Woman Demands Property Management Provides More Handicapped Parking

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FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WHNT) - Americans are living longer. People getting up in age are working, using computers and driving. Some of the more experienced drivers need accessible parking. The special parking spaces make their walk to a door easier.

A woman believes her apartment management is making it harder for her neighbors. She showed WHNT News 19 the handicapped parking spaces around her apartment.

Ann Hedges thinks there should be more. We've all seen the spaces. They are blue and show a stick figure sitting in a wheelchair. People with a disability or who have a harder time than others doing basic things get the privilege of using them.

Hedges lives in Fayetteville Square. She showed WHNT News 19 around the Tennessee property.

“Just about everyone who lives here now has a handicapped sticker, are on a walker they have to push or on a scooter,” added Hedges.

Hedges does not need a handicapped sticker, walker or scooter. She wants her neighbors who do to get a little more help from apartment management.

“They have to stop. They can`t breathe. Some of them don't have the strength to walk a long distance if they had to in order to get to their apartment,” added Hedges.

Hedges spent a good portion of the last five years counting the units and parking spaces at Fayetteville Square.

“I care for these seniors. I am going to be in their shape one day,” added Hedges.

Tax documents show the property has 53 units. There doesn't appear to be enough parking for every apartment.

“This has a handicap. This has a handicap. This has a handicap. This has a handicap,” said Hedges as she showed WHNT News 19 around.

She believes the parking lot has less than a dozen reserved spaces for the handicapped.

The self-proclaimed apartment community advocate talked to apartment manager, mailed the corporate office and sent a letter to one of her senators.

Hedges decided WHNT News 19 needed to get involved. WHNT News 19 called the corporate office.

Tax records show the units were built in 1985. The Americans with Disabilities Act, which sets guidelines on handicapped parking, was adopted in 1990. The owner of Fayetteville Square is exempt from following the ADA rules.

“Our seniors are living longer and becoming more disabled. It doesn't matter if this was built 28 years ago, when people moved here, most of them probably didn't have cars,” added Hedges.

A spokeswoman for the property's management team told WHNT News 19 managers are already looking at adding more handicapped parking spaces to the property. Managers hope the additional spaces will be in place later this year.

The spokeswoman told WHNT News 19 the property has 49 units, fewer than what's shown on tax records, and 26 parking spaces. The spokeswoman says five of those spaces are marked handicapped.

WHNT News 19 points out; again, the property owner is not breaking any ADA rules.

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