Governor Newsom Expands Drought Emergency Statewide

By Dea C. Franck, Esq.

On October 19, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency statewide authorizing the ban of wasteful water use and boosting conservation efforts.

California residential community associations should refer to Civil Code sections 4735(c) and (e) and 4736(a) which are triggered by the Governor declaring a state of emergency due to drought. Those sections provide as follows:

Civil Code §4735 (c):

  • “…an association, shall not impose a fine or assessment against an owner of a separate interest for reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation or lawns during any period… [during which] …The Governor has declared a state of emergency due to drought…”

Civil Code §4735 (e):

  • “An owner of a separate interest upon which water-efficient landscaping measures have been installed in response to a declaration of a state of emergency described in subdivision (c) shall not be required to reverse or remove the water-efficient landscaping measures upon the conclusion of the state of emergency.”

Civil Code §4736 (a):

  • “A provision of the governing documents shall be void and unenforceable if it requires pressure washing the exterior of a separate interest and any exclusive use common area appurtenant to the separate interest during a state or local government declared drought emergency.”

Please contact us or your association’s legal counsel should your community have any questions regarding compliance with the Civil Code during a statewide drought emergency.