How the New Pool Rules Are Working Out

by James A. Bacon

The latest iteration of Wise King Ralph’s emergency COVID-19 decrees, provides for the possibility of reopening pools and fitness facilities in Virginia. However, the new diktat comes with many conditions attached. Either pools and fitness facilities comply with all the rules, or they stay must closed.

The homeowners association of the neighborhood Steve Haner and I live in has a clubhouse with a small fitness facility and a pool. HOAs across Virginia have banded together and hired legal counsel to determine how to interpret the rules. Here is the analysis provided by our HOA manager:

The new requirements are very restrictive and make it very challenging for a pool or exercise facility to comply. Among these requirements are: increasing the social distancing from 6 feet to 10 feet; limiting use of a pool, e.g.  to swimming laps; increases in signage; disinfecting before and after each use; monitoring to make sure that homeowners are following all requirements; and, most significantly, screening homeowners for symptoms of coronavirus and COVID-19 prior to admission to the facility and making judgments as to their health situation in accordance with all confidentiality and privacy laws. Additionally, our insurance carrier has counseled us to proceed as if we do not have liability coverage for COVD-19 related claims.

We have looked into the additional costs in order to meet the mandated requirements and have estimated they would be over $2,500 per week.  Obviously, like you, we did not factor in virus-related expenses when we developed the budget for this year.  In order to pay these unforeseen, additional expenses, we would have to impose an assessment on all homeowners.  We do not believe that many homeowners would be willing to pay such an assessment for limited use of the fitness facility and for swimming laps in the pool (which would not include casual swimming or lounging around the pool).

Therefore, the clubhouse, fitness facility and the pool will remain closed at this time.

Have a nice day. Instead of taking a swim, maybe you should go on a protest march.

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11 responses to “How the New Pool Rules Are Working Out”

  1. PackerFan Avatar

    King Ralph – “Pay no attention to any inconsistencies, contradictions or hypocrisy. Do as I say not what I or selected others do.”

  2. PackerFan Avatar

    King Ralph – “Pay no attention to any inconsistencies, contradictions or hypocrisy. Do as I say not what I or selected others do.”

  3. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    My pool rules are fickle. One pool is open for lap swimming. The neighborhood pool is closed for being too small. The local tennis court is open as is the larger club with limits (they have locked up the benches which is tough when you play two hours of doubles in this humidity. On Monday we have to sign waivers each time we play -/ not before.
    Am not inclined to whine because I believe such measures have rested in the creating of viral infections although they are going up now in nearly 30 states. It is a small price to pay and bashing Northam for what all Americans are going through is stupid and parochial.

    1. MAdams Avatar

      None of the measures were instituted to cease the viral infections. They were to prolong it where they would be sustainable by the Medical System. Regardless of how long you stayed hunkered down the virus was still going to be out there, must like it was out there before anyone knew it was.

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: ” HOAs across Virginia have banded together and hired legal counsel to determine how to interpret the rules.”

    And they just accept what Northam is requiring without any proposals of their own?

    Does the HOA basically accept without question what the govt is saying?

    What about other HOAs ? Are they doing the same thing?

    So do the HOAs want the govt to exempt them from liability or else they won’t open?

    For the folks who don’t believe this stuff and who do live in a GOP-led state – what are they doing?

    I can see Virgina’s HOAs bumping heads with Northam – but isn’t this a battle they could win if they could cite other states being successful without all this folderal?

    Steve and Jim discuss this as if the HOA’s hands are “tied”. Are they?

  5. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    I generally dislike HOAs but I think some are trying to do a good job in a fast/changing and confusing environment.

  6. LarrytheG Avatar

    HOAs are interesting critters. Free market – in theory – willing seller and willing buyers with their own form of governance that is all disclosed in that small-print TOS.

    In-laws live in a gated community.. the buyers want to be protected from the folks who would have dogs running loose and cars up on blocks and such then once they settle in -they discover that others also want to be protected from them – doing things their neighbors don’t ike either.

    I see it as a kind of purgatory they all deserve….

  7. VDOTyranny Avatar

    Multiple that by the myrid small business operators trying to interpret, apply and enforce the rules that apply to them, all while trying not to piss off their customers and employees, and wondering when the enforcement or lawsuit hammer is going to drop.

  8. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    My daughter and her family in NoVa (Falls Church/Fairfax area) belong to a community recreation association (not HOA). It has opened its pool to lap swimmers. One of my grandsons is on the staff there. So, it can be done.

  9. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
    Dick Hall-Sizemore

    It sounds to me as if your HOA just does not want to go to the trouble. $2,500 extra per week seems excessive. If I were a member, I would ask the board for documentation of those extra costs. After all, your HOA agreement and annual dues include provision of a pool.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Others have commented that they wonder what role liability plays in these decisions.

      I have no idea how anyone would be able to prove anything but then again, insurance companies are notoriously risk-adverse especially on issues they are evolving.

      and Yeah.. if I had paid extra for a place to live because of amenities like pool and gym… I’d want some discussion with the HOA…

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