Amended in Assembly April 23, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1448


Introduced by Assembly Member Lopez

February 27, 2015


An act tobegin delete amend Section 714 ofend deletebegin insert add Sections 1940.20 and 4750.10 toend insert the Civil Code, relating to real property.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1448, as amended, Lopez. begin deleteSolar energy systems: end deletebegin insertPersonal energy conservation: end insertreal property restrictions.

begin insert

(1) Existing law requires a landlord to permit a tenant to participate in personal agriculture in portable containers approved by the landlord if certain conditions are met, including, among others, that the plant crop will not interfere with the maintenance of the rental property.

end insert
begin insert

This bill would require a landlord to permit a tenant to utilize a clothesline or drying rack, as defined, approved by the landlord in the tenant’s private area, as defined, if certain conditions are met, including, among others, that the clothesline or drying rack will not interfere with the maintenance of the rental property. The bill would specify that these provisions do not prohibit reasonable time or location restrictions.

end insert
begin insert

(2) Under existing law, any provision of a governing document, as defined, that effectively prohibits or unreasonably restricts the use of a homeowner’s backyard for personal agriculture, as defined, is void and unenforceable, unless it imposes a reasonable restriction, as defined, on the use of a homeowner’s backyard.

end insert
begin insert

This bill would make any provision of a governing document, as defined, void and unenforceable if it effectively prohibits or unreasonably restricts the use of a homeowner’s backyard for personal energy conservation purposes, including, but not limited to, the use of a clothesline, as defined, or any other similar device, except that reasonable restrictions, as defined, would be enforceable. The bill would specify that these provisions would only apply to yards that are designated for the exclusive use of the homeowner.

end insert
begin delete

Existing law prohibits any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or any interest in, real property, and any provision of a governing document from effectively prohibiting or restricting the installation or use of a solar energy system.

end delete
begin delete

This bill would prohibit these instruments or a rental agreement or lease from effectively prohibiting or restricting the installation or use of a solar energy system, including a clothesline.

end delete

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 1940.20 is added to the end insertbegin insertCivil Codeend insertbegin insert, end insert2immediately following Section 1940.10begin insert, to read:end insert

begin insert
3

begin insert1940.20.end insert  

(a) For purposes of this section, the following
4definitions shall apply:

5(1) “Clothesline” includes a cord, rope, or wire from which
6clothes may be hung to dry or air.

7(2) “Drying rack” means an apparatus from which clothes may
8be hung to dry or air.

9(3) “Private area” means an outdoor area or an area in the
10tenant’s premises enclosed by a wall or fence with access from a
11door of the premises.

12(b) A landlord shall permit a tenant to utilize a clothesline or
13drying rack approved by the landlord in the tenant’s private area
14if both of the following conditions are met:

15(1) The clothesline or drying rack shall not interfere with the
16maintenance of the rental property.

17(2) The clothesline or drying rack shall not create a health or
18safety hazard, block doorways, or interfere with walkways or utility
19service equipment.

20(c) This section does not prohibit reasonable time or location
21restrictions.

end insert
P3    1begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 4750.10 is added to the end insertbegin insertCivil Codeend insertbegin insert, end insertimmediately
2following Section 4750begin insert, to read:end insert

begin insert
3

begin insert4750.10.end insert  

(a) For purposes of this section, “clothesline” has
4the same definition as in Section 1940.20.

5(b) Any provision of a governing document, as defined in Section
64150, shall be void and unenforceable if it effectively prohibits or
7unreasonably restricts the use of a homeowner’s backyard for
8personal energy conservation purposes, including, but not limited
9to, the use of a clothesline or any similar device.

10(c) (1) This section does not apply to provisions that impose
11reasonable restrictions on the use of a homeowner’s yard for
12personal energy conservation purposes, including the use of a
13clothesline or any similar device.

14(2) For purposes of this section, “reasonable restrictions” are
15restrictions that do not significantly increase the cost of engaging
16in personal energy conservation, including the use of a clothesline
17or any similar device, or significantly decrease the efficiency of
18personal energy conservation.

19(3) This section applies only to yards that are designated for
20the exclusive use of the homeowner.

21(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit an association from
22establishing and enforcing reasonable rules governing clotheslines
23or any similar device.

end insert
begin delete
24

SECTION 1.  

Section 714 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

25

714.  

(a) Any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in
26any rental agreement, lease, deed, contract, security instrument,
27or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of, or any interest
28in, real property, and any provision of a governing document, as
29defined in Section 4150 or 6552, that effectively prohibits or
30restricts the installation or use of a solar energy system, including
31a clothesline, is void and unenforceable.

32(b) This section does not apply to provisions that impose
33reasonable restrictions on solar energy systems. However, it is the
34policy of the state to promote and encourage the use of solar energy
35systems and to remove obstacles thereto. Accordingly, reasonable
36restrictions on a solar energy system are those restrictions that do
37not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly
38decrease its efficiency or specified performance, or that allow for
39an alternative system of comparable cost, efficiency, and energy
40conservation benefits.

P4    1(c) (1) A solar energy system shall meet applicable health and
2safety standards and requirements imposed by state and local
3permitting authorities, consistent with Section 65850.5 of the
4Government Code.

5(2) Solar energy systems used for heating water in single family
6residences and solar collectors used for heating water in
7 commercial or swimming pool applications shall be certified by
8an accredited listing agency as defined in the Plumbing and
9Mechanical Codes.

10(3) A solar energy system for producing electricity shall also
11meet all applicable safety and performance standards established
12by the California Electrical Code, the Institute of Electrical and
13Electronics Engineers, and accredited testing laboratories such as
14Underwriters Laboratories and, where applicable, rules of the
15Public Utilities Commission regarding safety and reliability.

16(d) For the purposes of this section:

17(1) (A) For solar domestic water heating systems or solar
18swimming pool heating systems that comply with state and federal
19law, “significantly” means an amount exceeding 10 percent of the
20cost of the system, but in no case more than one thousand dollars
21($1,000), or decreasing the efficiency of the solar energy system
22by an amount exceeding 10 percent, as originally specified and
23proposed.

24(B) For photovoltaic systems that comply with state and federal
25law, “significantly” means an amount not to exceed one thousand
26dollars ($1,000) over the system cost as originally specified and
27proposed, or a decrease in system efficiency of an amount
28exceeding 10 percent as originally specified and proposed.

29(2) “Solar energy system” has the same meaning as defined in
30paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 801.5.

31(e) (1) Whenever approval is required for the installation or
32use of a solar energy system, the application for approval shall be
33processed and approved by the appropriate approving entity in the
34same manner as an application for approval of an architectural
35modification to the property, and shall not be willfully avoided or
36delayed.

37(2) For an approving entity that is an association, as defined in
38Section 4080 or 6528, and that is not a public entity, both of the
39following shall apply:

40(A) The approval or denial of an application shall be in writing.

P5    1(B) If an application is not denied in writing within 45 days
2from the date of receipt of the application, the application shall be
3deemed approved, unless that delay is the result of a reasonable
4request for additional information.

5(f) Any entity, other than a public entity, that willfully violates
6this section shall be liable to the applicant or other party for actual
7damages occasioned thereby, and shall pay a civil penalty to the
8applicant or other party in an amount not to exceed one thousand
9dollars ($1,000).

10(g) In any action to enforce compliance with this section, the
11prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees.

12(h) (1) A public entity that fails to comply with this section
13may not receive funds from a state-sponsored grant or loan program
14for solar energy. A public entity shall certify its compliance with
15the requirements of this section when applying for funds from a
16state-sponsored grant or loan program.

17(2) A local public entity may not exempt residents in its
18jurisdiction from the requirements of this section.

end delete


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