associated with this litigation.
THE PARTIES CONSENT TO ENTRY OF THIS CONSENT ORDER AS INDICATED BY
SIGNATURES OF COUNSEL BELOW:
For the Plaintiff United States:
|ALBERTO R. GONZALES|
| THOMAS E. MOSS |
United States Attorney
Assistant United States Attorney
Wells Fargo Center, Suite 201 877 West Main Street Boise, Idaho 83702 (208) 334-1211
| R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA|
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
Housing and Civil Enforcement
Civil Rights Division
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
CATHERINE A. BENDOR
Housing and Civil Enforcement
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Tel.: (202) 514-4305
Fax: (202) 514-1116
For Defendants S-Sixteen Limited Partnership, J. R. Simplot, S-Sixteen Management, LLC, Simplot Construction, Inc., Titan Construction Corporation, and Armstrong Architects:
| _______________________________ |
DAVID M. PENNY ISB #3631
Jones, Gledhill, Hess, Fuhrman & Elden, P.A.
225 North 9th Street, Suite 820
P.O. Box 1097
Boise, ID 83701
Tel.: (208) 331-1170
Fax: (208) 331-1529
THERESA L. KITAY GA Bar #424295
Coughlin & Kitay, P.C.
3091 Holcomb Bridge Road
Norcross, GA 30071
Tel.: (770) 840-8483
Fax: (770) 454-0126
For Defendant Hubble Engineering, Inc.:
RICHARD C. BOARDMAN ISB #2922
ERIC R. BJORKMAN ISB #5649
Perkins Coie LLP
251 East Front Street, Suite 400
Boise, ID 83702-7310
Tel.: (208) 343-3434
Fax: (208) 343-3232
IT IS SO ORDERED:
This ____ day of _______________, 2005.
Honorable B. Lynn Winmill
United States District Judge
ACCESSIBILITY MODIFICATIONS TO PUBLIC AND COMMON USE
AREAS AT VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA APARTMENTS
- Trim shrubbery that narrows an accessible route to less than 36" wide or widen sidewalks at those locations to provide minimum 36" clear passage [Req. 1].
- Adopt and enforce the policy attached hereto as Exhibit 1 to prevent the parking of vehicles in a manner that protrudes, obstructs, or narrows accessible routes in order to ensure that all such routes have no less than 36" of clear passage, or install wheel stops [Req. 1; ANSI 4.3.3]. If Defendants plan to sell property during the term of this Decree, Defendants are required to install wheel stops prior to sale.
- Modify parking spaces where curb ramp on an accessible route is blocked by parking [Req. 1; ANSI 4.3.3].
- Provide two carport spaces that can be configured as accessible parking spaces with covered adjacent access aisles upon request for such an accommodation. Provide a sufficient number of accessible open parking spaces to assure visitors with disabilities an accessible route from parking to all covered dwelling units and all tenants accessible routes to all common/public facilities [Req. 2, Chart Item #4].
- Provide a van-accessible parking space at the rental office with an access aisle that is no narrower than 8', is sloped and cross-sloped no more than 2%, and is marked with proper signage mounted at least 80" above the ground to the bottom of the sign; [Req. 2; ADAAG 4.6].
- Provide properly mounted signage mounted at least 60" above ground to the bottom of the sign to indicate locations of accessible non-covered parking throughout the development; [Req. 2; ANSI 4.6.2].
- Reassign mailboxes for covered ground floor units so that boxes are no higher than 48" [Req. 2; ANSI 4.2.6].
- Provide an accessible route to picnic area or ensure that table is positioned so that its end is accessible from sidewalk [Req. 2; ANSI 4.30.3].
- Install ANSI compliant cane detection at underside of stairways at each covered building so that unobstructed headroom is no shorter than 80" [ANSI 4.4.2].
- Adjust the placement of (or install a detectable warning under) exterior fire extinguishers so that they do not protrude into walkways more than 4" or so that the bottom edges are placed no more than 27" above the walkways [Req. 1; ANSI 4.4.1].
- Trim trees and shrubs on regular basis such that they do not over-hang the accessible routes more than 4" in the area above 27" and below 80" from the surface of the route or reconfigure the routes around impermissible overhang [ANSI 4.4.1].
- Where the handrail extension from the second floor stairways protrudes into the accessible route more than 4" at a height of over 27" from the ground, install an obstruction that is detectable within 27" of ground and no more than 4" from leading edge [Req. 1; ANSI 4.4.1].
- Move toilet paper dispensers in the office/clubhouse bathrooms so that they are placed in proper location as required by ANSI and ADAAG [Req. 2; ANSI 4.16, ADAAG 4.17].
- Relocate Women's Room door to provide 18" maneuvering space to the latch side inside the bathroom [Req. 2; ANSI 4.13.6, ADAAG 4.13.6].
- Install signage that complies with ADAAG 4.30 for the bathrooms in the office/clubhouse [ANSI 4.28, ADAAG 4.30].
- Remount the clubhouse water fountain to provide 27" high knee space [Req. 2; ANSI 4.15.5, ADAAG 4.15.5].
- Relocate sink and dishwasher in clubhouse kitchen further down on counter to increase clear floor space and so that faucet and instant hot water controls are within ANSI compliant reach ranges; replace faucet hardware with accessible controls that do not require tight grasping or twisting to operate; install counter that is at least 36 inches long and the top of which is no more than 34" above the finished floor; lower at least one section of the wall cabinets in the kitchen so that the first shelf is no more the 48" above the floor; and relocate microwave such that controls are within the accessible reach range [Req. 2; ANSI 4.2.].
- Maintain lever door hardware on the door to the club room [Req. 2; ANSI 4.13.9].
- In the clubhouse showers, provide a hand-held shower device on a 60" hose or an adjustable height shower head that can be mounted at 48" above the floor [Req. 2; ANSI 4.21.6].
- In the clubhouse showers, provide a soap dispenser that is within specified reach range [Req. 2; ANSI 4.2.5 and 4.2.6].
- Readjust or move exercise equipment on regular walkthroughs so as to provide accessible route, with a minimum clear width of 36", between the equipment in the clubhouse exercise room [Req. 2; ANSI 4.3.3].
- Lower sauna door pull so that it is a maximum of 48" above the floor [Req. 2; ANSI 4.3.5].
- On the wood ramp that connects the pool to the clubhouse, install a second handrail [Req. 2; ANSI 4.8.5].
- Maintain the pool access control button as flushed or raised, rather than recessed [Req. 2; ANSI 4.25.4].
- In the clubhouse, relocate the door between the corridor and the exercise room to provide required 18" maneuvering space on the pull side of the door [Req. 2; ANSI 4.13.6].
Modify/rebuild the ramps, sidewalks, and landings specified below such that (1) any changes in level do not exceed .5" and are beveled or constructed as a ramp, (2) the slopes and cross slopes of the routes do not exceed 5% (8.33% for a ramp) and 2%, respectively; [Req. 1; ANSI 4.3.7, 4.3.8], and (3) the slopes and cross slopes of the maneuvering space of the entrance landing(s) at each covered building do not exceed 2% [Req. 1; ANSI 4.13.6]. Such modifications shall include but not be limited to:
Building B: Modify curb ramp as necessary to address excessive slope;
Building E: Add new ANSI compliant pedestrian ramp to address excessive slopes on existing entrance walkway and modify curb ramp to address excessive cross-slope;
Building F: Add new ANSI compliant pedestrian ramp to replace existing ramp;
Building G: Install new curb ramp between buildings F and G; modify entrance walkway and path from parking area; if necessary based on existing conditions, modify path across driveway to dumpster to address excessive slope and/or cross-slope;
Building J: Modify entrance walkway, path to driveway, path from driveway walk, and path between Buildings I and J to address excessive slopes and/or cross-slopes;
Building K: Modify curb ramps to address excessive cross-slope; add handrails to both sides of existing sidewalk; modify common use exterior door to reduce height of threshold;
Building N: Add handrails to both sides of approach walk to southwest entrance of building and provide level landings at top and bottom of approach walk; modify walk connecting approach walk and public sidewalk;
Building O: Add new pedestrian ramp;
Building P: Add new sidewalk from existing sidewalk at parking area to south entrance of building;
Building Q: Add new pedestrian ramp at parking area at end of existing sidewalk leading to north entrance of building; add handrails to both sides of initial run of existing sidewalk;
Building R: Modify curb ramp to address excessive slope, add handrail to one side of existing ramp;
Building S: Modify landings at right rear, left rear, and right front doors to address excessive slopes in maneuvering space;
Building U: Modify curb ramp, entrance walkway, west entrance walkway, and walkway parallel to building to address excessive slopes and/or cross-slopes; add handrails to both sides of initial run of existing sidewalk leading to west entrance of building;
Building W: Replace existing curb ramp; modify and/or replace approach walk from curb ramp to building W; modify landings at right rear, left rear, right front, and left front doors to address excessive slopes in maneuvering spaces at primary dwelling unit entrances;
Building X: Modify west entrance walkway and path from curb ramp in front of parking to address excessive slope, cross-slope, and vertical rise; modify curb ramp from driveway to address excessive slope and/or cross-slope;
Building Y: Modify curb ramps at parking and at south end to address excessive slopes and cross-slopes;
Clubhouse: Add new accessible parking space adjacent to west entrance to clubhouse; install new curb ramp to west entrance; install new sidewalk between curb ramp and west entrance; modify path along driveway from new curb ramp to approach walk to rental office; modify path to pool to address excessive slopes and/or cross-slopes.
VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA APARTMENTS
SIDEWALK PROTECTION POLICY
- The rules for Village at Columbia Apartments expressly prohibit blocking or obstructing the sidewalks including the parking of motor vehicles so that the vehicle bumper overhangs part of the sidewalk area.
- Village at Columbia Apartments has a document utilized by on-site staff to inform a resident or guest when he/she parks a vehicle so that it obstructs a sidewalk. The form shall be as attached to this policy statement as Exhibit "A".
- On at least a daily basis, Village at Columbia Apartments staff shall patrol the sidewalks adjacent to vehicle parking to enforce the prohibition against the parking of vehicles that obstruct the sidewalk and shall also enforce the policy at any other time they are on the property and become aware of a policy violation while performing other duties.
- Village at Columbia Apartments staff shall track the description and license plate number of vehicles receiving violation notices. Once a vehicle has two (2) violation notices, a letter shall be addressed to the resident or guest owning the vehicle from Village at Columbia Apartments management informing them that the next violation will result in the towing of their vehicle from the property at the resident or guest's expense on every occasion that the violation reoccurs. In the event that the offending vehicle does not belong to a resident, the letter shall be placed under the windshield wiper of the vehicle. Village at Columbia Apartments shall retain the right to bar a resident or guest from having parking privileges on the property for habitual violations.
- If a resident or guest fails to correct a violation within twenty-four (24) hours after a notice is posted on the vehicle, on-site staff shall immediately have the vehicle towed at the resident's or guest's expense.
- Install additional concrete at those covered ground floor unit entry doors where necessary so that the entry height does not exceed .75" [Req. 4].
- Widen doors to interior utility rooms to provide 32" nominal clear width [Req. 3].
- Widen all interior doors that do not provide a 32" nominal clear width, including, but not limited to, those in Phase Two three-bedroom apartments [Req. 3].
- Where not now provided, and as requested by a resident, modify the kitchen by installing removable cabinets (and finishing floor and insulating pipes) to allow approximately 30" x 48" of parallel and centered clear floor space to the sink and range [Req. 7].
- Where not now provided, and as requested by a resident, modify the kitchen by installing removable cabinets (and finishing floor and insulating pipes) to allow approximately 30" x 48" centered clear floor space to allow frontal or parallel wheelchair approach to all other kitchen fixtures and appliance [Req. 7].
- Where U-shaped kitchens have a range or sink in the base of the U and the counters are less than 60" apart, and as requested by a resident, provide compliant turn around space between counter tops by installing 36" wide removable cabinets (and finishing floors and insulating pipes) [Req. 7].
- As requested by a resident, re-swing the hall bathroom door where necessary to allow adequate clear space of 30" x 48" in the bathroom beyond the swing of the door [Req. 7].
- Where not now provided, and as requested by a resident, provide centered parallel clear floor space of at least 30" x 48" at the lavatory in the bathrooms by installing removable cabinets, finishing floor and insulating pipes [Req. 7].
- Where not properly located, including but not limited to Phase One apartments, raise the electrical outlets above the floor to at least 15" to the center of the bottom outlet (may be accomplished through the use of extenders if approved by the United States) [Req. 5].
- Where not now provided, including but not limited to Phase One apartments, widen the area around the water closet to provide at least 16"- 18" of clear space to the side wall, shower, or tub, and a 15" clear space to the lavatory [Req. 7].
- Repair wood patio decks where necessary so that deck is no lower than ½" below the interior finished floor [Req. 4].
- Upon request of a resident of a covered ground floor unit, bevel the interior edge of concrete patio thresholds and ramp the exterior threshold [Req. 4].
- Modify one covered ground floor unit (to be used as a model unit) to include all applicable accessibility features on this list.
The sidewalks within Village at Columbia Apartments provide a path for travel throughout the complex and therefore the sidewalk surfaces must not be blocked and must be kept free of obstructions to ensure the full access and use by all residents and guests regardless of their means of travel. Persons with disabilities need the full benefit of the sidewalk area and management uses these sidewalks for traveling about the complex in golf carts and ATVs. Full benefit of the sidewalks is also necessary for snow removal.
ACCESSIBILITY MODIFICATIONS TO COVERED GROUND-FLOOR UNITS
AT VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA APARTMENTS
>Where not now provided, provide lever hardware on all entry doors, unless knob hardware is specifically requested by the current tenant, in which case the Defendants will change the hardware to lever hardware when the tenant moves out. [Req. 3, ANSI 4.13.9].
NOTICE TO CURRENT VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA
RESIDENTS AND PROSPECTIVE TENANTS REGARDING
MODIFICATIONS AVAILABLE FOR COVERED APARTMENTS
Village at Columbia Apartments is dedicated to the principle of equal housing opportunity. The federal Fair Housing Act requires that ground floor apartments in newer apartment communities have certain features of physical accessibility for people with disabilities.
As a result of a lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice, it has been brought to our attention that certain aspects of the complex can be modified to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Defendants have denied the allegations in the lawsuit, but the lawsuit has been resolved, and we are currently in the process of making those modifications. We welcome people with disabilities as residents and guests at Village at Columbia, and would like to make them as comfortable as possible. If you would like to make your apartment more accessible, Village at Columbia Apartments may be able to assist you by altering certain features of your apartment home at no cost to you. Should any of the modifications require that you temporarily relocate, Village at Columbia will pay all reasonable relocation and housing expenses while the modifications are being made. Depending on the particular features of your unit, the available alterations may include:
- Lowering entry or interior door thresholds
- Widening interior doorways to provide a 32" clear opening
- Providing more clear floor space in front of and/or adjacent to kitchen and bathroom fixtures
- Raising electrical outlets
It is not necessary that you or any member of your household be disabled in order to request these modifications, although the modifications must be intended to be used by a person with disabilities. If you would like to request any of these modifications for your unit, please contact us at .
You may also use the attached form to request modifications.
Appendix C [continued]
VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA MODIFICATION SELECTION FORM
MODIFICATIONS AVAILABLE TO IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY FOR
PEOPLE WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES
Village at Columbia Apartments is dedicated to the principle of equal housing opportunity, including the federal Fair Housing Act's requirement that ground-floor apartment homes in newer apartment communities have certain features of accessibility for persons with physical disabilities. We welcome persons with disabilities as residents and guests at Village at Columbia, and would like to make them as comfortable as possible. We are therefore offering the modification of certain features of selected ground floor apartment homes, all available at no cost to you. Depending on your unit type and its location, you may be eligible for some or all of the modifications described below.
If you would like to request any of the modifications listed below, please indicate which modifications are requested, and return this form to ______________________________.
You can also contact us with any questions at ______________.
Name of Resident: _________________________
I would like the following modifications made in my apartment home to increase its accessibility for persons with physical disabilities (check all that apply):
______ Remove the base cabinet at the kitchen sink (and finish the floor beneath and install pipe insulation) to allow greater clear floor space for forward or parallel approaches to the kitchen fixtures.
______ Modify the swing of the hall bathroom door to swing out of the bathroom
______ Remove the base cabinet at the bathroom sink (and finish the floor beneath and install pipe insulation) to allow a forward approach to the sink.
______ Bevel the interior edge of the patio threshold and ramp the exterior threshold (concrete patios only)
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF CONSENT ORDER
On ______________ , I received copies of and have read the Consent Order entered by the federal district court in United States of America v. S-Sixteen Limited Partnership et al., Case No. CV-03-154-S-BLW. I have had an opportunity to have all of my questions concerning the Consent Order, the Fair Housing Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act answered to my satisfaction.
CERTIFICATION OF FAIR HOUSING TRAINING
On ______________ , I attended training on the federal Fair Housing Act, including its requirements concerning physical accessibility for people with disabilities. I have had an opportunity to have all of my questions concerning the Fair Housing Act answered to my satisfaction.
RELEASE OF CLAIMS
In consideration for the payment of $_____________ pursuant to the Consent Order approved by the United States District Court for the District of Idaho in the case of United States v. S-Sixteen Limited Partnership et al., Case No. CIV 03-154-S-BLW, I hereby release the defendants named in this action from any and all liability for any claims, legal or equitable, I may have against them arising out of the allegations in the above referenced action. I fully acknowledge and agree that this release of the defendants shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators and assigns. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood this release and have signed it voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.
CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE
NOTICE TO POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
On ______________ ,2005, the United States District Court for the District of Idaho entered a Consent Order resolving a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice against the builders and developers of the Village at Columbia Apartments, 2500 East Red Cedar Lane, Boise, Idaho, alleging that they failed to include certain physically accessible features required by the Fair Housing Act in both exterior and interior common areas at the complex and in ground floor apartments.
The Consent Order does not constitute an admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of any of the defendants, who have expressly denied the allegations in the lawsuit.
Under this Consent Order, however, you may be entitled to receive compensation if you or anyone you know:
- WAS DISCOURAGED FROM LIVING AT VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA APARTMENTS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES;
- HAS BEEN HURT OR NEGATIVELY AFFECTED IN ANY WAY BY THE LACK OF PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY FEATURES AT VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA APARTMENTS; OR
- SPENT MONEY TO HAVE AN APARTMENT AT VILLAGE AT COLUMBIA APARTMENTS MADE MORE PHYSICALLY ACCESSIBLE.
If you wish to make a claim of discrimination on the basis of disability, or if you have any information about persons who may have such a claim, please contact the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-896-7743 (select option #6). You may also write to:
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - NWB
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Attn: DJ 175-22-31
NOTE: You must call or write no later than ________, 2005.
1. Paragraph (b) of this injunction shall not apply to Defendants Armstrong Architects and Hubble Engineering, Co.
2. For purposes of this Order, all ground floor units at Village at Columbia are considered to be "covered" units with the exception of twenty-four (24) units, which shall include the four (4) units in each of the following buildings: Buildings D, I, L, M, T and V.
3. 3 For purposes of this Order, all submissions to the United States or its counsel should be submitted to: Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530, Attn: DJ# 175-54-131. Faxed submissions should be sent to fax number 202-514-1116. The United States' submission shall not preclude any of the Defendants from making their own timely submissions to the Court.
Document Entered: March 14, 2005 > >