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Davis-Stirling Act
Lawrence W. Stirling
Common interest developments were first regulated in California in 1963 with the passage of the California Condominium Act. However, the laws affecting homeowners associations were scattered throughout the Corporations Code and the Civil Code and did not adequately address the unique issues posed by community associations.

Through the efforts of Assemblyman Lawrence W. Stirling, law professor Katherine Rosenberry and attorney Curt Sproul, a comprehensive body of law governing common interest developments was drafted in 1985 and became known as the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. The Act was signed into law by Governor Deukmejian on September 18, 1985.  The Act went into effect January 1, 1986 as Civil Code §§1350-1378.

Davis-Stirling Rewrite. In 2012, a Davis-Stirling "Rewrite" was signed into law by Governor Brown. The Act was rewritten so as to simplify, reorganize and renumber the law into Civil Code §§4000-6150. The rewritten Act took effect January 1, 2014. Whereas the original Act was only 25 pages long, the Rewrite was 100 pages long with an additional 100 pages dedicated to a separate Commercial & Industrial Common Interest Development Act (which was only one section in the original).

Retroactive. The Davis-Stirling Act applies to all common interest developments in California, including those in existence prior to the Act.
[The Davis-Stirling] Act governs common interest developments that predate its enactment. (Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village (1994) 8 Cal.4th 361, fn. 8.)

Although Villa De Las Palmas was created prior to the enactment of the Davis-Stirling Act, the Act applies to common interest developments in existence prior to its enactment. (Villa De Las Palmas v. Terifaj (2004) 33 Cal.4th 73, 95, fn.2.)

The Davis-Stirling Act by its own terms applies to all common interest developments, even those that were created before the Act was adopted. (Bear Creek v. Edwards (2005) 130 Cal.App.4th 1470, 1480.)
Corporations Code. The Davis-Stirling Act applies to all common interest developments in California. In addition, the Corporations Code applies to all incorporated associations. From time to time, there are conflicts between governing documents and statutes which can be resolved using established rules of interpretation.

In an interview with Wendy Bucknum, Larry Stirling describes how the Davis-Stirling Act came into existence and the purpose of the Act.

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