Articles Posted in Current Affairs

Posted by David Swedelson, senior partner at SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

defibrillator_-_Google_Search.pngThe Los Angeles Times reports that “most fire trucks and ambulances run by the Compton Fire Department have been stripped of defibrillator machines, a crucial lifesaving device that rescuers use to deliver a shock and try to restart the heart of cardiac arrest victims.” “County regulators ordered the department to remove the devices last week after fire officials were unable to produce documentation showing Compton firefighters had been properly trained to use the equipment.”

To read the rest of the Times article, follow this link.

The following is an excerpt from Community Association Institute’s California Legislative Action Committee’s article, the full text of which can be found here. SwedelsonGottlieb attorney Brian Moreno, Esq. authored the article.

davis_stirling_act_-_Google_Search.pngMuch has changed over the last 30 years. In 1985, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 1500. The Internet’s domain name system was created, and its first domain name was registered. The cost of a gallon of gas was 93 cents. Ronald Reagan was our President. The world was a different place. In 2015, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is now at about 18,000, there are hundreds of millions of active Internet domain names, and the cost of a gallon of gas is… well, that subject is complicated. More significant to the common interest development (“CID”) industry, the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, known as the Act, was born 30 years ago.

Remarkably, as signed into law by Governor George Deukmejianin on September 18, 1985, the original Davis-Stirling Act was only 25 pages long. It was a whole lot different than it is today. The original Davis-Stirling Act provided a framework that specifies the various rights and responsibilities of all parties involved with common interest developments. The original Act was amended and revised and added to over 50 times until it was completely redone and reorganized. The Act is now over 100 pages long. For the most part, those additional pages represent the countless hours of collaboration, analysis, research and work that our industry professionals have contributed to improving an already comprehensive and inclusive statutory scheme.

By David Swedelson, Partner at Swedelson Gottlieb, Community Association Attorneys


Hiding_Colors_for_Roof_Array_.pngFederal legislators are still trying to pass new law that would allow HAM radio antenas to be installed at homeowners associations despite any restrictions on same in an association’s CC&Rs. We addressed this in a blog post in September of 2014; follow this link. Although that bill failed, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has reintroduced the same bill, now designated as H.R. 1301.

Community Associations Institute (CAI) has again issued a call to action to its members across the country claiming that “if a HAM radio ‘reasonable accommodation’ standard becomes federal law, community associations face the real prospect of having limited or even no say on the installation of towers and large, fixed antennas used in HAM radio broadcasting.”

10519470_10152632044291657_1073214518769593305_o.jpgOn February 6, the Orange County Regional Chapter of Community Associations Institute honored SwedelsonGottlieb’s Associate Attorney Cyrus Koochek with its Rising Star award. The award is given to new members of the chapter in recognition of the member’s volunteer service and commitment to the chapter’s goals. Cyrus served on the chapter’s programs committee in 2014 and looks forward to continued success with the chapter this year.

Is your community association located in Orange County? Be sure to check out all the great events and opportunities offered by the chapter for managers and board members at www.caioc.org.

Or, find your chapter here.

jump-for-joy_jpg_500%C3%97375_pixels.pngHe is finally here, and we could not be happier. Brian Moreno, already a seasoned community association attorney, has decided to move on from the firm he worked with for the last six years and bring his experience, skills and excellent reputation to SwedelsonGottlieb. Brian enhances the firm’s team of lawyers and will certainly benefit the firm’s clients. Brian could have joined any of the other community association law firms, yet he chose SwedelsonGottlieb. That says a lot about Brian and SwedelsonGottlieb.

Brian has extensive litigation and general corporate, real estate and community association legal experience. Follow this link to read Brian’s stellar resume. We hope you will have the opportunity to work with Brian.

IMG_1482%20copy.pngSwedelsonGottlieb Senior Partner Sandra Gottlieb was recently honored by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Community Associations Institute with a nomination for the chapter’s award for Excellence in Education. Sandra was nominated as a result of her January 2014 presentation, Hoarders, Board Member Hostility & Controlling Rental Tenants. Slides from Sandra’s presentation appear below (if you are reading this post via email, click through to see the presentation).

If your homeowners association is located in the Greater Los Angeles area, be sure to get involved with CAI-GLAC and take advantage of all the terrific educational programs that they offer, some of which are free to board members and managing agents. Our attorneys are frequent speakers at their events, so be sure to watch for when we’ll be there. And if you’re in a different area of California, find your local chapter on CAI’s national website.

[Pictured: Left, Joan Urbaniak, CAI-GLAC Executive Director; Right, Sandra L. Gottlieb]

By: SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

Airbnb_Gets_Off_Easy_in_San_Francisco__Its_Hosts__Not_So_Much_-_Businessweek.png
On October 7, 2014, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to legalize the use of residences in San Francisco for short-term vacation rentals, by passing what has been dubbed as the San Francisco “Airbnb law”. Follow this link to a news article. This new law has been more than two years in the making, and removes San Francisco’s long-standing ban on residential rentals of less than 30 days. The new legislation, integrated into the San Francisco Administrative Code, now allows short-term rentals of homes, imposes certain restrictions and requirements on that controversial and unregulated practice, and will take effect in February of 2015.

The stated goal of the legislation is to balance the preservation of affordable housing (by making sure landlords can’t convert permanent units to more lucrative vacation rentals) with allowing residents to earn extra income by renting to travelers for short-term vacation and business purposes. The Airbnb law allows only permanent residents to offer their homes for short-term rentals, establishes a new city registry for hosts, mandates the collection of hotel tax, limits entire-home rentals to 90 days per year, requires each short-term rental listing to carry $500,000 in liability insurance, and establishes guidelines for enforcement by the San Francisco Planning Department.
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poliCE_officer_issuing_citation_-_Google_Search.pngBy David Swedelson, Partner, SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

The LA Times reports that the Los Angeles City Council has adopted a new system that allows police officers to issue citations for minor “quality of life” crimes that would typically be resolved with a warning. Read the article here.

According to the article, “a pilot program, called Administrative Citation Enforcement, gives the Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Animal Services a new enforcement tool that bypasses the court system. It allows city officials to impose fines for offenses such as urinating in public, having dogs off leashes or dumping garbage in public streets.”

By David Swedelson, Partner, SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

Phil_Angelides___Curbed_LA.pngWe deal with a lot of view obstruction disputes. We are able to resolve most of these disputes, as they are subject to CC&Rs which set out what view is protected. And the CC&Rs and the Civil Code provide that the prevailing party is entitled to collect their attorneys’ fees. That usually convinces most people that the fight is not worth the cost.

Sometimes, these view disputes cannot be resolved. For example, in July of 2013, I blogged about a case I had tried and won that dealt with a homeowner who was not part of the association she sued, claiming her cherished view of the association’s lake was obstructed by the trees in the association’s park; she claimed it was a spite fence. Follow this link to read that story.

So, I found an article about a lawsuit involving a 40 foot hedge to be interesting. The legal battle over the hedge is between two Santa Monica properties. Follow this link to read the Daily Journal article.

The article tells us that while they tried to settle the dispute, the “Santa Monica neighbors – well-known local plaintiffs’ attorney Browne Greene and former California state treasurer Phillip N. Angelides – are instead opting to go to court in September over the 40-foot hedge between their two homes.”
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By David Swedelson, Senior Partner, SwedelsonGottlieb, Community Association Attorneys

robin_williams_net_worth_-_Google_Search.pngRobin Williams is dead. We lost a great talent, a very funny man. As one commentator wrote, the world is a lot less funny today.

I read an interesting article about Robin Williams and the No Asshole Rule. Not surprising, it is reported that Robin Williams was NOT an asshole. Apparently he treated others with warmth and respect. If only homeowners at community associations followed the No Asshole Rule. Just saying…

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