When apartment communities provide parking lots for our residents and guests, we need to ensure that a designated number of handicap accessible parking spaces are identified and made available for use.

An accessible parking spot must have space for the vehicle and an additional space located either to the right or to the left of the space that serves as an access aisle. This aisle is needed to permit a person using a wheelchair, electric scooter, or other mobility device to get out of their car or van.

Accessible parking spaces should be the spaces closest to the accessible entrance and be located on level ground if at all possible. Similarly, management should try to find an accessible route between the access aisle and the accessible building entrance.

The number of accessible parking spaces that should be provided is based on the total number of parking spaces that are provided. For example, if a community has between 1 and 25 spots, you need at least 1 van accessible space. If a property has 26 to 50 spaces, you need to have one standard and one van accessible space. For lots with between 51 and 75 spaces, management should identify two standard and one van accessible spots. The number of accessible spots increases with the number of spaces in the parking lot. Also, where parking is provided in several locations near building entrances, the accessible parking should also be dispersed if at all possible.

Please remember that these are the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and that it is possible that state and/or local governments have changed the law to enact their own building codes (and if they do the codes must meet or exceed those contained in the ADA) which may change the number of handicap accessible spots.