Goldmark Property Management, Inc. / Deerfield Apartments, LLP

04/22/2020
Document Text Content: 

 

PREDETERMINATION SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

CP# 02-10-58530
HUD CASE NO. 07-10-0330-8

PARTIES TO THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT:


RESPONDENTS

GOLDMARK PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INCORPORATED
1707 Gold Drive South
Fargo, North Dakota 58103

DEERFIELD APARTMENTS LLP
1707 Gold Drive South
Fargo, North Dakota 58103

DELL L. ARNESON
P.O. Box 9949
Fargo, ND 58106

CHARLES L. FLACH
3301 Cherry Lane #1
Fargo, ND 58102


COMPLAINANT

ALICIA P. CLAYPOOL
Commissioner, Iowa Civil Rights Commission
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

AND

IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
400 East 14th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319


Description of Parties: Complainant is a member of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission). Complainant alleged Respondent Goldmark Property Management, Inc., as Manager, and Respondents Deerfield Apartments L.L.P., Dell Arneson, and Charles Flach, as Owners of Deerfield Apartments (the subject property) located at 901 Franklin Avenue in Council Bluffs, IA, discriminated against persons with disabilities because the common areas and the first floor rental units do not meet the design and construction accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) or the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA).

The subject property was designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 (FHA) and January 1, 1992 (ICRA), and therefore all of the ground-floor units in non-elevator buildings at the subject property are 'covered multifamily dwellings' within the meaning of Federal and State Fair Housing Laws. As such, those units and the public and common use areas at the subject property must comply with the accessible design requirements of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C) and Iowa Code §216.8A(3)(b)(1-3).

A complaint having been filed by Complainant against Respondents with the Commission under Iowa Code Chapter 216 and there having been a preliminary inquiry, the parties do hereby agree and settle the above-captioned matter in the following extent and manner:

1. Respondents agree there shall be no discrimination, harassment, or retaliation of any kind against any person for filing a charge under Iowa Code Chapter 216; or because of giving testimony or assistance, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under Iowa Code Chapter 216; or because of lawful opposition to any practice forbidden under Iowa Code Chapter 216.

2. Respondents agree to refrain from committing any act of discrimination in the terms, conditions or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status, in violation of Iowa Code Chapter 216.

3. The parties acknowledge this Predetermination Settlement Agreement is a voluntary and full settlement of the disputed complaint. The parties affirm they have read and fully understand the terms set forth herein. No party has been coerced, intimidated, threatened or in any way forced to become a party to this Agreement.

4. Complainant hereby waives, releases, and covenants not to sue Respondents with respect to any matters which were, or might have been alleged as charges filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, or any other anti-discrimination agency, subject to performance by Respondents of the promises and representations contained herein. Complainant agrees any complaint filed with any other anti-discrimination agency, including the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development, which involves the issues in this complaint, shall be closed as Satisfactorily Adjusted.

5. The parties enter into this Agreement in a good faith effort to amicably resolve existing disputes. The execution of this Agreement is not an admission of any wrongdoing or violation of law. Nor is the execution of this Agreement an admission by Complainant that any claims asserted in her complaint are not fully meritorious.

6. The parties agree the execution of this Agreement may be accomplished by separate counterpart executions of this Agreement. The parties agree the original executed signature pages will be attached to the body of this Agreement to constitute one document.

7. Respondents agree the Commission may review compliance with this Agreement. And as part of such review, Respondents agree the Commission may examine witnesses, collect documents, or require written reports.

8. Respondents agree the Goldmark Deerfield Apartments Property Manager, Maintenance Technician, and any other onsite employees who are involved in the showing and renting of units at Deerfield Apartments will receive training on the requirements of the Federal and State Fair Housing Laws within ninety (90) days of their start date and thereafter on an annual basis. The training shall be conducted by a qualified person, approved by the Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

9. Respondents agree to place the federal Fair Housing Poster (English and Spanish) in Deerfield Apartment's rental or leasing offices in a conspicuous location, easily viewable to tenants and prospective tenants.

10. Respondents agree Federal and State Fair Housing Laws provide that, for non-elevator residential buildings with four or more dwelling units, all ground floor units that are designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 or January 1, 1992 are 'covered multifamily dwellings' and must include certain basic features of accessible and adaptable design to make such units accessible to or adaptable for use by a person who has or develops a disability. 42 U.S.C. §§3604(f)(3)(C) and (f)(7)(B); Iowa Code §216.8A(3)(b)(1-3).

11. Respondents agree the accessible and adaptive design provisions of Federal and State Fair Housing Laws require that for covered multifamily dwellings: (i) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by persons with a disability; (ii) all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons with a disability using wheelchairs; (iii) all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design: (I) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (II) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations; (III) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars: and (IV) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual using a wheelchair can maneuver about the space. 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C); Iowa Code §216.8A(3)(b)(1-3).

12. As a result of negotiations to amicably settle the complaint filed with the Commission, Respondents agree to retrofit the common areas and three units, specifically103 and 105, one-bedroom Bungalow units and 108, a three-bedroom Victorian unit, on the first floor of Building 901 at the subject property, as described in paragraphs 13 and 14. Within 30 days of receiving a closing letter from the Commission, Respondents agree to certify in writing to the Commission their estimated cost to modify or retrofit the subject property as required by this Agreement. Respondents agree to provide sufficient information to the Commission that demonstrates how each deficiency will be corrected, as well as the estimated cost of materials and labor to correct each deficiency.

13. Respondents agree to modify common areas as follows:

a. Accessible Building Entrance on an Accessible Route
i. Access Aisle by Building Entrance marked 901:
1. Remove ramp in the access aisle,
2. Create a curb cutout and appropriate ramp on the sidewalk, AND
3. Expand the concrete by the entrance to maintain the 36' path of travel around the ramp and cutout
ii. Building Door Opening Force:
1. Adjust all door closers to all 901 building entrances within ADA 5 lb. push force requirement
b. Accessible and Usable Public and Common Use Areas
i. Rental Office:
1. Path to:
a. Relocate rental office signage to accessible 901 entrance, post signage throughout the hallway, and keep entrance monitored during business hours.
2. External entrance:
a. Lower the door's threshold, for requirements see Fair Housing Act Design Manual 4.12 and 4.13.
ii. Rental Office Bathroom:
1. Change the handle to the door to one which does not require 'tight grasping or twisting'
2. Reverse swing direction of the door for clearance requirements.
3. Move the toilet and install offset closet flange.
4. Modify existing vanity top.
5. Install paper towel holder at a different height.
iii. Dumpsters
1. Move the dumpster currently located at the front of the property close to 901 up next to the start of the garages AND
2. Provide written notice to current tenants within 30 days of receipt of closure letters stating if necessary an accommodation, such as but not limited to having their garbage collected in the hallway three times a week, can be provided if they are unable to access or use the dumpsters.
3. All new tenants from the date of the closure letter and in the future will receive the same notification given to current tenants.
iv. Mailboxes
1. Swap mailbox numbers in accordance with Postal Office to allow for access to the three renovated units.

Respondents agree to make all of the above-listed modifications within six months of receipt of a closing letter from the Commission. Respondents agree to send a list of all modifications completed to the Commission within seven days of the expiration of that six-month period.

14. Respondents agree to retrofit the three units, 103 and 105, one-bedroom Bungalow units and 108, a three-bedroom Victorian unit, on the first floor of Building 901 at the subject property, to make them compliant with Federal and State Fair Housing Laws. 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C) and Iowa Code §216.8A(3)(b)(1-3). Respondents agree to make the following modifications or retrofits:

a. Usable Doors:
i. Modify existing patio doors by removing the 'Johnny bar' so the door can open to its fullest extent.
ii. Modify all interior doors to have a minimum 31 5/8 inches opening.
b. Accessible Route Into and Through the Covered Unit
i. Lower threshold on all patio doors to ¾ inch with a bevel and a slope no greater than 1:2. See FHADM 4.14.
ii. Adjust spring hinges on the unit doors so they do not require a force of more than five pounds.
c. Light Switches, Electrical Outlets, Thermostats, and Other Environmental Controls in Accessible Locations
i. All outlets in the units, other than kitchen outlets, will be raised to a minimum 15 inches off the floor.
ii. When the thermostat is located in a hallway where no furniture is likely to obstruct, they will be lowered to a maximum of 54 inches off the floor. If they are likely to be obstructed by furniture they will be at a maximum 48 inches off the ground.
iii. The window latches on any windows will be lowered to be no more than 48 inches off the ground.
d. Reinforced Walls for Grab Bars ' during the retrofit walls will be reinforced for grab bars.
e. Usable Kitchens and Bathrooms
i. Kitchens
1. In the parallel kitchen in the Bungalow floor plan and the Victorian floor plan need to be retrofit to have a minimum 40 inches between the cabinet faces; as the kitchens are currently configured need a minimum of 48 inches between the two counters to allow room for a forward approach due to the placement of the refrigerator.
ii. Bathrooms
1. The bathrooms must be retrofit to meet the provisions set out in the FHADM, the deficiencies to be corrected include:
a. Sinks:
i. Move the sinks so the center of the faucet is a minimum 24 inches from the surrounding wall OR
ii. Move the sinks so the center of the faucet is a minimum 15 inches from the wall and install removable cabinets under the sink, which can be taken out at tenant's request.
b. Showers:
i. In the Bungalow floor plan, if a shower is the only bathing fixture, it must be 36 inches by 36 inches
c. Toilets:
i. The toilet must have a total of 33 inches surrounding it between walls and sinks; the center of the toilet is required to be 18 inches from the wall.
d. Clear floor space:
i. All bathrooms must have a floor space outside of the swing of the door which meet any of the three requirements, 66 inches by 48 inches, 48 inches by 56 inches, or 56 inches by 60 inches. At least 30 inches by 48 inches must be outside the door swing. See FHADM 7.39 through 7.46.

Respondents agree to make the modifications or retrofits as each of the three designated units becomes vacant. Respondents agree to make the modifications or retrofits to the unit before the unit is rented again. Respondent agree to provide a list of current tenants in each of the three designated units to the Commission within seven days of receipt of a closing letter from the Commission.

Respondents agree to notify the Commission when a tenant in one of those three designated units gives notice to vacate or abandons the unit. Such notifications shall be made within seven days of the tenant's notice or abandonment. Respondents agree to notify the Commission when they have completed the required modifications or retrofits. Respondents also agree to notify the Commission when the new tenant signs a lease to the modified or retrofitted unit. Such notification shall be made within seven days of the execution of the new lease. These required notifications to the Commission will continue until all three units have been retrofitted.

15. All notices and certifications to be provided to the Commission should be mailed to:

Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Attn: Don Grove, Supervisor of Investigations
Grimes State Office Building
400 E. 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

16. Respondents agree to allow the Commission to inspect the property after all retrofits are completed. This inspection shall take place within 30 days of the completion of all required modifications or retrofits to the common areas and the three designated first floor units. The Commission shall report the results of the inspection, including any outstanding deficiencies, in writing and shall send that report to Respondents.

If the inspection indicates outstanding deficiencies, Respondents shall correct all such deficiencies within a reasonable period of time as determined by the Commission, and shall pay $1,000 for another inspection by the ICRC staff or pay for an inspection by an agreed upon third party inspector to certify that the deficiencies have been corrected.

17. The sale or transfer of ownership, in whole or in part, by any owner of the subject property will not affect any obligation to retrofit the subject property as specified in this agreement, unless Respondents have obtained, in writing, as a condition of sale or transfer, the purchaser or transferee's commitment to be bound by the terms of this agreement to complete all required retrofits as specified in this agreement.

18. The parties agree the terms of this agreement shall be subject to public disclosure unless Complainant and Respondents agree otherwise, and the Commission determines that disclosure is not necessary to further the purposes of Iowa Code Chapter 216 relating to unfair or discriminatory practices in housing or real estate.

____________________________________________ _____________
Goldmark Property Management, Inc., RESPONDENT       Date


___________________________________________ _____________
Deerfield Apartments, LLP, RESPONDENT                        Date


____________________________________________ _____________
Rodney Dahlquist, Attorney for                                      Date
Dell L. Arneson, RESPONDENT


____________________________________________ _____________
Rodney Dahlquist, Attorney for                                      Date
Charles L. Flach., RESPONDENT


____________________________________________ ______________
Alicia P. Claypool, Complainant/Commissioner                 Date
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION


____________________________________________ _____________
Beth Townsend, Director                                               Date
IOWA CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION