In the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois
United States of America,
Access Living of Metropolitan
Andrian-Zemenides , Ltd.
|Case No. 05 C 2208|
The United States and plaintiff-intervenor Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago (collectively "plaintiffs") and Defendant, Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd., agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case and that the controversy should be resolved without further proceedings and without an evidentiary hearing. Therefore, the United States, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago and Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. have consented to the entry of this Consent Decree as indicated by the signatures appearing below. The United States filed a Complaint alleging violations of Section 804(f)(3)(C) of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C) ("the Act"). The Complaint alleges that Defendant was responsible for the design of River's Edge Condominiums, which is located at 5225, 5255, 5320, 5340, and 5360 North Lowell Avenue, in Chicago, Illinois. On April 15, 2005, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago filed a motion to intervene as of right as a plaintiff in this matter. On April 20, 2005, this Court granted Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago's motion.
River's Edge Condominiums consists of 260 condominium units, located in five elevator buildings. Construction on all 260 units was completed based on the original designs of Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. River's Edge Condominiums is a "covered multi-family dwelling" within the meaning of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A). The Act requires that all units in such a dwelling include certain basic accessibility and adaptability design features. These design requirements 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 persons using wheelchairs; (c) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (d) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (e) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space. See 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C). The United States alleges that, as designed and constructed, the units at River's Edge Condominiums do not fully comply with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
In 1997, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) alleging that the River's Edge Condominiums was not constructed in compliance with the design and construction requirements of the Fair Housing Act. Norwood Builders (Norwood), Access Living and HUD entered into a conciliation agreement with HUD ("Conciliation Agreement"). A copy of that agreement is attached at Exhibit A. Defendant Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. is not a party to the conciliation agreement. On September 28, 2004, HUD issued a Charge of Discrimination against Andrian- Ziminides Architects, Ltd. On October 7, 2004, Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. elected to have the claims stated in the Charge decided in a federal civil action.
It is hereby Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed:
I. General Injunction
1. Defendant, its officers, employees, agents, successors and assigns are enjoined from discriminating on the basis of disability as prohibited by the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(3).
II. Corrective Actions
2. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this decree, the Defendant agrees to modify the common use areas at River's Edge Condominium by creating two new accessible parking spaces with one space being placed in each of the outdoor parking lots adjacent to Buildings One and Two. Each outdoor accessible space must be at least ninety-six (96) inches wide and adjacent to a demarcated access aisle that is at least sixty (60) inches wide. Two accessible spaces may share a single access aisle. In the event that the Condominium Association for River's Edge refuses to grant permission to create these spaces, Defendants shall notify the United States and the United States may seek to modify the Consent Order so as to require the Association(s) to permit the modifications. Defendants shall not oppose the United States' motion to modify the Consent Order, or the joinder of the Association(s) as a necessary party, for the purpose of ordering the Association(s) to permit the modifications.
3. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this decree, the Defendant shall deposit $37,500 into the same interest-bearing, revolving escrow account ("Escrow Account") required by the Conciliation Agreement, so as to create a total retrofit fund of $75,000 to pay for modifications, as enumerated in the Conciliation Agreement.
4. The Escrow Account described in this Decree shall be managed pursuant to the terms and conditions specified by the Conciliation Agreement.
5. Upon the effective date of this decree, Defendant shall consent to Norwood providing the written notice (1) of the opportunity to request modifications under the terms of this Decree and the Conciliation Agreement to all current owners of condominium units at River's Edge Condominiums, the River's Edge Condominium Association, and the River's Edge Homeowner's Association.
III. Relief to Complainant
6. In addition to the amounts specified above, Defendant shall pay the sum of $10,000 to Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago for damages and attorneys fees, within thirty (30) days of Access Living executing and delivering to counsel for Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. the release at Exhibit C.
IV. Education and Training
7. Within one hundred twenty (120) days of the date of entry of this Consent Order, Defendant's sole employee, Irene Zemenides, shall undergo training on the design requirements of the Fair Housing Act. The training shall be conducted by a qualified third party, unconnected to Defendant or its employees, agents or counsel, and approved by the United States. (2) Any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by Defendant. Defendant shall provide to the United States, within thirty (30) days after the training, copies of the training outlines and any materials distributed by the trainers; and certifications executed by Defendant and all covered employees and agents confirming their attendance, in a form substantially equivalent to Exhibit D.
8. For the duration of this Consent Order, Defendant shall maintain, and provide to the United States upon request, the following information and statements regarding any covered, multifamily dwellings it designs in whole or in part, or designed by any entities in which it has a position of control as an officer, director, member, or manager, or have a fifty-percent (50%) or larger ownership share:
(a) the name and address of the project;
(b) a description of the project and the individual units; and
(c) a statement acknowledging that Defendant has reviewed the architectural plans for the project and that to the best of its knowledge, the design specifications therein comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act.
IV. Duration of Order and Termination of Legal Action
9. This Consent Order shall remain in effect for two (2) years after the date of its entry. By consenting to entry of this Order, the United States and Defendant agree that in the event that Defendant violates the Fair Housing Act in the future, such violation(s) shall constitute a "subsequent violation" by Defendant pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C)(ii).
10. The Court shall retain jurisdiction, including for distribution of the settlement funds, for the duration of this Consent Order to enforce the terms of the Order, after which time the case shall be dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiffs may move the Court to extend the duration of the Order in the interests of justice.
11. Any time limits for performance imposed by this Consent Order may be extended by the mutual written agreement of the Plaintiffs and the Defendant.
12. The Plaintiffs and Defendant shall, in good faith, attempt to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. However, in the event of a failure by Defendant to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Order or otherwise to act in conformance with any provision thereof, the Plaintiffs 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.
V. Costs of Litigation
13. Each party to this litigation will bear its own costs and attorney's fees associated with this litigation
Agreed to by the parties as indicated by the signatures of counsel below:
For the Plaintiff:
Patrick J. Fitzgerald
For Plaintiff-intervenor Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago:
Full and Final Release of Claims
Whereas, Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago ("Access Living") claims to be an aggrieved person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B) and allege discrimination by Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. in connection with the design of River's Edge Condominium; and
Whereas, the United States and Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. have voluntarily entered into a resolution of this matter and which resolution provides for payment by Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. a sum of money for the settlement of claim;
Now, Therefore, in consideration of the amount of $10,000, paid to Access Living, I therefore agree to release and discharge Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd., its representatives, employees, agents, successors and assigns from any and all damages, actions, causes of action, claims, charges and demands of any kind in law or equity relating to the design of River's Edge Condominium howsoever originating and existing to the date hereof.
Date: _______________________ ____________________________________
Certification of Education and Training
I, _________________________ , an agent, employee or principal of Andrian-Zemenides, Ltd. attended and completed training on the design requirements of the Fair Housing Act on the ____ day of _________ 2005. The training was conducted by ________________ at the following location : _________________________________________________________ .
Name Printed: _________________________
1. Said notice shall be substantially in the form contained in and attached as Exhibit B.
2. The class given by the City of Chicago's Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities on the City of Chicago's 2005 Building Code, Chapter 18-11, which incorporates the Act, is approved by the United States.
Document Filed: August 30, 2005 > >