Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Sign/Flags and Solar with EV and Inspections
Xeriscaping, Meetings, Enforcement and More
Now you must physically post on their doors!
No daily late fees and payment plans of 18 months
$25 minimums and lots of other foreclosure stuff
Changes have come in all forms, don’t you know…
There’s even a bill that sets forth how you toooooowwww….
Now that you’re singing along with me, let’s take a look back at the last two years and review some of the legislative updates that affect community associations, as summarized briefly below. I do mean briefly. There is a lot of information found within all of these updates and I’ve only listed a smattering of detail. While you’re reading through this, please also review your governing documents and policies to ensure they are up-to-date, A-ok, and completely legal, beagles. If they’re not, feel free to reach out and touch someone. Phone a friend. Give us a call.
HB21-1229: Sections 1 & 3: Artificial Turf – Amending Section 106.5 of CCIOA, while the law already required associations to allow xeriscape or drought-tolerant vegetative landscapes to be ground covering on property for which a unit owner is responsible (including limited common elements), this bill now extends such requirement to artificial turf, although the association can restrict the artificial turf to rear yard locations only.
HB21-1229: Section 2: Solar – Solar panels must be allowed on property owned by the Owner (not on Common Elements). Associations can impose reasonable aesthetic provisions on the dimensions, placement or external appearance of renewable energy generation devices as long as those provisions and restrictions do not increase the cost of the device by more than 10% or decrease its efficiency by more than 10%, and limits the period of review and approval of the owner application to within 60 days.
HB21-1229: Section 4: Records, Retention, and Disclosure Fees Transparency – This bill amended Section 317 of CCIOA, by adding that unique and extraordinary fees, assessments, and expenses charged in connection with the sale of a Unit must be added to the list of records kept for inspection and retention. This bill also set forth penalties of $50.00 per day (up to $500.00) that an association will incur if it fails to allow inspection or copying of records within thirty calendar days after receipt of a written request, submitted by certified mail.
HB21-1310: Flags and Signs – Amending Section 106.5 of CCIOA, Colorado now allows flags on a unit owner’s property, window, or on a balcony adjoining the unit (yep, even if the balcony is a common element). Additionally, the association cannot prohibit or regulate content (except flags with commercial messages) but it can limit the number, location, and size of flags and flagpoles. Further, this same law allows an association to limit the number, placement and size of signs, but again, it cannot regulate or prohibit content (except signs with commercial messages). In sum, the garage sale signs can be regulated but your neighbor’s personal messages cannot. Even this one:
HB19-1298: Electric Motor Vehicle Charging Station Parking – Owners of an electric vehicle charging station are now authorized to install a sign identifying the station. If the sign is installed, then others are prohibited from parking a non-electric vehicle in the space and using the dedicated charging station space for parking an electric vehicle that is not charging. The result if one uses the dedicated charging station space in violation of the above is a $150.00 fine and a $32.00 surcharge. For anyone keeping track, that’s more than the charge itself cost!
HB22-1314: Towing without Consent – This bill is a big one, coming in at nearly 30 pages, and mostly affects towing operators. However, the portion of the bill an association should be most concerned with is the section regarding towing from private property. A few takeaways from this one – no towing from a parking space or common area without giving the vehicle owner/operator 24 hours written notice placed on the windshield with the following exceptions: (1) the vehicle owner/operator has already received 2 previous notices for parking inappropriately in the same manner; (2) the vehicle is blocking a driveway or roadway enough to effectively obstruct a person’s access to the driveway or roadway; (3) the vehicle is parking in a parking area reserved for people with disabilities and does not have a valid placard or identifying place; (4) the vehicle is parked in or effectively obstructing a designated and marked fire zone; (5) the vehicle is parked in another individual’s designated, rented or purchased parking space; or (6) the vehicle is parked, without displaying valid authorization to do so, in a parking lot that is marked for the exclusive use of residents. In addition to specific information that must be included in the towing notice, the association must have posted signs at each entry way into a parking area, and the signs must adhere to specific size, lettering and posting requirements.
HB22-1137 – Collection and Enforcement a/k/a Homeowners’ Association Board Accountability and Transparency – Another big bill, this one directly impacts an Association’s collection Collection and enforcement responsibilities. Interest on delinquent accounts is now capped at 8% and payment plans must be a minimum of 18 months. Associations may not foreclose unless the owner has been offered a payment plan that may go as low as $25 per month. New notice requirements are included in this bill, including the requirement that the Association must physically post the delinquency notice on the unit or property, send it via certified mail, return receipt requested, and send it in one additional manner as well (such as first-class mail, email or text).
Another change of note is that each matter must now be voted on by the board, in executive session, before the account can be turned over to a collection agency or law firm, and the vote must be recorded. For the enforcement section, fines are capped at $500.00, no daily fines are allowed, and owners must be provided two separate 30-day cure periods in which to correct the issue before the matter may be turned over to legal.
HB22-1139 Regulating the Use of a Public Right-of-Way – Coming in on our list is the Public Right-of-Way bill, which specifically states that an Association shall not prohibit any use of a public right-of-way and shall not require the public right-of-way to be used in a certain manner. In layperson’s terms, this means that that if the streets are not owned by the Association, the Association is prohibited from making rules about their usage. If an owner calls the Association to complain that her neighbor has a schoolie parked in the cul-de-sac, and that cul-de-sac is a city street, then the Association cannot regulate/mandate that the schoolie be moved, nor can it fine the schoolie owner for parking it there. Instead, it may suggest to the complainant that she will need to contact the City regarding this issue.
SB22-059 Proxies – This one is pretty straightforward. Proxies are limited to a maximum duration of 11 months unless the proxy itself indicates an earlier termination date. Boom!
HB22-1040 Home Owners’ Reasonable Access to Common Elements – In perhaps an unsurprising turn of events in the post-covid world, this bill addresses the powers of associations to regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement and modification of common elements, and the bill mandates that the association, in regulating the above, shall not unreasonably restrict or prohibit unit owners’ access to or enjoyment of any common element. Adding Section 302.5 to CCIOA, the bill further requires that access to the common element may be restricted or prohibited only to the extent of and for the length of time necessary to protect the safety of owners and repair people or to preserve the structural integrity or condition of a repair, replacement or modification. If the prohibition or restriction of use is for more than 72 hours, the association shall provide electronic and written notice that includes the “what, where, why and for how long” details about the closure, provides contact information in case an owner has questions or concerns about the closure, and the association must post signage at each physical access point to the closed common element that contains all of the above information as well. In sum, closing the community pool for 3 days to fight an algae bloom = ok with the below notices/signage but closing the community pool completely with no end date in site and/or no notice = not ok.
In closing, and as Porky Pig would say, “that’s all folks!”… at least for now. Don’t forget to review those docs and get updated policies in place. Have a wonderful holiday season!
Please contact any of our Altitude attorneys if you have any questions or would like to draft any policies recommended for the above-referenced legislation. Email at [email protected] or call 303-432-9999.