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Weldon L Brown Co Inc
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The Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, or CC&R’s contains the ground rules for the operation of the association. This governing document identifies the association’s common area and responsibilities, explains the obligations of the association to collect assessments, as well as the obligations of owners to pay assessments. It also states that the association may sue owners for violation of the rules or failure to pay assessments, and explains what happens if there is any destruction of property in the development as a result of fire or earthquake. Usually, the CC&R’s will also state the duties and obligations of the association to its members, insurance requirements, and architectural control issues.

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Dunia Razo – Accounts Receivables /Escrows

Mrs. Razo has been with the company for the last year and is a valued member of the management team. Her tasks in running the Accounts Receivable Department include monitoring delinquent accounts, payment plan set up with individual homeowners and ongoing monitoring of the accounts, preparing Intent to Lien Notices in accordance with the Association’s adopted collection policy, governing documents and California Civil Code requirements, preparing delinquent files for Lien preparation, preparing monthly reports for collection activity consideration for decision by Association Board of Directors, knowledge on Small Claims & filing. Mrs. Razo interfaces with our community managers, association homeowners, retained attorney’s & collection agencies in the ongoing effort to minimize accounts receivables and protect association client interests. Mrs. Razo also handles escrows and title transfers.

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Listing of the different types of contractors licenses...


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Wine Night. Come to the Leoness Cellars Winery on April 7th for this year's event to support CAICalif - CAI-CLAC, California Legislative Action Committee! Should be a nice evening in the wine country with industry professionals. See you there!!!!

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CACM 2017 Law Symposium & EXPO - Great time seeing everyone, networking and gaining knowledge in keeping up with the laws that affect our industry. See you next year!!!
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4/6/17
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HOA HOMEFRONT: Reader questions on swimming pools
BY KELLY G. RICHARDSON / For the Press-Enterprise

Dear Mr. Richardson:

Our Board permits use of our pool by a nonprofit swim team organization of which non-residents comprise approximately half of the team. Swim team members pay for membership but a portion of such dues does not contribute to pool maintenance and the Association cannot charge them for same. Is it proper to subsidize the use of our pool by nonresidents?

It appears that our pool has become a public one. Our ability to use our pool has been restricted on most weekdays and during the day on some Saturdays in summer months. Our concerns have been presented to the Board with no effect. Do we have any viable options to stop the use of our pool by non-residents?

ADVERTISING

Thanks, D.B., Irvine

Dear D.B.:

Your association board normally has the responsibility to determine who may use association facilities, subject to direction from the governing documents. Although half of the swim team members are not residents, the other half are. If this is a significant community amenity for your neighbors, the directors must balance the use of the pool by the team against the use by non-team families.

Under state and federal laws, HOA pools are â��public,â�� at least regarding the applicability of safety standards. For example, the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Act (2007), regarding pool drain safety devices, calls HOA pools â��publicâ��, (Title 15 U.S.C. 8003). Some state safety laws declare HOA pools to be â��publicâ�� for the purpose of the particular law or regulation â�" Health and Safety Code Sections 116049.1 and 116064.2, and California Code of Regulations Title 22 Chapter 20 (Section 65503). The definition of HOA pools as â��publicâ�� does not mean that your HOA must open them up to anybody who wishes to swim, but it does mean HOA boards must pay attention to many pool safety laws.

However, for purposes other than safety requirements, I doubt your pool as you describe it is truly �public.�

Best, Kelly

Dear Kelly:

We have four swimming pools in our HOA. Can we legally have one of them as an adult pool for age 21 and older?

E.F.

Dear E.F.:

Ordinarily, unless your HOA is a designated age-restricted (i.e., senior) community, your board cannot restrict the rights of younger people to enjoy HOA amenities. This would be a violation of the Unruh Act, California�s anti-discrimination law.

However, if there is a case from 1987, Sunrise Country Club v. Proud, in which a large HOA had 21 swimming pools, and allocated some for families and some as â��adults onlyâ��. The trial court, and subsequently the appeals court, upheld the allocation of amenities in that way. So, if your association has many pools, and only establishes a reasonable fraction of them as â��adults onlyâ��, it might be OK. Otherwise, consider settling up some â��lap swim onlyâ�� times â�" but donâ��t do it in a way which is a disguised ban on families.
Thanks for your question, Kelly

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WHAT IS A PROTECTED VIEW?

QUESTION: Some owners in our HOA have great views, others none at all. If the ocean is only visible from a corner of the lot and can be covered by one hand at arm's length, is that a view? We are spending $60,000 per year on idiotic tree trimming.

RESPONSE: I understand the need to keep costs under control. To define a view we have to start with your governing documents.

Typical CC&Rs. View protection language in CC&Rs is never precise. The following two provisions are typical:
...nor shall any tree, shrub or other landscaping be planted or any structures erected that may at present or in the future obstruct the view from any other lot...

No tree, shrub, or other landscaping shall be planted or any structures erected that may unreasonably obstruct the view from any other lot.

What is a "view" and what does "unreasonably obstruct" mean?

Dictionary Definition. Dictionary definitions of "view" are not much help:
Black's Law Dictionary: "the outlook or prospect from the windows of one's house."

Dictionary.com: "View is a general word, referring to whatever lies open to sight: a fine view of the surrounding country. Prospect suggests a sweeping and often distant view, as from a place of vantage: a beautiful prospect to the south."
Many CC&Rs include language giving the architectural committee or the board authority to determine when an obstruction is unreasonable. Older documents often do not--they provide no definition and no arbiter for determining what is reasonable or unreasonable. That's where courts come into play.

Case Law. Following are some cases where various view disputes were addressed:

In Seligman v. Tucker (1970), the association's CC&Rs had a view-protection clause but no standard for determining what view was protected. The court made its own determination that the view being protected was the original view when the houses were built. It decided that a down-slope neighbor who was building a second story on his house unreasonably obstructed plaintiff's view of the San Fernando Valley. The defendant was ordered to remove his second story.

In Ezer v. Fuchsloch (1979), trees on a neighboring lot had grown such that they almost completely obstructed plaintiff's view of the ocean. The court interpreted the view language to mean that trees and shrubs had to be trimmed to rooftop height to preserve views. Defendants argued that their 25-foot tall pine tree had an independent right to exist without being trimmed. The court found the "tree rights" argument interesting but unpersuasive. The defendant was ordered to trim all trees and shrubs to rooftop level.

In Zabrucky v. McAdams (2005), the view protection language was unclear as to whether owners could add second stories to their houses. As part of its analysis, the court found that to significantly obstruct any owner's view of the ocean would depreciate the economic worth of their property as well as dramatically reduce their enjoyment of their home. Since much of the value of properties depended on their views of the ocean, the court broadly interpreted the CC&Rs to prohibit second stories.

In Ekstrom v. Marquesa (2008), the CC&Rs protected views by requiring all trees be trimmed to rooftop level. The board made an exception for palm trees since trimming them would kill them.

When advised by legal counsel that the board's exception was contrary to the CC&Rs, the board adopted a definition of view that would avoid trimming most palm trees. They defined "view" to be that which is visible from the back of the house, six feet above ground level, standing in the middle of the outside of the house looking straight ahead to infinity, with nothing to the left or right of the lot lines being considered part of the home's view.

The court rejected the board's definition. It ruled that the architectural committee had discretion to determine whether any particular palm tree exceeding roof height in fact blocked a view, but the association did not have discretion to exempt trees that blocked views. The association had to trim palm trees even it killed them.

What Is A View? From these cases, it is clear that courts will enforce view protection language in CC&Rs. Unfortunately, they have yet to define a view. If the ocean is only visible from a corner of the lot and can be covered by one hand at arm's length, is that a view? Probably not. The courts would likely look at those areas of a lot where owner activities primarily occur--from the patio, around the pool, and from the main windows in the house.
RECOMMENDATION. If your CC&Rs state that all vegetation must be trimmed to rooftop height, then you have no choice but to trim all common area trees to that height as often you need to. If your CC&Rs state that view obstructions cannot be unreasonable, then adopt guidelines for determining what obstructions are reasonable and budget accordingly. Getting homeowners to trim their own trees is much more difficult--they tend to be uncooperative when it comes to trimming their own trees. To address this issue, you better add extra legal fees to your budget. ADAMS | STIRLING PLC

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From all of us at Weldon L. Brown Company, have a safe and Happy New Year's holiday and make 2017 a memorable one...
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Cynthia Liera - Administrative Assistant

We are pleased with the addition of Cynthia to our team. She brings a freshness, enthusiasm and skillset to the office we feel will benefit our office environment and the services to our clientele. Cynthia has the all-important role and responsibility of being the first point of contact at our office. She is the first person someone speaks to or sees when coming into our office about their concern or issue. Cynthia's responsibilities entail answering the phones, interfacing with Homeowners, Board Members and Association vendors and directing those individuals to the appropriate office personnel for proper follow up. She will provide inner support to managers and staff on administrative office and client functions. We are pleased to have her as part of our team.
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