What Do You Mean I Cannot Hang My Banner or Sign On My Garage Door (or Window, or…)!

SwedelsonGottlieb, Condo Lawyers and HOA Attorneys

You may not be aware, but 2011 has been a historical year for California hockey, as California’s three NHL teams, the San Jose Sharks, LA Kings, and the Anaheim Ducks, all made the playoffs for the first time together. Or perhaps you were aware of this incredible feat due to the multiple proud fan displays, signs, and banners gracing the homes in your community.

But what would this momentous occasion have to do with HOA law? I am so glad you asked.

In Florida, some homeowners associations had their hands full this year as the Tampa Bay Lightning, who also made the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, sent banners, flags and lawn signs to its devoted fans for display. Alas, as this news story reports, some Tampa HOA members who displayed such signs on their property were met with opposition by their association. Read the story as to how the ingenious owner got around the association’s objections.

The Florida kerfuffle begs the question: Could such an uproar happen in your California development? And the answer would be no.

See, California Civil Code §1353.6 provides that your community’s governing documents (and thus the board) may not prohibit the posting or display of noncommercial signs, posters, flags, or banners on or in an owner’s separate interest, except for the protection of public health and safety or if the posting or display would violate law.

That said, CCC §1353.6(c) provides reasonable limitations on such displays, stating that an association may prohibit noncommercial signs and posters bigger than 9 square feet and noncommercial flags or banners bigger than 15 square feet.

So feel free to allow the proud (and hopefully tasteful) display of an LA Kings flag, or Anaheim Ducks banner on a homeowner’s separate interest. But know that a HOA certainly can inform and regulate such sports banner with regard to location and size (and compliance with the law) as provided under the Code.

Have questions regarding this or other community association issues? Contact us at 310-207-2207 today.

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