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Fair Housing Board v. Windsor Plaza Condominium Association

Virginia Supreme Court
768 S.E.2d 79 (Va. 2014)


Facts

The Windsor Plaza Condominium Association (defendant) deeded parking spaces in the condominium's garage to individual apartment owners. After Michael Fishel bought and moved into one of the apartments, he discovered that he could not maneuver his wheelchair into or out of his parking space. Fishel asked the association's board to make some reasonable accommodation to address his need for handicapped-accessible parking. The board told Fishel that it could not do so, because the garage's few handicapped-accessible spaces belonged to individuals and were not under the board's control. Fishel proposed converting the garage's bicycle-storage area into an accessible parking space. The board responded that it was unwilling to make the necessary physical modifications and suggested that Fishel use on-street handicapped parking, which Fishel said was too dangerous because of local traffic conditions. The board arranged with the owner of one of the garage's handicapped-accessible spaces to let Fishel use the space, but Fishel rejected the arrangement because it did not give him ownership of the space. Fishel complained to federal and state authorities that the board's actions violated federal and state fair-housing statutes. Virginia's Fair Housing Board (FHB) (plaintiff) sued the condominium association, but the trial court dismissed the case. The FHB appealed to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Goodwyn, J.)

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