Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association Law March 7, 2021

QUESTION: We are a senior community. Our board is trying to plan ahead for reopening our facilities when restrictions are lifted. How do we deal with some people receiving the vaccine and others refusing? We hope to open our pool this summer. Can or should we restrict those who have not been vaccinated? –Barbara S.

ANSWER: This has been a topic of lively discussion in the legal community, with some attorneys in favor and others opposed.

Voluntary Policy. As restrictions are lifted, it's unlikely the government will compel associations to require members show proof of vaccination to use their recreational facilities. That means adopting it as a policy will be entirely voluntary. It could add a layer of protection for members who refuse to be vaccinated. However, I see problems with it.

Potential Litigation. Excluding members from your facilities who lost their proof of vaccination, or refused vaccination for fear of allergic reactions, or refused on religious grounds, or choose not to disclose their medical status for privacy reasons, is an invitation for litigation. We don't currently monitor and exclude members and guests who have not had vaccinations for polio, hepatitis, measles, chickenpox, smallpox, and annual flu shots — all of which can be deadly.
I don't like the idea of boards becoming vaccine police. Where and how will they store this medical information? I believe it creates additional legal exposure for associations.

RECOMMENDATION: My recommendation is for boards to lift restrictions in accordance with applicable health department requirements. Those who want to take the additional step of prohibiting members who have not been vaccinated should seek the advice of legal counsel.

QUESTION: I cannot find any difference in the new election law between electing directors and voting for other things, such as amending the CC&Rs. Are all steps necessary for a vote that is not an election of directors? BTW the new election law is stupid and we hate it. –Nora P.

ANSWER: The election law sponsored by Marjorie Murray's organization is a hot mess. In my opinion, it has harmed the consumers she claims to represent. The complicated and lengthy election procedures imposed by SB 323 apply to the following elections (Civ. Code §5100):

   • election of directors
   • removal of directors
   • special assessments
   • amendments to CC&Rs and Bylaws
   • grants of exclusive use common areas

If your association is voting to amend its documents, the call for nominations is not required, which shortens the four-month election cycle to three months. You still need to appoint an inspector of elections, create a voter list, give notice, send ballots, etc. Our Election Calculator will provide a timeline which you can modify to fit non-director elections. For more information about the timeline itself, see Election Timeline.

By creating an unwieldy election process, Ms. Murray's organization drove up the cost of elections by effectively requiring the use of professional inspectors of election. The process is so convoluted, it's difficult for volunteers to comply with all the requirements. Moreover, any misstep opens the door to litigation.

RECOMMENDATION: Boards should increase the line item in their budgets for annual election expenses to include the cost of a professional inspector of elections. A good inspector will guide boards through the election minefield. Those with concerns about the new election requirements can send their comments to:

    Marjorie Murray, President
    Center for California Homeowner Association Law
    3758 Grand Ave., #56
    Oakland, CA 94610
    [email protected]


The fifth in our series of 2-Minute Videos describes the purpose of closed Executive Session board meetings.

The video covers those subjects deemed confidential by the legislature, minutes of meetings, and what must be reported to the membership.

  Watch Executive Session Meetings.

Readers who want to research this topic further can find a detailed explanation of executive session meetings on our website. Our next video will cover The Four Kinds of Davis-Stirling Associations.


Just the Facts, Ma'am. The service you provide to the millions of homeowners in the Golden State is astounding, Adrian. The care you take to get “just the facts, ma'am” out to your expectant online audience is phenomenal. The balcony inspection matter is a prime example. Kudos to you for helping so many with such important issues! -Marilyn B.

Kudos. Simply outstanding!!!! -L.S.

Early History. Thanks for the origins video. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear Judge Stirling tell his story of the DSA, but the early 1900’s history was new to me. Thank you and Tim for sharing the story. –Scott C.

Alcatraz. I just watched a historical show of Alcatraz and it showed how concrete and steel can "rot" over time which led to the great escape from Alcatraz and led them to cease using The Rock over time. -Bob F.

RESPONSE: That's precisely why associations with concrete balconies need to inspect the waterproofing elements under their 3-year reserve study cycle, even though they are not required under the 9‑year balcony inspection statute.

Pilasters. Our balconies are not cantilevered but each is supported by three stucco covered
pilasters. Are we subject to the legislation related to balcony inspections? –Sharon B.

RESPONSE: Yes, your balconies are covered by the legislation. I added pictures of balconies to our website so everyone can get a better idea of what's required. See Elevated Structure Inspections.

Inspection Companies. Do you know any South Bay companies that conduct balcony inspections? Your 2-Minute Videos are very interesting and informative. -Stephanie J.

RESPONSE: I added a few more companies sent in by readers to our list of balcony inspectors. You should call them to see which ones cover the South Bay. See Elevated Structure Inspections.

NEWSLETTERS. Readers can find current year 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. You can find the search line in the upper right corner of the website under our ADAMS|STIRLING logo.

Federal Update. The CDC updated the following guidelines:
Multifamily housing;
Vaccine toolkit for community-based organizations;
International travelers required negative test before entering US and subsequent quarantine recommendation;
Different COVID-19 vaccines; Information regarding J&J Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine;
Information regarding Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine; Information regarding Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine; People with Developmental Disabilities

Statewide Update. The CDPH issued 2/19/21 Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports Guidance.

California is accelerating vaccines for education and childcare workers. 2/25/21 Guidance re Vaccines for K-12 School Staff and Childcare Workers.

The following Counties have changed Tiers: El Dorado (Purple Tier to Red); Humboldt (Purple Tier to Red); Lassen (Purple Tier to Red); Marin (Purple Tier to Red); Modoc (Purple Tier to Red); Napa (Purple Tier to Red); San Francisco (Purple Tier to Red); San Luis Obispo (Purple Tier to Red); San Mateo (Purple Tier to Red); Santa Clara (Purple Tier to Red); Shasta (Purple Tier to Red); Trinity (Orange Tier to Red); Yolo (Purple Tier to Red).

Northern California. Alameda County has updated their Outdoor Youth & Recreational Adult Sports Guidance.

Butte County issued a 3/3/21 Press Release re: Testing Site on Chico Campus. The County also issued a 3/3/21 Press Release re: Pilot MyTurn Program With Limited Appointments.

Calaveras County issued a 3/2/21 Press Release re: Vaccination Site for Those 65+.

Contra Costa County issued a new 2/25/21 Mass Quarantine Order.

El Dorado County has been moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. El Dorado County issued a 3/2/21 Press Release re: Move to Red Tier.

Lake County issued a 3/1/21 Press Release re: Vaccination Updates.

Marin County has been moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier.

Mendocino County issued a 2/27/21 Press Release re: Logging Industry Included in Current Vaccine Tiers. The County issued a 3/2/21 Press Release re: Opening Up Vaccine Eligibility.

Mono County issued a 3/2/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Availability for Phase 1A, 1B and Residents with underlying medical conditions. Mammoth Lake issued a new Short-Term Lodging Order.

Napa County moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. Napa County issued a 3/2/21 Press Release re: Move to Red Tier.

Sacramento County issued an updated Health Order. The new Order addresses the allowance for schools to reopen and youth and adult sports activities.

San Francisco County moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. The County issued a 2/24/21 Press Release re: Move to Phase 1B Vaccination and expands to educators, child care, emergency services, food and agricultural workers. San Francisco issued 3/3/21 Guidance re: Red Tier Reopenings.

San Joaquin County issued a 3/1/21 Release re: Implementing Youth Sports Guidance.

San Mateo County moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. The County issued a 2/22/21 Press Release re: Prioritizing 65+ Residents for Vaccines. The County issued a 2/23/21 Press Release re: Move to Red Tier. The County issued a 3/4/21 Press Release re: Vaccine Clinic to Serve East Palo Alto.

Santa Clara County moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. The County issued a 2/26/21 Press Release re: Supreme Court Order Allowing Indoor Worship Services at 20% Capacity. The County issued a 3/2/21 Press Release re: Move to Red Tier.

Santa Cruz County issued a 2/22/21 Press Release re: Expansion of Vaccinations.

Shasta County moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. The County issued a 2/23/21 Press Release re: Move to Red Tier.
Stanislaus County issued a 3/2/21 Press Release re: Encouraging Member to Get Tested. The County issued a 3/3/21 Press Release re: Phase 1B Vaccination Now Open.

Sutter and Yuba County issued a 3/1/21 Press Release re: Frontline Workers 18+ in Education/Childcare, Food/Agriculture, and Emergency Services Qualified for Vaccine.

Tehama County issued a 3/4/21 Press Release re: Travel Advisory.

Tulare County issued a 2/24/21 Press Release re: Ramping Up Vaccination Efforts. The County issued a 3/4/21 Press Release re: County Using MyTurn Platform for Vaccine Appointments.

Yolo County moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier. The County issued a 2/22/21 Press Release re: Move to Red Tier.

Southern California. Los Angeles County updated What's Open in Los Angeles County and its residential pool guidelines that outdoor pools may be open for routine use, provided that pool users maintain 6-foot distance from non-household members and pool users wear a face covering at all times when not in the water. Updated tennis and pickleball court guidelines. Organized competitions between two teams may resume. Group lessons may resume, limited to size of 6 and must maintain 6-foot distance at all times. Employees must wear a face mask at all times, except when in a closed office or when eating or drinking.

Riverside County issued Press Release that moderate- and high- contact youth and adult sports can resume in Riverside County. Also issued Health Officer Order that the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival scheduled for May 2021 is cancelled.

City of Palms Springs rescinded its order closing restaurant, bars, wineries and breweries at 12:00 a.m. and now may be open to 2:00 a.m.

San Bernardino County issued a Press Release that all teachers in County are eligible for vaccination. Further, a Press Release was subsequently issued that food and agricultural workers are eligible for vaccination. Also issued a Press Release that high-contact and moderate-contact sports can resume in the County under certain conditions.

San Diego County Press release. Starting March 2, 2021, San Diego County residents can apply for additional rental and utility assistance grants due to loss of income from COVID-19. The county has allocated $100 million for the COVID-19 assistance grants.

San Luis Obispo County issued a Press Release that modified youth and recreational sports can start in SLO County. Also issued a Press Release that SLO County returned to Red Tier status as of March 3, 2021.

Santa Barbara County extended its Face Covering Order to March 21, 2021.

READING THE CHART. Because the chart is large and the text small, you can easily make it larger for viewing by holding down the "Ctrl" key on the left side of your keyboard and then using your finger to scroll forward or backwards with the wheel on your mouse. You will see the text grow larger or smaller as you move the wheel. For a list of county restrictions and links to health department orders, see County Chart 3-5-21. The chart is also posted on our website.

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.

See our summary of new laws and cases.

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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