Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association Law June 6, 2021

Pool Covers. I love your newsletter. A former board member said we are not allowed to put a solar cover on our community pool. Is this true? ‑Robin B.

ANSWER: No, I don't believe it's true. There are significant benefits to covering pools at night and during winter months. Covers reduce heat loss by up to 90%, save water by reducing evaporation, and keep pools cleaner. There are three different kinds of pool covers: tracked, anchored and floating. Floating covers cause the most concern. Since they are designed to float on the water, they can collapse under the weight of a child, allowing the child to become trapped under the cover and drown. 

RECOMMENDATION: Before installing a pool cover, boards should contact their association's insurance broker to make sure there aren't any policy exclusions related to pool covers. If there are no exclusions, contact the appropriate regulatory agency (usually the County Health Department) to find out what kind of pool covers are allowed. Always select the safest cover for your association.

Pet Restrictions. Our CC&Rs still contain developer provisions that expired in 1982. Will removing the developer provisions invalidate our pet restrictions? ‑Ron L.

ANSWER: It depends on what you mean by pet restrictions. If your CC&Rs allow pets but limit their number and size, your restrictions are not affected. If your CC&Rs prohibit pets, the prohibitions are void. For a more complete discussion on this topic, see Prohibiting Pets.

Suspension of Privileges. Can the board suspend a privilege without a hearing? -Roger B.

ANSWER: No. Hearings are required for all disciplinary actions by an association. See Suspending Privileges.

Electric Vehicle. A new resident has an electric car and is seeking approval to add a plug in the carport for his car. He will cover the expense. Are we required to comply? With electric cars becoming more popular are HOAs going to have to retrofit the carports or garages with electric for this change? –Craig C.

ANSWER: Yes, you are required to allow owners to install electric vehicle charging stations. It sounds like all he wants to do is install an outlet. In either event, the resident must use a licensed electrician to install the electrical outlet/charging station and pay for the electricity he uses. Those
who want to install outlets or charging stations must bear any costs involved. Even though not required, some associations have voluntarily installed electrical backbones in their underground parking structures so owners can more easily install charging stations. For more information, see Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

Working for HOAs. Can a resident of our community work for the HOA? We have a resident who applied for a job on our maintenance crew but was told by our GM that residents cannot work for the HOA. -Pam H.

If your GM said residents cannot work for the association, it may be an internal policy adopted by the board since there are no legal barriers to a resident working for an association. Many associations employ residents because there is no commute involved, they are familiar with the property, and they are sometimes willing to work for less because it's their home. Just be aware, the person needs to be classified as an employee. Also, make sure he understands there would be conflict of interest if he ever decides to serve on the board. To avoid potential problems, a good policy to follow is for the person to resign from his job before running for the board.

Limited Equity Park. Thank you for the video on the four kinds of CIDs. I noticed that none of them seem to describe our mobile home park. In our park, which is also a limited-equity housing cooperative, members collectively own the whole property and individually own their mobile homes, but not the spaces they sit on. We function under Davis-Stirling. Does our arrangement constitute a fifth type of CID? -Michael L.

ANSWER: If a corporation owned your park, it would be a stock cooperative. If, as you describe it, the park is owned collectively by the membership, it is a community apartment project, also known as an own-your-own, or a tenants-in-common (TIC) project. This is one of the four forms of common interest developments recognized by the Davis-Stirling Act.

Ban Smoking. Is it legal to change rules requiring no smoking, including within one’s own property, even though many smokers had been living in the complex for years? -Arlene F.

ANSWER: Yes, it's legal. Many cities and associations have already done so without grandfathering existing smokers. Secondhand smoke is carcinogenic and has a bad habit of creeping into neighboring units. Some of you might remember a popular song by the Mills Brothers from the 1930s:
Where do they go,
The smoke rings I blow each night?
Oh, what do they do,
Those circles of blue and white?
Puff puff puff puff your cares away
Puff puff puff night and day
Although a smoking prohibition can be done with a rule change, it is more easily enforced if it is done by amending your CC&Rs.

Last year, in the middle of the pandemic, we made our Davis-Stirling Research Website ADA-compliant by making it accessible to users with blindness, epilepsy, blurred vision, color blindness, cognitive disorders, cataracts, and more.

We are proud to announce that our website is now part of the world's first search engine for accessible websites. The revolutionary search engine is accessFind, a nonprofit initiative, built in partnership with leading disability organizations to display results of accessible websites.

Because of this, the Davis-Stirling website is even more accessible to people with disabilities.


The next in our series of 2-Minute Videos describes how boards of directors can adopt operational as well as emergency rules.

It covers membership notice requirements,
feedback, and adoption in open session, as required by the Davis-Stirling Act. 

  Watch: How to Adopt Rules


I am proud to announce that our Senior Partner, Larry Stirling, author of the Davis-Stirling Act, wrote The Noblest Motive, a book about how to bring fundamental change for the public good.

In addition to authoring the Davis Stirling Act, Larry created the well-known "Adopt-a-Highway" law, pioneered the first major 9-1-1 law, pushed through the first major whistleblower law, engineered California's first fish hatchery to bring back our over-fished ocean stocks, pioneered the use of reclaimed water on our freeways, and made many other improvements in state and local government operations.

Larry's book brings hope to those who have lost faith that government can be trusted. The book is available at -Adrian


United Against Murray. United support is the only way to combat Ms. Murray. We see so many bills that do not help HOAs and instead bills that place additional burden and even are detrimental. I also agree donors to Ms. Murray's organization need to be exposed. There is not convincing evidence she actually represents the interests of HOA members. ‑Carol M.

Not Registered. I just checked the 2020-2021 California State Lobbyist Directory. According to the Secretary of State, Ms. Murray is not registered. If that is true, how can she legally be permitted to lobby? ‑Ben B.

Notify Legislators. It is important to contact our State Legislators and Governor to make sure they know Murray DOESN’T represent the needs of HOA homeowners. –Ken M.

Work Is Dreadful. Greatly appreciate your coverage of her work. There’s an angle missing. How is she able to out-lobby CAI, ECHO, 55,000 HOAs and others? Donations to politicians? Dirt on someone? Her work is dreadful but she wields considerable power. I wonder where it comes from. And with that I’m off to the State’s campaign funding sites to search her activity. –Henry C.

Wrong-Headed. I could not agree more that Marjorie Murray’s positions on HOA legislation are routinely wrong-headed, out of touch, and generally and specifically detrimental to the proper functioning and well-being of HOAs. –William F.

Federal Update. CDC updated the following guidance: FAQs about COVID-19 Vaccination; Laws and Regulations; Vaccines for Older Adults; Ventilation in Buildings; Workplaces and Businesses.

Statewide Update. The State has issued 5/21/21 Beyond the Blueprint updates related to changes after June 15.

The CDPH issued 5/21/21 Guidance for Vaccination During Pregnancy.

The following Counties have changed Tiers: Inyo County (Orange Tier to Yellow); Marin County (Orange Tier to Yellow); Mariposa County (Orange Tier to Yellow); Merced County (Red Tier to Orange); Monterey County (Orange Tier to Yellow); Nevada County (Red Tier to Orange); Placer County (Red Tier to Orange); Sacramento County (Red Tier to Orange); San Joaquin County (Red Tier to Orange); Solano County (Red Tier to Orange); Ventura County (Orange Tier to Yellow).

Northern California. Alameda County issued a 5/25/21 Press Release re: 74% of Residents at Least Halfway Vaccinated. Bay Area Health Officials issued a 6/3/21 Joint Statement Supporting Full In Person School In Fall.

Butte County issued a 5/24/21 Press Release re: Vaccination Clinic Grand Opening.

Contra Costa County issued a 5/28/21 Bay Area Health Officials Joint Statement re: Vaccination for COVID-19 and Other Vaccines Combined. The County issued a 6/1/21 Press Release re: School Vaccinations Offered at COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics. Bay Area Health Officials issued a 6/1/21 Joint Statement Supporting Full In Person School In Fall.

Fresno County issued a Event Planning Form During COVID-19.

Marin County moved to the Yellow Tier and issued a 6/1/21 Press Release re: Move to Yellow Tier. The County issued a 5/28/21 Press Release re: Allowing Other Vaccines Concurrent with COVID-19 Vaccine

Monterey moved to the Yellow Tier and issued a 6/1/21 Press Release re: Move to Yellow Tier.

Nevada County moved to the Orange Tier. The County issued a 5/25/21 Press Release re: Cases Lowered and Vaccine More Readily Available.

Placer County moved to the Orange Tier. The County issued a 5/24/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Clinics in Targeted Areas.

Sacramento County moved to the Orange Tier and issued a new Order to reflect the changes.

San Joaquin County moved to the Orange Tier.

San Mateo County issued a 6/3/21 Joint Statement of Bay Area Health Officials re: Vaccinations Available Concurrently with COVID-19 Vaccine.

Santa Clara County issued a 5/22/21 Press Release re: Fully Vaccinated Residents Surpass One Million.

Santa Cruz County 5/28/21 Joint Statement re: Vaccinations Available Concurrent with COVID-19 Vaccine.

Solano County moved to the Orange Tier.

Sonoma County issued a Face Covering Order rescinding the prior face covering order and aligning with CDPH guidance. The County issued a 5/28/21 Press Release re: 70% of Residents 12 and Older Vaccinated.

Southern California. Los Angeles County revised Health Order to add guidance for overnight organized children’s camps. Updated protocols for Recreational Equipment Rental and Small Water Vessel Charters.

Press Release discussing compliance for employers regarding Cal/OSHA standards after reopening on June 15, 2021, which is expected to be that everyone in a room that is fully vaccinated is not required to wear masks; however, in rooms where everyone is not fully vaccinated, face coverings will be required for everyone.

Press Release regarding County-run vaccine sites, everyone 18 and above who receives first-time vaccine or brings someone for first-time vaccine to second dose appointment will have an opportunity to win a pair of tickets to LA Football Club soccer team or LA Dodgers for 2021-2022 season. The City of Los Angeles also issued a Press Release that the City will join the County’s program.

Press Release regarding four County vaccination sites will close on June 7 for Cal State Northridge and June 14 for the Forum, Pomona Fairplex, and LA County Office of Education. The closed sites will transition to community sites located at Ted Watkins Memorial Park, Commerce Senior Citizens Center and Norwalk Arts & Sports Complex.

Orange County Press Release the County expects increased demand for first-time dose of vaccine after the Governor announced the “vax for the win” campaign.

Riverside County Press Release City of Palm Springs to hold mini-Village Fest on June 15, 2021 to celebrate California’s reopening. 

San Diego County Press Release the County expects to move to yellow tier a week before the June 15 reopening. Further, at designated County mobile vaccination sites, can enter for a chance to win Padres tickets.

San Luis Obispo County Press Release phone assistance center for questions related to COVID-19 is changing to 805-781-5500.

San Bernardino County Press Release regarding door-to-door campaign called “Operation Sneakers and Vaccine Speakers” where information about the County’s vaccination program will be provided to traditionally underserved communities.

Santa Barbara Press Release regarding second dose of the vaccine. Press Release regarding safety of COVID-19 vaccine. 

Ventura County Press Release regarding the County’s entry into yellow tier. 

Boards can contact us for friendly,
professional advice.

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Founder & Managing Partner
DISCLAIMER. Our newsletter provides commentary based on sketchy information from readers. From time to time, we add a little humor. Some find it amusing. Others are appalled. Some readers are excited when they score free legal advice. Not so. Our newsletter provides commentary only, not legal advice. You need to pay real money for an attorney to review all the facts and give you a legal opinion. We do that too. Keep in mind we are corporate counsel to California associations only. Request a proposal to represent your association. It's okay, we're friendly.

PAST NEWSLETTERS. Readers can find current and prior year newsletters posted here. Older newsletters are not posted since the information they contain can change over time with new statutes and case law. The website itself is kept updated with current information which can be found via the "Index" or through our website's internal "Google Search" feature.

I join Adrian in inviting you to contact us for your association's legal needs.

Hon. Lawrence W. Stirling, Senior Partner and author of the Davis-Stirling Act

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Reprinted from by ADAMS|STIRLING PLC

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