COMMON-AREA UTILITY BILLS: 2015 LEGISLATIVE RECAP AND 2016 INITIATIVES:
In 2015, the theme of the year was water conservation, especially concerning common interest developments. Here is a quick recap of 2015 laws pertaining to common-area utilities:
ASSEMBLY BILL 349 (Gonzalez):
This bill was signed into law in 2015, and makes void and unenforceable any provision of an association's governing documents or architectural or landscaping guidelines that prohibit the use of artificial turf or any other synthetic surface that resembles grass. However, the provision in existing law that allows an HOA to apply landscaping rules would still apply to artificial turf or synthetic grass. This new law became effective on 9/14/2015.
ASSEMBLY BILL 786 (Levine):
Existing law allows HOAs that are using recycled water to continue to fine homeowners in certain instances. However, an HOA may only impose a fine for reducing or eliminating watering of vegetation or laws during a drought, where, prior to the imposition of a fine, the homeowner receives recycled water from a retail water supplier and fails to use that recycled water for landscaping irrigation. This new law became effective on 10/11/2015.
Expect more water conservation and environmental bills to arise for 2016….