Four Pending Bills Would Badly Affect HOAs: Part 2May 08, 2023
By Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. CCAL
The Legislature is active this year regarding HOAs, and eight bills may significantly affect California associations. Last week’s column discussed four helpful bills. Unfortunately, the four bills discussed below have good intentions but may create more problems than they solve.
The worst of the four is Assembly Bill 572, authored by Assemblyperson Haney of San Francisco. AB 572 would cap assessment increases on deed-restricted affordable housing units, restricting the HOA board to a maximum of 5% increase on those units. If the HOA needed to increase assessments on all units by more than 5%, a membership vote would be required to accomplish this. This bill tries to protect affordable housing unit owners but is a terrible idea. It sets up affordable housing as a separate class of homeowners, who would pay less of their fair share of the HOA’s expenses than their neighbors. It would arguably override most CC&Rs, which usually specifically allocate the distribution of assessments among owners.
Assembly Bill 1033, authored by Assemblyperson Ting of San Francisco, proposes to make a simple but potentially troublesome amendment to Government Code Section 65852.2, the section regarding municipal approval of Accessory Dwelling Units (“ADUs”). The bill authorizes local jurisdictions to allow lot owners (including owners in planned developments) to convert their properties to miniature condominium HOAs so that both the principal residence and the ADU(s) on the property could be sold to buyers. Fortunately, the bill does not say that it would override planned development CC&Rs, because if it did override CC&Rs it would essentially allow rewriting of the subdivision map under which planned developments are created. In the scenario of a new mini-condominium HOA inside a planned development, would there now be additional planned development association members? Furthermore, many (if not most) tiny HOAs ignore the Davis-Stirling Act, so creating more doesn’t help the homebuyers.
Assembly Bill 1572 is authored by Assemblyperson Friedman of Burbank. This bill proposes to create a new Water Code subsection 10608.14, which would ban all property owners (except single family homes) from using potable water on “non-functional turf” after the start of 2029. For larger HOAs, this could mean huge plumbing and landscaping expenses to water green belts or other common areas, which are deemed “nonfunctional.” It also could mean great problems and expenses for the HOA and for the municipality in areas that do not currently have reclaimed water available.
Senate Bill 403, authored by Senator Wahab of Fremont, would declare illegal discrimination based upon “caste,” defined as “an individual’s perceived position in a system of social stratification on the basis of inherited status.” In North American culture, caste is not typically recognized. This very broad definition could result in misunderstandings and misapplication within HOA neighborhoods. Is someone shunning social interaction because another came from more humble beginnings, or perhaps a more privileged upbringing? While such behavior is shallow and ignorant, should it be illegal? Taking a practice from another culture and trying to define, understand, and ban it in our North American culture seems problematic.
The deadline for bills to pass their initial house of origin is June 2, 2023, so there is time to contact your representative and voice your opinions. Visit www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov to read the bills and comment to the author.