Adams Stirling PLC


  2-Minute Video
A common interest development (CID), sometimes referred to as common interest communities (CIC), is the umbrella term used in California for commercial and residential developments with common areas.

CID Created. "A common interest development is created with the recording of the declaration, and other required documents, and there is a conveyance of a separate interest coupled with an interest in the common area or membership in the association. Each owner in a condominium project is a member of the association." [Treo @ Kettner v. Sup. Ct.]

Purpose of Association. An "association," whether incorporated or unincorporated, is the entity that manages a CID.

Basic Elements. The court in Mount Olympus POA v. Shpirt (1997) described the basic elements of a common interest development as follows:

For a development to fall within the governance of the [Davis-Stirling] Act, the statutory requirements are clear: (1) there must exist a common area owned either by the association or "by the owners of the separate interests who possess appurtenant rights to the beneficial use and enjoyment of the common area" [Civ. Code, § 4175; § 4201; (2) there must have been recorded "[a] declaration," "[a] condominium plan, if any exists," and "[a] final map or parcel map" [Civ. Code § 4200]; and (3) there must have been conveyed "a separate interest coupled with an interest in the common area or membership in the association"

Four Legal Structures. As defined in Civil Code § 4100, a Davis-Stirling CID may be any of the following:

Variety of CID Developments. CIDs can be grouped into four broad categories. 

1.  Residential. Single-family master planned communities, recreational communities (lake, equestrian, golfing, etc.), condominium highrises, active adult retirement communities, artisan lofts, etc. A residential CID can be a 2-unit development or a 20,000-unit development (or larger).
2.  Commercial & Industrial. Commercial and industrial developments most often take the legal form of condominiums or planned developments. Instead of homeowners, they consist of business owners who use their space for business or industrial purposes.

3.  Mixed Use. If commercial properties are included in the same development as residential units, it becomes a mixed-use development.
4.  Time-Share Developments. A time-share development may or may not be a CID--it depends on how it was structured. In general, a time-share is a form of ownership in which each owner has an interval use, i.e., a right to use a unit for a specified number of weeks during a year. A time-share interest may be in a form of fee simple ownership or a lease granting the right to use a unit for a predetermined lease term.

Management. Because a CID has common areas and use restrictions, it must have an association to manage it.

Use Restrictions. California's Supreme Court described the importance of CC&Rs as follows:

Use restrictions are an inherent part of any common interest development and are crucial to the stable, planned environment of any shared ownership arrangement. (Nahrstedt v. Lakeside Village (1994) 8 Cal.4th 361, 372.)

[S]ubordination of individual property rights to the collective judgment of the owners association together with restrictions on the use of real property comprise the chief attributes of owning property in a common interest development. ... [I]nherent in the condominium concept is the principle that to promote the health, happiness, and peace of mind of the majority of the unit owners since they are living in such close proximity and using facilities in common, each unit owner must give up a certain degree of freedom of choice which he [or she] might otherwise enjoy in separate, privately owned property. (Id. at 374.)

Retroactive Application of Act. The Davis-Stirling Act applies to all residential 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.)

Incorporation. Associations can either be incorporated or unincorporated.

Non-CID Communities. Some communities are deed-restricted but are not common interest developments. See Non-CID Communities.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

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