Counties Bypassing State Orders
Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association LawMay 28, 2020

Opening recreational amenities continues to dominate emails to our office (followed by board meetings and annual elections, which I hope to cover next week).

Stage 2 Openings. No Counties have yet been allowed to enter Stage 3's relaxed restrictions. All Counties remain in Stage 2, which means, according to the State's website, no swimming pools or gyms are allowed to open.

Quiet Disobedience. Despite the State's order, it is clear from various County health directives and news reports that many have decided not to enforce aspects of Governor Newsom's executive orders. Some County Supervisors are quietly responding to association inquiries by telling boards and managers they can open their pools. Unfortunately, they are not putting it on their websites.

No Longer Public. In a surprise move, Los Angeles County issued a new order yesterday opening homeowner association swimming pools. Los Angeles is going around Governor Newsom's closure order by redefining HOA pools as NOT public. Public pools remain closed, but private HOA pools can open (see summary). Other Counties are following suit (see "Covid-19 Updates" below).

RECOMMENDATION: Association boards will need to review pool opening guidelines issued by their County's health department and follow them when opening their pools. If the guidelines are unclear, consult with your association's legal counsel about how best to comply. At a minimum, guidelines will need to be distributed to the membership and posted at the pool.

For those Counties that continue to define association pools as "public" and keep them closed, boards should contact their County Supervisors to see if they will redefine them as private so they can be opened.

NorCal Counties. Mendocino County is opening pools with access limited to childcare groups, children, extracurricular activities, and “work groups” for lifeguard training.

Nevada County issued a new short-term rental order.

Napa County no longer requires the lifting cups and removal of flags for golf.

Sacramento County now allows worship gatherings, in-store retail shopping, and hair salons and barbershops to open with modifications.

Solano County’s new order reflects the same changes to hair salons and barbershops.

Sonoma County issued guidelines for tennis courts, allowing single individuals or members of the same household to use open tennis courts, disc golf courses, basketball courts, pickleball courts, playing fields, boat launches and other shared sports facilities.

Tehama County has taken the position that association and certain other pools are not public pools and can open.

Yolo County opened offices, dine-in restaurant openings, in-store retail, hair salons and barbershops (effective May 28), places of worship (effective May 29).

Santa Cruz County opened offices, dine-in restaurants, in-store retail, hair salons, barbershops, and places of worship.

Tuolumne County opened offices, dine-in restaurants, in-store retail, hair salons and barbershops, and places of worship.

Fresno County, Lake County, Napa County, Nevada County, El Dorado County, Butte County, and Shasta County are opening hair salons and barbershops with modifications, according to a press release. These are the only updates for these Counties, and no information has been added to the chart. Mono, Yuba and Sutter Counties all seem to be evaluating whether to open these businesses.

Tulare County has a press release indicating that places of worship and in-store retail shopping may open, but does not mention hair salons or barbershops.

SoCal Counties. Imperial County issued an amended health order allowing places of worship to open.

Los Angeles County is now allowing drive-thru events and vehicle parades, and homeowner association swimming pools.

Orange County requires facial coverings for persons over two years old when in the public, at a retail or commercial venue, or at work, or at a residence when a person is not a member of a household and cannot maintain six feet of social distance. It also issued strong recommendations of social distancing, and if 65 years or older or have serious underlying medical conditions or compromised immune system, should remain home. 

Palms Springs removed any language that might prevent the opening of HOA pools for the hot summer months. It opened its Dog Park on 5/23, requiring social distancing and face coverings. Hotels and vacation rentals for leisure/vacation purposes are prohibited, but allowed for essential workers assisting with the pandemic.

San Bernardino County opened pools for HOAs, condominium complexes, and mobile home parks. 

San Diego County added restaurant protocols and opened places of worship. Swimming pools remain closed as of the 5/26 order.

Santa Barbara County issued an order effective 5/27 requiring facial coverings for anyone over the age of 13 when at a business, public transportation or health care facility.

Ventura County now allows concessions, restaurants and pro shops to be open at golf courses.

Updated Chart. For a list of County restrictions and links to their orders, an updated chart is POSTED ON THE WEBSITE.

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