QUESTION: Our CC&Rs state "there will be no RV parking on the public street within the development." Can an association control public street parking?
ANSWER: Yes. Even though local ordinances might allow RV parking on public streets, such ordinances do not invalidate private restrictions unless the ordinance specifically provides otherwise. CC&Rs are recorded covenants that members must follow. If CC&Rs prohibit members from parking their RVs on streets within the community, the restriction can be enforced by other owners or the association or both.
Public vs. Member Restrictions. Associations cannot restrict the general public but it can restrict the actions of members and members' family, guest, and invitees. If the CC&Rs restrict parking and someone buys into the development, the buyer automatically becomes a member of the association and is bound by the association's restrictions. By statute, restrictions are fully enforceable if they are reasonable. (Civ. Code §5975(a).) Restrictions on RV parking have been recognized by courts as reasonable for aesthetic purposes.
Aesthetics. The reasoning behind parking restrictions is to preserve property values by regulating aesthetics. A number of cases have recognized the authority of controlling "visual blight." The cases deal with the right to restrict the parking of recreational vehicles, motor homes, trailers, boats, commercial vehicles, inoperable vehicles, and the like. California courts have ruled that ordinances enacted for aesthetic purposes are valid. (Disney v. City of Concord (2011) 194 Cal.App.4th 1410.)
Case Law. An association's right to enforce member parking on public streets has been upheld by the courts of at least two states: Verna v. The Links at Valleybrook Neighborhood Assn, 371 N.J. Super. 77, 852 A.2d 202 (App. 2004); and Maryland Estates Homeowners' Ass'n. v. Puckett, 936 S.W.2d 218 (Mo. App. 1996). A similar ruling was issued in an unpublished case in California: Lake Forest v. Noble (1978).
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