2014 Legislation: AB 2100 - Drought and Under-watering Fines

Bill Author: 
Campos, Brown
Subject: 
Underwatering - Fine Exemptions
Status: 
Signed by Governor.

Update: The Governor signed the bill on 7/21. 

What Does AB 2100 Say?

AB 2100 prohibits HOAs from fining association members for reducing water consumption on lawns and landscaping during "state[s] of emergency". 

From the Legislative Counsel's Digest:

This bill would prohibit an association from imposing a fine or assessment against a member of a separate interest for reducing or eliminating watering of vegetation or lawns during any period for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency, or a local government has declared a local emergency, due to drought.

SB 992 and SB 1144 also propose nearly identical legislation. And in similar legislation, AB 2104 approaches HOAs and the drought from a different direction.

Learn the steps your HOA can take to save water in its lawn maintenance and landscaping management

Understanding AB 2100

AB 2100 was an urgency bill that went into effect immediately upon the govenor's signature. It prohibits an association from imposing a fine or assessment against a unit or lot owner for reducing or eliminating watering of vegetation or lawns during any period for which the governor or a local agency has declared a state or local emergency (respectively) due to drought. 

In other words, associations may not punish owners for their decisions to cut back on landscape watering in complying with the emergency drought orders of the governor. This has been the law in California since April 25, 2014 due to the governor’s executive order, which has the force of law. The executive order banned fining or punishment of HOA members whose landscaping went brown because of compliance with the mandatory 20% water use cutback.  AB 2100 replaced this executive order and was in turn replaced by SB 992, which is currently legally binding.