New laws passed this year that may affect you and your home. Of note, the first on our list prohibits the use of water to clean parts of the exterior of your home. Effective July 15, 2014!
Emergency regulation restricting use of water for outdoor landscapes adopted by State Water Resources Control Board
In January of 2014 Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency to exist in California due to severe drought conditions. Since then, other executive orders by the Governor cleared the way for the state water board’s adoption of emergency regulations to prevent the waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of use, or unreasonable method of diversion of water, to promote water recycling or water conservation.
On July 15, the state water board adopted emergency regulations restricting water use for outdoor landscapes. The regulations prohibit using potable water outdoors, such as watering your lawn, in a manner that results in runoff water on sidewalks, driveways, roadways and your neighbor’s property; washing a car with a hose unless the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle; watering down your driveway and sidewalk; and using water in a decorative fountain unless it recirculates. Violation of the regulations is an infraction and may result in a fine of up to $500 for each day the violation occurs.
Article 22.5 Drought Emergency Water Conservation §864 (effective July 15, 2014).
HOAs and landlords must permit personal agriculture
Existing law regulates the terms and conditions of residential tenancies, and prohibits a landlord from interfering with a tenant’s quiet enjoyment of the premises. This law requires a landlord to permit a tenant to participate in personal agriculture in portable containers approved by the landlord in the tenant’s private area if certain conditions are met.
Existing law, the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, defines and regulates common interest developments and authorizes the board of directors of the association that manages the development to adopt and amend the operating rules for the development. This law makes void any provision of a governing document of a common interest development that effectively prohibits or unreasonably restricts the use of a homeowner’s backyard for personal agriculture.
Assembly Bill 2561, (codified as Civil Code §§ 1940.10 and 4750 to the Civil Code) (effective January 1, 2015).
HOAs prohibited from fining members for reducing water use
This law prohibits a homeowner’s association from imposing a fine or assessment against a member who reduces or eliminates watering of vegetation or lawns during any period during which the Governor or local government has declared an emergency due to drought. In January of 2014 Governor Brown declared a State of Emergency to exist in California due to severe drought conditions.
Assembly Bill 2100 (codified as Civil Code §4735) (effective July 21, 2014).