So things are coming back to normal little by little. Although, I still need a dam haircut. If I wait another week or two, I figure my dog and I can go together. To his groomer. The ”emergency powers” given to Boards of Directors expire today. The Governor is allowing public places to slowly re-open. So does this mean that the pool an all the condo and HOA recreational areas are now open and must remain open? For those of you hoping the answer is YES – you are going to be disappointed.
Each county still provides their own orders in terms of what’s open and what’s not. As an example, let’s take a look at what the Palm Beach County order states:
Notwithstanding the Reopening of boat ramps, marinas, golf courses, parks, natural areas, tennis courts, and Community pools under this Order, all individuals shall continue to adhere to the Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention available at https://www.cdc.qov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancinq.html and attached herein as Attachment1, as amended. These are hereafter referred to as the “CDC Guidelines”. All owners, operators, and personnel involved in the bellow shall ensure compliance with these CDC Guidelines.
According to this order, if a Board were to re-open the pool, the association would be responsible for ensuring compliance with CDC Regulations. That may be impossible without the association employing someone to sit there all day. Moreover, failure to comply with the order may also be a criminal violation, subjecting a board member to arrest or a fine.
The Order also states that:
Community pools shall reopen provided that CDC Guidelines, including all social distancing guidelines, are adhered to.
If the Board cannot ensure that CDC Guidelines will be adhered to, the pool should stay closed. To do otherwise would be to violate the terms of the order.
I always say, anyone can get sued for anything. You can’t stop that. But the question is…..will it stick? I don’t think a lawsuit against an association for failure to open the pool would have much merit, if the defense of the Board is that they cannot ensure compliance with CDC guidelines, and therefore, in the business judgment of the Board, and in the interest of the health and safety of the owners, we choose to close the pool until we are no longer required to ensure compliance with CDC guidelines.
In the interim, let us know how your association is dealing with the pool and rec areas. I can tell you that I have heard some great ideas, including having to make a reservation to use the pool.