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Builders must plan for children

Developers have to consider children. At least in some states, notably California, they do. The recent legal change allowing children to live in housing developments formerly designated for adults only is highlighting new operational thinking.

Real estate lawyers point out that owners, developers, and homeowner associations must now take action not only to provide necessary health and recreational facilities for children, but also to establish safeguards from potential hazards. In order to avoid liability, consideration should be given to:

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* Internal playgrounds, which need safety-tested equipment and proper space.

* Internal crosswalks, which need warning signs, especially on school routes.

* Pool and hot-tub areas, which are generally required to have adequate fencing to protect children.