Reader Questions - Parking

c c & rs h o a homefront reader questions Jun 23, 2014

Dear Kelly,

My boyfriend’s association is not allowing guests to park more than 5 days in any 30 day period. This is problematic, of course. The parking rules are in effect 24/7. Does any association have the authority to limit resident’s guest parking?

Thank you for your advice,

S.R., Huntington Beach

Dear S. R.,

Guest parking is often a major problem for most associations, which often do not have sufficient parking to fully accommodate guests on anything other than a short term basis. Yes, if the parking is on property subject to the CC&Rs, the association may have parking rules for members and their guests or tenants. These rules must be in writing and must be properly adopted with notice to the homeowners.


Dear Mr. Richardson,

Hi, I enjoy your column in the paper. Recently the Board decided that the parking was an issue. Therefore, the Board hired a parking patrol company to issue parking permits to folks for only 1 vehicle that could be parked in the common area parking and enforce the parking regulations by towing unpermitted vehicles. Garage parking was limited to cars only. The Board provided a 2-week notification of the enforcement to the community. Are there any legal requirements about how long a notification period should be? Giving people 2 weeks to accommodate this kind of change seems very short notice. The justification given was that “the CC&Rs identify the garages as being for vehicles only” so we are just enforcing the CC&Rs.

Many thanks,

W.S., Costa Mesa

Dear W.S.,

Rule changes, parking or otherwise, must be adopted in compliance with Civil Code 4360, which requires 30 days advance written notice before the board can approve it. However, if the rule change “merely repeats existing …governing documents” language, then Civil 4355(b)(5) exempts the change from the 30 day requirement. My impression from your question is that the rule does more than just repeat language already found in the CC&Rs. If the rule is properly adopted, the association may immediately begin enforcement, but some advance warning is reasonable.

Thanks for your question,

Dear Mr. Richardson,

In our CC&R’S and rules we have complete and precise parking regulations. Many feel that they are not being enforced properly.

If a resident’s vehicles will fit in the garage, as required by the regulations but they park on their driveway is the association able to legally tow off of the driveway said vehicles after proper notification? Not all townhomes have driveways so this would only be subject to those that do.

Is the driveway apron considered common property or exclusive use common area? Will that determine whether a vehicle in violation can be towed? Is the association responsible for its care and maintenance?

T.G., Mission Viejo

Dear T.G.,

Towing is an extreme measure which perhaps should be considered a last resort with respect to driveway misuse. A board might first consider holding a disciplinary hearing and fining the member. If towing is to be pursued, make sure the HOA complies with the Vehicle Code towing requirements in Section 22658.

The status of the driveway apron depends on the condominium plan (if it’s a condo) or subdivision map (if it’s a planned development). However, even it is part of the member’s lot, or condominium exclusive use area, the association still can control its use.


Written by Kelly G. Richardson

Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to [email protected]. Past columns at All rights reserved®.