As you may know a lawsuit was recently filed by Plaintiffs George K. Staropoli and William M. Brown against the State of Arizona seeking a declaratory judgment that portions of SB 1454 (related to community associations) violated the Arizona Constitution. As it turned out, this lawsuit drastically impacted Legislation regarding community associations.
As you are probably aware the portions of SB1454 that apply to associations (in the version of the law that was signed by the Governor) are the following: a municipality or planning agency cannot require a planned community as part of a zoning ordinance or subdivision regulation, ability of homeowners to now vote by email and fax on association issues, regulation of rental properties in an association, political signs in a condominium, return of the filing fee for disputes brought in front of the Department Fire, Building, and Life Safety, and the ability of a management company to prepare and record liens and appear in small claims court on behalf of an association.
However, on September 6, 2013, our office was informed that pursuant to a consent agreement with the State of Arizona, the Attorney General’s office admitted that portions of SB 1454 related to community associations violated the Arizona Constitution. As such, the section of SB1454 regarding community associations that will go into effect on September 13, 2013 is the section regarding political signs.
The consent agreement will become binding pending acceptance and signing of the by Superior Court Judge Randall Warner.
Practically speaking, what does this all mean? It means that on September 13, 2013, condominiums must adhere to the following:
- Notwithstanding any provision in the condominium documents, an association shall not prohibit the indoor or outdoor display of a political sign by a unit owner by placement of a sign in the common element ground that is adjacent to the unit or on that unit owner’s property, including any limited common elements for that unit;
- The association may prohibit the display of political signs earlier than seventy‑one days before the day of an election and later than three days after an election day;
- An association may regulate the size and number of political signs that may be placed in the common element ground, on a unit owner’s property or on a limited common element for that unit if the association’s regulation is no more restrictive than any applicable city, town or county ordinance that regulates the size and number of political signs on residential property;
- If the city, town or county in which the property is located does not regulate the size and number of political signs on residential property, the association shall not limit the number of political signs, except that the maximum aggregate total dimensions of all political signs on a unit owner’s property shall not exceed nine square feet.
While the above provisions of SB1454 only address Condominiums, Arizona’s Planned Community Act already has similar provisions found in Section 33-1808.
The Firm will be updating its Legislative ‘Cheat Sheet’ to reflect these recent changes, so be sure to look for that on our website.