QUESTION: Our CC&Rs carry a 15-pound pet weight restriction. This statute has not been enforced for over fifteen years and more than 50% of the homeowners have dogs over 15 pounds. A new board is enforcing the restriction and grandfathering pets currently here. Has enough time elapsed to make this rule unenforceable?
ANSWER: Enough time has elapsed to make the restriction unenforceable against those owners who already have large dogs, which is why the board properly grandfathered those pets.
Restarting the Restriction. However, associations can reestablish restrictions by giving written notice to all owners that no new violations will be allowed. It's like hitting a reset button. Over time, existing violations will disappear as grandfathered pets die and replacement pets comply with the restriction.
Recommendation: Reestablishing the pet restriction will be difficult since anyone wanting a large dog will point to existing violations and argue that they should have one too. Accordingly, current and future boards must consistently enforce the restriction. If the membership does not like the pet limitation, they should amend the CC&Rs to establish a higher weight limit or eliminate it altogether.
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