Local Government Issues

For more than a year, community associations have been struggling with managing the use of their pools amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With ever-changing regulations, vacillating infection rates, and differing opinions on boards and within communities, the decision may be overwhelming. However, with some simple education and adherence to guidelines, community associations can feel confident in reopening their pools while at the same time limiting liability. Last year, we provided information to assist community associations, and this year, with updated orders from the Governor, we hope to provide the most current information for community associations to make fully informed decisions.

On April 21, 2021, Governor Northam issued his Fifth Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two. The language in the Order mirrored that of last year’s order regarding pools:

Outdoor and indoor swimming pools may be open, provided occupancy is limited to no more than 75% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy and all swimmers maintain at least ten feet of physical distance from others who are not family members.


Continue Reading 2021 Update: Opening HOA Pools in the Pandemic: Community Association Considerations in Opening Pools in Virginia Amongst the COVID-19 Pandemic

“When will the community association pools open?” No question has been on the forefront of community association board members and frazzled parents more. On March 12, 2020, Governor Northam issued an executive order, declaring a state of emergency due to the coronavirus. Five days later, the Governor limited capacity to fitness facilities, and on March 23, completely closed all recreational and entertainment businesses, which included public pools. Then, on June 30, Governor Northam issued his executive order regarding Phase 3 of reopening Virginia, which included the following provision:

Outdoor and indoor swimming pools may be open, provided occupancy is limited to no more than 75% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy and all swimmers maintain at least ten feet of physical distance from others who are not family members.

Community association residents rejoiced, but board members began handwringing at the prospect of potential liability. This article is intended to provide clarity to the issue and give community associations the knowledge and tools they need to decide if and how to open community pools safely.
Continue Reading Opening HOA Pools in the Pandemic: Community Association Considerations in Opening Pools in Virginia Amongst the COVID-19 Pandemic

LeClairRyan attorney Will Sleeth recently spoke at the James City County Neighborhood Leaders Forum on community association law issues. Will was invited to speak on a panel, along with several other attorneys (including the Virginia Common Interest Community Ombudsman, Heather Gillespie, and Deputy James City County Attorney Adam Kinsman), to discuss an array