On January 13, 2008, Governor Jon Corzine signed into law C. 39:4-207.9, which requires that snow and/or ice must be removed from handicapped parking spaces to provide accessibility for disabled persons within 24hours after the weather condition causing the snow or ice ceases. This new provision amends the previous law, which required handicapped parking spaces to be cleared within 48hours after a snow or ice storm. The new provision also increases potential fines for persons who violate the law to up to $1,000 for each parking space that is obstructed. The full text of this legislation can be found here.
As specified in the text of the legislation, the obligation to remove snow and ice is imposed upon a person “who owns or controls a parking area which is open to the public or to which the public is invited … ”. Although it is arguable as to whether the parking areas in a private common interest community association would be considered “open to the public”, and thus fall under the requirements and potential penalties associated with this law, the prudent approach for all common interest community associations with handicapped parking spaces on common elements and property is to comply with these new requirements. In addition, associations should consider incorporating these requirements into any contracts regarding snow removal services.