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Governor Signs a Unique Bill that Gives Community Associations in Orange County a New Law Enforcement Option

October 8, 2013

Many of you may remember an Assemblywoman by the name of Patricia Bates, who authored AB 512 which requires associations to give a 30-day notification to residents in a homeowner association, when the rule change impacts them. Then Assemblywoman Bates worked closely with our industry, and now Orange County Supervisor Bates has worked with Senator Mark Wyland to give community associations an option that was not available before.

According to the official introduction to the bill:
“Existing law provides that a board of supervisors of a county, and a legislative body of a city, may contract to provide supplemental law enforcement services to private individuals or entities at special events or occurrences.”

Senate Bill 298 (Wyland, Walters, Harkey) “would, until January 1, 2017, authorize the Board of Supervisors of the County of Orange, or the city council of a city within this county, to contract to provide supplemental law enforcement services to a homeowners’ association on an occasional or ongoing basis to enforce the Vehicle Code on a homeowners’ association’s privately owned and maintained road, as specified. It would also require, on or before June 30, 2016, the Department of Justice to prepare and submit a report to the Legislature on certain impacts of this contract, would require the board of supervisors or city council to reimburse the department for the costs of this report, and would authorize the board of supervisors or city council to seek reimbursement for these costs.”

What that essentially means is that IF a community association, gated or not, has privately owned and maintained roads, and would like to have enhanced services for such things as special occasions or traffic enforcement, it can now contract for those services. There are two large communities in South Orange County that are quite large and gated. One community utilizes law enforcement to monitor motor vehicle violations and the other uses its security personnel to monitor traffic issues via its community rule violation system.

Now, any community has the option (not a requirement) to seek the services of local law enforcement entities to perform these services. However, such an arrangement may encompass only law enforcement duties and not services authorized to be provided by a private patrol operator. Too, contracts entered into pursuant to this bill shall provide for full reimbursement to the county or city of the actual costs of providing those services, as determined by the county auditor or auditor-controller or the city auditor.

If you have any questions regarding this new law enforcement option, please work with your association management and legal professionals to explore the opportunity for your community.

Wendy BucknumPrepared by Wendy Bucknum, Governmental and Public Affairs Manager, Professional Community Management, Inc. at Laguna Woods Village. Wendy serves on the CAI Orange County Regional Board of Directors and is a CLAC Delegate at Large. Wendy also serves as Chair of the South Orange County Chamber of Commerce and is a Commissioner for the City of Mission Viejo.

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