Davis-Stirling Act

Davis-Stirling Act

Q: I am a resident of a city which is unique because the Community Association (14,000 + members) encompasses the entire City. When the City was created it granted a number of functionalities and services normally provided by a City to the Property Owners Association. The Property Owners Association claims to be exempt from the Brown Act so does not have to publish notifications ( agendas ) before executive sessions. They claim they function under Davis Sterling where notifications for executive sessions is not required. Any opinion or legal references?

A: The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (which begins at Civil Code Section 1350) provides for the governance of property owners’ associations and does contain some provisions about what kind of notice must be provided for meetings.  The requirements of the Davis-Stirling Act are beyond the scope of expertise of this service.

Conceivably, however, a governing body subject to Davis-Stirling could also be subject to the Brown Act, California’s open meetings law.  Under the Brown Act, Govt. Code section 54952(c), the governing body of such an association would be subject to the Brown Act under either of two circumstances:

1.  The association is created by an elected legislative body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body;
– OR –
2.  The homeowners association (a) receives funds from a local agency ( e.g., a county, city, town, etc) AND (b) the membership of the governing body of the homeowners association includes a member of the legislative body of the local agency (e.g., if the local agency is a city, a member of the city council) whom the legislative body appoints to the governing board of the homeowners association as a full voting member.

If the governing body meets either of these conditions, then it should be obligated to satisfy the notice and agenda requirements of the Brown Act.