This Settlement Agreement (Agreement) is between the United States and Trop Edmond, L.P.; Trail Properties, Inc.; and Danielian Associates (or Respondents) to settle alleged violations of Section 804(f)(3)(C) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) with respect to the design and construction of the units at West Trop Condominiums.
West Trop Condominiums is a condominium community located at 5155 West Tropicana Boulevard in Las Vegas, Nevada. Trop Edmond, L.P. is the owner and Trail Properties, Inc. is the general partner and builder of West Trop Condominiums. Trop Edmond, L.P. and Trail Properties, Inc. are responsible for the construction of West Trop Condominiums. Danielian Associates, whose principal place of business is located in Irvine, California, is responsible for the design of West Trop Condominiums. West Trop Condominiums is comprised of 327 units, 155 of which are located on the ground floor. The 155 ground floor units at West Trop Condominiums are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A).
On February 25, 1997, Ronald Ray Smith and the Disabled Rights Action Committee (DRAC) (Complainants) filed a complaint under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, (the Act) against Trop Edmond, L.P.; Trail Properties, Inc.; and Spanish Trail Associates, L.P., which complaint was amended on April 24, 1997, alleging that these parties discriminated against the Complainants based on handicap by designing and constructing multifamily dwellings at West Trop Condominiums.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiated an investigation to determine whether discrimination under the Act existed regarding the construction of the multi-family dwellings at West Trop Condominiums. As a result of that investigation, HUD concluded that a basis may exist to determine that the design and construction of the condominiums at West Trop Condominiums did not comply with the new construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C). On January 27, 2000, HUD referred the West Trop Condominiums complaint to the Department of Justice for possible pattern or practice litigation.
In general, the Act requires that, for buildings with four or more units, all ground floor units in non-elevator buildings, such as the units at West Trop Condominiums, include certain basic accessibility and adaptability design features intended to make housing usable or adaptable by a person who is, or who becomes, disabled. The design requirements under the Act include: (a) public use and common use areas that are readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities; (b) doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises that are sufficiently wide to allow passage by disabled persons in 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.
As originally designed, the United States alleges that the "covered" units at West Trop Condominiums did not fully comply with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C). For instance, the United States alleges that as originally designed and constructed, West Trop Condominiums failed to provide: accessible building entrances on an accessible route; accessible and usable public and common use areas; and environmental controls in accessible locations.
- Statement of Agreement
All parties agree that the controversy outlined above should be resolved without judicial action. This Agreement resolves fully and finally all claims asserted by the United States, or that could have been asserted by the United States as of the date of this Agreement, arising out of or relating to the matters referred to in this Agreement. This Settlement Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this Settlement Agreement will be enforceable under its provisions. This Settlement Agreement is limited to the factual allegations set forth in Section II above and it does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the Fair Housing Act or any other federal law. Nor does this Agreement affect the continuing responsibility of Respondents to comply with all aspect of the Fair Housing Act.
- Retrofit Actions
- After Respondents were contacted by HUD regarding the complaint of design and construction deficiencies, Respondents Trop Edmond, L.P. and Trail Properties, Inc. made efforts to resolve many of the issues discussed in Section II, above. Specifically, these Respondents took the following corrective actions at an approximate cost of $41,000:
|1.||Concrete removal/replacement 2398 x $6.25/sq. ft.||$15,000|
|2.||Remove/replace landscaping and sprinklin systems 4796 x $2.50/sq. ft.||12,000|
|3.||Replace/rescript four parking spaces||3,400|
|4.||Repair recreation area threshold and bathrooms||1,500|
|5.||Remove/replace 42 front door hardware||1,400|
|6.||Field supervision of retrofitting to ensure compliance||2,500|
|7.||Office Administration, including review of plans and bids, hiring, and record keeping||7,000|
No later than 90 (ninety) days after the date of this Agreement, and annually for the duration of this Agreement, Respondent Danielian will conduct an in-house training seminar for all its employees involved in the design and construction of new, multi-family housing. The training seminar shall last for no fewer than three (3) hours. The training will provide instruction on the Act's design and construction requirements as they relate to the particular job responsibilities of the employee. A copy of this Settlement Agreement will be distributed to all employees who attend the training seminar.
- Non-discrimination in Future Design
Respondent Danielian agrees that for every covered, multi-family dwelling it designs, it will, to the best of its knowledge, information and belief, design the dwelling in compliance with the Fair Housing Act.
- Reporting and Document Retention Requirements
- For the term of this Agreement, Respondent Trop-Edmond, L.P. and Trail Properties, Inc. shall advise counsel for the United States in writing no later than fifteen (15) days after receipt of any written administrative or legal complaint against it, or against any of its employees or agents, regarding equal opportunity in housing.
- For the term of this Agreement, Respondents are required to preserve all records related to this Agreement for all properties designed, constructed, owned, operated, or acquired by it. Upon reasonable notice to Respondents, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any records of theirs or inspect any developments or residential units under their control covered by the Act bearing on compliance with this Agreement at any and all reasonable times. The United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to the respondents from such inspections.
- Monetary Payment
To further remedy the design and construction issues presented in Section II above, the parties agree that within thirty day of the date of this Settlement agreement, Respondents Trop-Edmond, L.P. and Trail Properties, Inc. shall provide a payment in the amount of $5000 (FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS) to an organization in Nevada (preferably in Las Vegas or Clark County), that promotes accessibility in housing for persons with disabilities, such organization to be approved by the United States.
- Duration of Agreement and Enforcement
- The provisions of this Agreement shall remain in effect for three and one half (3 ½) years after the date it has been signed by both representatives of both parties as evidenced by their signatures below.
- If the United States believes any provision of this Agreement has been violated, it shall promptly advise counsel for Respondents in writing of the nature of that violation, and, within thirty (30) days of receipt of said written notice from the United States, the parties shall confer in a good faith attempt to resolve the issue. In the event the parties are not able to resolve this issue to the reasonable satisfaction of the United States, the United States may seek to enforce the Agreement, or any provision thereof, in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada through initiation of a lawsuit. Failure of the United States to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision of it with regard to any deadline or any other provision contained herein shall not be construed as a waiver by the United States of any right to do so.
Agreed to by the parties as indicated by the signatures of counsel below.
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
TIMOTHY A. MORAN
SUNNY E. PIETRAFESA
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
FOR TROP-EDMOND, L.P.;
AND TRAIL PROPERTIES, INC.:
Quirck & Tratos
3773 Howard Hughes Parkway
Suite 500 North
Las Vegas, NV 89109
FOR DANIELIAN ASSOCIATES:
Drage, Olson & Tiet, LLP
810 South Casino Center Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
March 14, 2001 > >