Chapter 2. Governing Documents

Published on:

Chapter 2 includes:
Article 1. Creation
Article 2. Enforcement
Article 3. Amendment
Article 4. Operating Rules

DAVIS-STIRLING COMMON INTEREST DEVELOPMENT ACT

CHAPTER 2. GOVERING DOCUMENTS

Article 1. Creation

§1352. Application of Title; Creation of Common Interest Development
This title applies and a common interest development is created whenever a separate interest coupled with an interest in the common area or membership in the association is, or has been, conveyed, provided, all of the following are recorded:

(a) A declaration.
(b) A condominium plan, if any exists.
(c) A final map or parcel map, if Division 2 (commencing with Section 66410) of Title 7 of the Government Code requires the recording of either a final map or parcel map for the common interest development.

§1352.5. Discriminatory Restrictive Covenants; Removal from Governing Documents

(a) No declaration or other governing document shall include a restrictive covenant in violation of Section 12955 of the Government Code.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or provision of the governing documents, the board of directors of an association, without approval of the owners, shall amend any declaration or other governing document that includes a restrictive covenant prohibited by this section to delete the restrictive covenant, and shall restate the declaration or other governing document without the restrictive covenant but with no other change to the declaration or governing document.

(c) If after providing written notice to an association requesting that the association delete a restrictive covenant that violates subdivision (a), and the association fails to delete the restrictive covenant within 30 days of receiving the notice, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, a city or county in which a common interest development is located, or any person may bring an action against the association for injunctive relief to enforce subdivision (a). The court may award attorney’s fees to the prevailing party.

§1353. Declaration; Contents

(a)

(1) A declaration, recorded on or after January 1, 1986, shall contain a legal description of the common interest development, and a statement that the common interest development is a community apartment project, condominium project, planned development, stock cooperative, or combination thereof. The declaration shall additionally set forth the name of the association and the restrictions on the use or enjoyment of any portion of the common interest development that are intended to be enforceable equitable servitudes. If the property is located within an airport influence area, a declaration, recorded after January 1, 2004, shall contain the following statement:
NOTICE OF AIRPORT IN VICINITY
This property is presently located in the vicinity of an airport, within what is known as an airport influence area. For that reason, the property may be subject to some of the annoyances or inconveniences associated with proximity to airport operations (for example: noise, vibration, or odors). Individual sensitivities to those annoyances can vary from person to person. You may wish to consider what airport annoyances, if any, are associated with the property before you complete your purchase and determine whether they are acceptable to you.
(2) For purposes of this section, an “airport influence area,” also known as an “airport referral area,” is the area in which current or future airport-related noise, overflight, safety, or airspace protection factors may significantly affect land uses or necessitate restrictions on those uses as determined by an airport land use commission.
(3) If the property is within the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission jurisdiction, as described in Section 66610 of the Government Code, a declaration recorded on or after January 1, 2006, shall contain the following notice:
NOTICE OF SAN FRANCISCO BAYCONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION JURISDICTION
This property is located within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Use and development of the property within the commission’s jurisdiction may be subject to special regulations, restrictions, and permit requirements. You may wish to investigate and determine whether they are acceptable to you and your intended use of the property before you complete your transaction.
(4) The statement in a declaration acknowledging that a property is located in an airport influence area or within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission does not constitute a title defect, lien, or encumbrance.

(b) The declaration may contain any other matters the original signator of the declaration or the owners consider appropriate.

§1353.5. Display of Flag of the United States

(a) Except as required for the protection of the public health or safety, no declaration or other governing document shall limit or prohibit, or be construed to limit or prohibit, the display of the flag of the United States by an owner on or in the owner’s separate interest or within the owner’s exclusive use common area, as defined in Section 1351.

(b) For purposes of this section, “display of the flag of the United States” means a flag of the United States made of fabric, cloth, or paper displayed from a staff or pole or in a window, and does not mean a depiction or emblem of the flag of the United States made of lights, paint, roofing, siding, paving materials, flora, or balloons, or any other similar building, landscaping, or decorative component.

(c) In any action to enforce this section, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

§1353.6. Sign Restrictions

(a) The governing documents, including the operating rules, may not prohibit posting or displaying of noncommercial signs, posters, flags, or banners on or in an owner’s separate interest, except as required for the protection of public health or safety or if the posting or display would violate a local, state, or federal law.

(b) For purposes of this section, a noncommercial sign, poster, flag, or banner may be made of paper, cardboard, cloth, plastic, or fabric, and may be posted or displayed from the yard, window, door, balcony, or outside wall of the separate interest, but may not be made of lights, roofing, siding, paving materials, flora, or balloons, or any other similar building, landscaping, or decorative component, or include the painting of architectural surfaces.

(c) An association may prohibit noncommercial signs and posters that are more than 9 square feet in size and noncommercial flags or banners that are more than 15 square feet in size.

§1353.7. Roof Coverings; Fires and Fire Protection

(a) No common interest development may require a homeowner to install or repair a roof in a manner that is in violation of Section 13132.7 of the Health and Safety Code.

(b) Governing documents of a common interest development located within a very high fire severity zone, as designated by the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with Section 4201) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 4 of the Public Resources Code or by a local agency pursuant to Chapter 6.8 (commencing with Section 51175) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code, shall allow for at least one type of fire retardant roof covering material that meets the requirements of Section 13132.7 of the Health and Safety Code.

§1353.8. Low Water-Using Plants; Water-Efficient Landscape Ordinances, Emergency Water Use Regulations

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a provision of any of the governing documents of a common interest development shall be void and unenforceable if it does any of the following:

(1) Prohibits, or includes conditions that have the effect of prohibiting, the use of low water-using plants as a group.

(2) Has the effect of prohibiting or restricting compliance with either of the following:

(A) A water-efficient landscape ordinance adopted or in affect pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 65595 of the Government Code.

(B) Any regulation or restriction on the use of water adopted pursuant to Section 353 or 375 of the Water Code.

(b) This section shall not prohibit an association from applying landscaping rules and regulations established in the governing documents, to the extent the rules and regulations fully conform with the requirements of subdivision (a).

Article 2. Enforcement

§1354. Covenants and Restrictions in Declaration as Equitable Servitudes; Enforcement; Attorneys’ Fees

(a) The covenants and restrictions in the declaration shall be enforceable equitable servitudes, unless unreasonable, and shall inure to the benefit of and bind all owners of separate interests in the development. Unless the declaration states otherwise, these servitudes may be enforced by any owner of a separate interest or by the association, or by both.

(b) A governing document other than the declaration may be enforced by the association against an owner of a separate interest or by an owner of a separate interest against the association.

(c) In an action to enforce the governing documents, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Article 3. Amendment

§1355. Amendment of Declaration

(a) The declaration may be amended pursuant to the governing documents or this title. Except as provided in Section 1356, an amendment is effective after (1) the approval of the percentage of owners required by the governing documents has been given, (2) that fact has been certified in a writing executed and acknowledged by the officer designated in the declaration or by the association for that purpose, or if no one is designated, by the president of the association, and (3) that writing has been recorded in each county in which a portion of the common interest development is located.

(b) Except to the extent that a declaration provides by its express terms that it is not amendable, in whole or in part, a declaration which fails to include provisions permitting its amendment at all times during its existence may be amended at any time. For purposes of this subdivision, an amendment is only effective after (1) the proposed amendment has been distributed to all of the owners of separate interests in the common interest development by first-class mail postage prepaid or personal delivery not less than 15 days and not more than 60 days prior to any approval being solicited; (2) the approval of owners representing more than 50 percent, or any higher percentage required by the declaration for the approval of an amendment to the declaration, of the separate interests in the common interest development has been given, and that fact has been certified in a writing, executed and acknowledged by an officer of the association; and (3) the amendment has been recorded in each county in which a portion of the common interest development is located. A copy of any amendment adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall be distributed by first-class mail postage prepaid or personal delivery to all of the owners of separate interest immediately upon its recordation.

§1355.5. Amendment of Governing Documents for Certain Declarant Provisions

(a) Notwithstanding any provisions of the governing documents of a common interest development to the contrary, the board of directors of the association may, after the developer of the common interest development has completed construction of the development, has terminated construction activities, and has terminated his or her marketing activities for the sale, lease, or other disposition of separate interests within the development, adopt an amendment deleting from any of the governing documents any provision which is unequivocally designed and intended, or which by its nature can only have been designed or intended, to facilitate the developer in completing the construction or marketing of the development. However, provisions of the governing documents relative to a particular construction or marketing phase of the development may not be deleted under the authorization of this subdivision until that construction or marketing phase has been completed.

(b) The provisions which may be deleted by action of the board shall be limited to those which provide for access by the developer over or across the common area for the purposes of (a) completion of construction of the development, and (b) the erection, construction, or maintenance of structures or other facilities designed to facilitate the completion of construction or marketing of separate interests.

(c) At least 30 days prior to taking action pursuant to subdivision (a), the board of directors of the association shall mail to all owners of the separate interests, by first-class mail, (1) a copy of all amendments to the governing documents proposed to be adopted under subdivision (a) and (2) a notice of the time, date, and place the board of directors will consider adoption of the amendments. The board of directors of an association may consider adoption of amendments to the governing documents pursuant to subdivision (a) only at a meeting which is open to all owners of the separate interests in the common interest development, who shall be given opportunity to make comments thereon. All deliberations of the board of directors on any action proposed under subdivision (a) shall only be conducted in such an open meeting.

(d) The board of directors of the association may not amend the governing documents pursuant to this section without the approval of the owners, casting a majority of the votes at a meeting or election of the association constituting a quorum and conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7510) of Part 3 of Division 2, of Title 1 of, and Section 7613 of, the Corporations Code. For the purposes of this section, “quorum” means more than 50 percent of the owners who own no more than two separate interests in the development.

§1356. Amendment of Declaration; Power of Court to Approve Amendment; Recording Amendment; Mailing

(a) If in order to amend a declaration, the declaration requires owners having more than 50 percent of the votes in the association, in a single class voting structure, or owners having more than 50 percent of the votes in more than one class in a voting structure with more than one class, to vote in favor of the amendment, the association, or any owner of a separate interest, may petition the superior court of the county in which the common interest development is located for an order reducing the percentage of the affirmative votes necessary for such an amendment. The petition shall describe the effort that has been made to solicit approval of the association members in the manner provided in the declaration, the number of affirmative and negative votes actually received, the number or percentage of affirmative votes required to effect the amendment in accordance with the existing declaration, and other matters the petitioner considers relevant to the court’s determination. The petition shall also contain, as exhibits thereto, copies of all of the following:

(1) The governing documents.
(2) A complete text of the amendment.
(3) Copies of any notice and solicitation materials utilized in the solicitation of owner approvals.
(4) A short explanation of the reason for the amendment.
(5) Any other documentation relevant to the court’s determination.

(b) Upon filing the petition, the court shall set the matter for hearing and issue an ex parte order setting forth the manner in which notice shall be given.

(c) The court may, but shall not be required to, grant the petition if it finds all of the following:

(1) The petitioner has given not less than 15 days written notice of the court hearing to all members of the association, to any mortgagee of a mortgage or beneficiary of a deed of trust who is entitled to notice under the terms of the declaration, and to the city, county, or city and county in which the common interest development is located that is entitled to notice under the terms of the declaration.
(2) Balloting on the proposed amendment was conducted in accordance with all applicable provisions of the governing documents.
(3) A reasonably diligent effort was made to permit all eligible members to vote on the proposed amendment.
(4) Owners having more than 50 percent of the votes, in a single class voting structure, voted in favor of the amendment. In a voting structure with more than one class, where the declaration requires a majority of more than one class to vote in favor of the amendment, owners having more than 50 percent of the votes of each class required by the declaration to vote in favor of the amendment voted in favor of the amendment.
(5) The amendment is reasonable.
(6) Granting the petition is not improper for any reason stated in subdivision (e).

(d) If the court makes the findings required by subdivision (c), any order issued pursuant to this section may confirm the amendment as being validly approved on the basis of the affirmative votes actually received during the balloting period or the order may dispense with any requirement relating to quorums or to the number or percentage of votes needed for approval of the amendment that would otherwise exist under the governing documents.

(e) Subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, notwithstanding, the court shall not be empowered by this section to approve any amendment to the declaration that:

(1) Would change provisions in the declaration requiring the approval of owners having more than 50 percent of the votes in more than one class to vote in favor of an amendment, unless owners having more than 50 percent of the votes in each affected class approved the amendment.
(2) Would eliminate any special rights, preferences, or privileges designated in the declaration as belonging to the declarant, without the consent of the declarant.
(3) Would impair the security interest of a mortgagee of a mortgage or the beneficiary of a deed of trust without the approval of the percentage of the mortgagees and beneficiaries specified in the declaration, if the declaration requires the approval of a specified percentage of the mortgagees and beneficiaries.

(f) An amendment is not effective pursuant to this section until the court order and amendment have been recorded in every county in which a portion of the common interest development is located. The amendment may be acknowledged by, and the court order and amendment may be recorded by, any person designated in the declaration or by the association for that purpose, or if no one is designated for that purpose, by the president of the association. Upon recordation of the amendment and court order, the declaration, as amended in accordance with this section, shall have the same force and effect as if the amendment were adopted in compliance with every requirement imposed by the governing documents.

(g) Within a reasonable time after the amendment is recorded the association shall mail a copy of the amendment to each member of the association, together with a statement that the amendment has been recorded.

§1357. Extension of Term of Declaration

(a) The Legislature finds that there are common interest developments that have been created with deed restrictions which do not provide a means for the property owners to extend the term of the declaration. The Legislature further finds that covenants and restrictions, contained in the declaration, are an appropriate method for protecting the common plan of developments and to provide for a mechanism for financial support for the upkeep of common areas including, but not limited to, roofs, roads, heating systems, and recreational facilities. If declarations terminate prematurely, common interest developments may deteriorate and the housing supply of affordable units could be impacted adversely. The Legislature further finds and declares that it is in the public interest to provide a vehicle for extending the term of the declaration if owners having more than 50 percent of the votes in the association choose to do so.

(b) A declaration which specifies a termination date, but which contains no provision for extension of the termination date, may be extended by the approval of owners having more than 50 percent of the votes in the association or any greater percentage specified in the declaration for an amendment thereto. If the approval of owners having more than 50 percent of the votes in the association is required to amend the declaration, the term of the declaration may be extended in accordance with Section 1356.

(c) Any amendment to a declaration made in accordance with subdivision (b) shall become effective upon recordation in accordance with Section 1355.

(d) No single extension of the terms of the declaration made pursuant to this section shall exceed the initial term of the declaration or 20 years, whichever is less. However, more than one extension may occur pursuant to this section.

Article 4. Operating Rules

§1357.100. Operating Rules; Definitions

(a) “Operating rule” means a regulation adopted by the board of directors of the association that applies generally to the management and operation of the common interest development or the conduct of the business and affairs of the association.

(b) “Rule change” means the adoption, amendment, or repeal of an operating rule by the board of directors of the association.

§1357.110. Requirements to be Valid and Enforceable
An operating rule is valid and enforceable only if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(a) The rule is in writing.
(b) The rule is within the authority of the board of directors of the association conferred by law or by the declaration, articles of incorporation or association, or bylaws of the association.
(c) The rule is not inconsistent with governing law and the declaration, articles of incorporation or association, and bylaws of the association.
(d) The rule is adopted, amended, or repealed in good faith and in substantial compliance with the requirements of this article.
(e) The rule is reasonable.

§1357.120. Rule Changes for Certain Operating Rules; Applicability and Exceptions

(a) Sections 1357.130 and 1357.140 only apply to an operating rule that relates to one or more of the following subjects:

(1) Use of the common area or of an exclusive use common area.
(2) Use of a separate interest, including any aesthetic or architectural standards that govern alteration of a separate interest.
(3) Member discipline, including any schedule of monetary penalties for violation of the governing documents and any procedure for the imposition of penalties.
(4) Any standards for delinquent assessment payment plans.
(5) Any procedures adopted by the association for resolution of disputes.
(6) Any procedures for reviewing and approving or disapproving a proposed physical change to a member’s separate interest or to the common area.
(7) Procedures for elections.

(b) Sections 1357.130 and 1357.140 do not apply to the following actions by the board of directors of an association:

(1) A decision regarding maintenance of the common area.
(2) A decision on a specific matter that is not intended to apply generally.
(3) A decision setting the amount of a regular or special assessment.
(4) A rule change that is required by law, if the board of directors has no discretion as to the substantive effect of the rule change.
(5) Issuance of a document that merely repeats existing law or the governing documents.

§1357.130. Rule Changes; Procedures for Notice, Adoption; Emergency Rule Changes

(a) The board of directors shall provide written notice of a proposed rule change to the members at least 30 days before making the rule change. The notice shall include the text of the proposed rule change and a description of the purpose and effect of the proposed rule change. Notice is not required under this subdivision if the board of directors determines that an immediate rule change is necessary to address an imminent threat to public health or safety or imminent risk of substantial economic loss to the association.

(b) A decision on a proposed rule change shall be made at a meeting of the board of directors, after consideration of any comments made by association members.

(c) As soon as possible after making a rule change, but not more than 15 days after making the rule change, the board of directors shall deliver notice of the rule change to every association member. If the rule change was an emergency rule change made under subdivision (d), the notice shall include the text of the rule change, a description of the purpose and effect of the rule change, and the date that the rule change expires.

(d) If the board of directors determines that an immediate rule change is required to address an imminent threat to public health or safety, or an imminent risk of substantial economic loss to the association, it may make an emergency rule change;2

(e) A notice required by this section is subject to Section 1350.7. and no notice is required, as specified in subdivision (a). An emergency rule change is effective for 120 days, unless the rule change provides for a shorter effective period. A rule change made under this subdivision may not be readopted under this subdivision.

§1357.140. Rule Changes; Reversal

(a) Members of an association owning 5 percent or more of the separate interests may call a special meeting of the members to reverse a rule change.

(b) A special meeting of the members may be called by delivering a written request to the president or secretary of the board of directors, after which the board shall deliver notice of the meeting to the association’s members and hold the meeting in conformity with Section 7511 of the Corporations Code. The written request may not be delivered more than 30 days after the members of the association are notified of the rule change. Members are deemed to have been notified of a rule change on delivery of notice of the rule change, or on enforcement of the resulting rule, whichever is sooner. For the purposes of Section 8330 of the Corporations Code, collection of signatures to call a special meeting under this section is a purpose reasonably related to the interests of the members of the association. A member request to copy or inspect the membership list solely for that purpose may not be denied on the grounds that the purpose is not reasonably related to the member’s interests as a member.

(c) The rule change may be reversed by the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes represented and voting at a duly held meeting at which a quorum is present (which affirmative votes also constitute a majority of the required quorum), or if the declaration or bylaws require a greater proportion, by the affirmative vote or written ballot of the proportion required. In lieu of calling the meeting described in this section, the board may distribute a written ballot to every member of the association in conformity with the requirements of Section 7513 of the Corporations Code.

(d) Unless otherwise provided in the declaration or bylaws, for the purposes of this section, a member may cast one vote per separate interest owned.

(e) A meeting called under this section is governed by Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7510) of Part 3 of Division 2 of Title 1 of, and Sections 7612 and 7613 of, the Corporations Code.

(f) A rule change reversed under this section may not be readopted for one year after the date of the meeting reversing the rule change. Nothing in this section precludes the board of directors from adopting a different rule on the same subject as the rule change that has been reversed.

(g) As soon as possible after the close of voting, but not more than 15 days after the close of voting, the board of directors shall provide notice of the results of a member vote held pursuant to this section to every association member. Delivery of notice under this subdivision is subject to Section 1350.7.

(h) This section does not apply to an emergency rule change made under subdivision (d) of Section 1357.130.

§1357.150. Commencement of Rule Changes

(a) This article applies to a rule change commenced on or after January 1, 2004.

(b) Nothing in this article affects the validity of a rule change commenced before January 1, 2004.

(c) For the purposes of this section, a rule change is commenced when the board of directors of the association takes its first official action leading to adoption of the rule change.