R. Alexander Acosta
Assistant Attorney General
Steven H. Rosenbaum
Donna M. Murphy
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - NWB
950 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, D.C. 20530
202-514-1116 - fax
Daniel G. Bogden
United States Attorney
Blaine T. Welsh
333 Las Vegas Boulevard So.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
702-388-6787 - fax
Attorneys for Plaintiff
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
FALCON DEVELOPMENT COMPANY NO.
9501, LLC; RANCHO DEL REY, LP;
RANCHO SERENE, LLC; L.R. NELSON
CONSULTING ENGINEERS, INC;
and HUNSAKER & ASSOCIATES NV, INC.
BOUNTIFUL PROPERTIES AND
INVESTMENTS, LLC; SCOTTSDALE
SERENE ASSOCIATES, LLC.; AND
MAVERICK DEVELOPMENT FUND II, LLC
Defendants for Purposes of Relief.
Plaintiff United States and defendants Falcon Development Company No. 9501, LLC; Rancho Del Rey, LP; Rancho Serene LLC; L.R. Nelson; and Hunsaker and Associates Nevada, Inc. (defendants), Bountiful Properties and Investments, LLC; Scottsdale Serene Associates, LLC; and Maverick Development Fund II, LLC, the current owners of the properties (defendants for purposes of relief), agree to the terms of this Consent Decree resolving the Complaint filed by the United States. The current owners are included as defendants solely because they are necessary parties for relief and for that reason are not referred to as defendants in this action.
The United States files this Consent Decree simultaneously with its Complaint alleging violations of Section 804(f)(1)-(3) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1)-(3), as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619 (the Act). Specifically, the United States' Complaint alleges that defendants have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination by failing to design and construct Rancho del Rey Apartments, Rancho Serene Apartments, and Rancho Viejo Apartments (Ranchos or subject properties) with the features of accessible and adaptable design set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
Falcon Development Company No. 9501, LLC (Falcon); Rancho Del Rey, LP; and Rancho Serene, LLC were the owners and developers of the subject properties. L.R. Nelson Consulting Engineers, Inc. (Nelson) was the site engineer for Rancho Viejo and Rancho Serene Apartments. Hunsaker and Associates was the site engineer for Rancho del Rey.
Rancho Del Rey Apartments (Del Rey) is located at 2701 North Decatur Boulevard in Las Vegas, Nevada. Del Rey consists of twelve non-elevator buildings containing 192 units, of which 96 are ground floor units. Rancho Serene Apartments (Serene) is located at 9405 South Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas, Nevada. Serene consists of fourteen non-elevator buildings containing 216 apartments, 108 of which are ground floor units. Rancho Viejo Apartments (Viejo) is located at 7885 West Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, Nevada. Viejo consists of twenty six non-elevator buildings containing 312 apartments, of which 172 are ground floor units. All of the Ranchos have a clubhouse and swimming pool on the property.
The Act provides that all ground-floor units in non-elevator buildings (with four or more units), designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, are "covered units" and must include certain basic features of accessible and adaptable design to make such units 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 in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space. 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
All of the 376 ground-floor units at the subject properties are "covered multifamily dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A). These units and the public and common use areas of the Ranchos are subject to the design and construction requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
Defendants deny that their actions constituted a violation of the Act. Nevertheless, defendants share with the United States a desire to increase housing opportunities for persons with disabilities and are entering into this Consent Decree in order to further that goal.
The United States acknowledges that defendants have cooperated fully during the United States' investigation of the subject properties and welcomes the efforts of defendants to bring the subject properties into compliance with the Fair Housing Act's accessibility requirements. The United States further acknowledges that defendants have, on their own initiative, attended several fair housing training sessions and retrofitted some noncompliant features of the interiors of the units and the public use and common areas at the subject properties.
Therefore, as indicated by the signatures appearing below, the parties agree to the entry of this Consent Decree.
It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED:
I. GENERAL INJUNCTION
Defendants, their current officers, employees, agents, successors and assigns and all other persons currently in active concert or participation with them are enjoined from discriminating on the basis of disability, as prohibited by the Act 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1), (2), and (3)(C) and as set forth in the Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines, 56 Fed. Reg. 9472 (1991) (the Guidelines).
II. CORRECTIVE ACTIONS
Defendants have sold the subject properties and have represented to the United States that they are no longer engaged in the business of developing or constructing multi-family residential projects, have no ongoing operations, have no intention of reincarnating their business, or of developing and/or constructing real property improvements in the future, and are not currently licensed contractors.
Nevertheless, defendants Falcon Development Company No. 9501, LLC; Rancho Del Rey, LP; and Rancho Serene, LLC, in their desire to make housing more accessible to persons with disabilities, have agreed to and shall contribute the sum of ONE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($150,000) to a fund (the Fund) that will be available to the current owners of the subject properties to retrofit the common use and public areas as well as the interiors of the units. The parties have agreed that the Fund is adequate to perform the required retrofit actions described in this Section and Appendices A and B with respect to the public and common use areas and the covered ground-floor units.
The current owners are not named defendants in the United States Complaint. However, pursuant to Rule 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, they have been joined as signatories to this Consent Decree because they are necessary parties to effectuate the relief herein and have agreed to and shall allow a third party contractee to perform the retrofits necessary to bring the subject properties into compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Act.
In order to accomplish this task, and in their desire to cooperate and allow access to the property so that the retrofits can be performed, the current owners have entered into a Settlement Agreement and contracted with a third party to perform the retrofits described at Appendices A and B.
III. NON-DISCRIMINATION IN FUTURE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
For the duration of this Consent Decree, defendants shall each submit to counsel for the United States (1) the following information regarding any covered multi-family dwellings and any places of public accommodation that are part of a multi-family dwelling complex intended to be developed, designed, and/or constructed by it or them, alone or together, in whole or in part, or by any entities in which they have a position of control as an officer, director, member, or manager, or have a fifty-percent (50%) or larger ownership share, the following information: (1) the name and address of the project; (2) a description of the project and a description of the individual units; (3) the name and address of each site engineer involved with the project acknowledging and describing his/her knowledge of and training in the requirements 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 the design specifications therein fully comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Guidelines; (4) the name and address of each architect involved with the project; and (5) a statement from the architect acknowledging and describing his/her knowledge of and training in the requirements 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 the design specifications therein fully comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act and the Guidelines.
If the engineering documents or architectural plans are revised, and the revisions could 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 or architect, 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.
IV. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
A. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Decree, defendants shall provide a copy of this Decree to all their current agents and current employees involved in the design and construction of covered multifamily dwellings and secure the signed statement, attached hereto as Appendix C, from each current agent or current employee acknowledging that he/she has received, read and understands the Decree.
B. Within thirty (30) days after the date on which a new employee or agent commences employment or an agency relationship with defendants, each new employee or agent involved in the design and construction covered multifamily dwellings shall be given a copy of this Decree and be required to sign the statement, attached hereto as Appendix C, acknowledging that he/she has received, read and understands the Decree.
V. PUBLIC NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
A. During the term of this Decree, defendant Falcon shall post and prominently display the federal Fair Housing Poster as described by 24 C.F.R. 110.15 and 110.25 in the sales or rental offices of all dwellings owned or operated by them, if any, and in any other place in which persons may inquire about buying or renting dwellings from them.
B. For the duration of this Consent Decree, in all future advertising in newspapers, and on pamphlets, brochures, and other promotional literature regarding the existing complexes or any new complexes that any defendant may develop or construct, defendants shall place, in a conspicuous location, a statement that the dwelling units include features for persons with disabilities required by the federal Fair Housing Act.
VI. ADDITIONAL MONITORING REQUIREMENTS
A. For the duration of this Decree, defendants shall advise counsel for the United States in writing within fifteen (15) days of receipt of any new and initial formal or informal complaint against them, their employees or agents, regarding discrimination regarding housing on the basis of disability under the Act. Defendants shall also promptly provide the United States all non-privileged information it may request concerning any such complaint. Within fifteen (15) days of the resolution of any such complaints, defendants shall advise counsel of the United States of such resolution.
B. Within 180 days after the entry of this Decree, and thereafter on the anniversary of entry of this Decree throughout the term of the Decree, should defendants engage in the business of developing or constructing multi-family residential properties, they shall submit a report that includes the signed statement of each current agent and current employee acknowledging that he/she received, read and understands the Decree. In addition, defendants shall include in their report all current advertising or promotional literature regarding defendants' covered multifamily dwellings.
VII. DURATION OF DECREE AND TERMINATION OF LEGAL ACTION
A. This Consent Decree shall remain in effect for three years after the date of its entry.
B. By consenting to entry of this Decree, the United States and defendants agree that in the event that defendants engage in any future violation(s) of the Fair Housing Act in any construction or ownership beginning after entry of the Decree, such violation(s) shall constitute a "subsequent violation" pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C)(ii).
C. The Court shall retain jurisdiction for the duration of this Consent Decree to enforce the terms of the Decree, after which time the case shall be dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiffs may move the Court to extend the duration of the Decree in the interests of justice.
D. The United States and defendants 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 in a timely manner any act required by this Decree or otherwise to act in conformance with 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.
VII. TIME FOR PERFORMANCE
Any time limits for performance imposed by this Consent Decree may be extended by the mutual agreement of the United States and defendants.
IX. COSTS OF LITIGATION
Each party to this Consent Decree shall bear its own costs and attorney's fees associated with this litigation.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
This ______ day of _________________ 2004.
United States District Judge
Agreed to by the parties as indicated by the signatures of the parties and counsel below.
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA
Assistant Attorney General
DANIEL G. BOGDEN
United States Attorney
BLAINE T. WELSH
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
DONNA M. MURPHY
SUNNY E. PIETRAFESA
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - G St.
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
FOR DEFENDANTS FALCON DEVELOPMENT COMPANY NO. 9501, RANCHO DEL REY, LP; AND RANCHO SERENE, LLC:
Lionel Sawyer & Collins
1700 Bank of America Plaza
300 South Fourth Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
FOR DEFENDANT L.R. NELSON CONSULTING ENGINEERS, INC:
6765 W. Russell Road, Ste 200
Las Vegas, NV 89118
FOR DEFENDANT HUNSAKER & ASSOCIATES NEVADA, INC:
Irvine, CA 92618
FOR BOUNTIFUL PROPERTIES AND INVESTMENTS, LLC:
395 Mira Montes Rd.
Woodside, CA 94061
FOR SCOTTSDALE SERENE ASSOCIATES, LLC
ROGER H. THOMPSON, CEO of
Thompson Michie Associates Inc. Manager of
Scottsdale Apartments, L.C. Manager and Member of
SD-Rancho Serene Manager, L.C., its Manager
111 East Broadway
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
FOR MAVERICK DEVELOPMENT FUND II, LLC
2150 W. Washington Street, Suite 402
San Diego, CA 92110
1. All submissions to the United States or its counsel shall be made to: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - G St., 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20530. Attn: DJ No. 175-46-82 or as otherwise directed by the United States.
Document Filed: August 26, 2004 > >