For those of you who know me, you know that I’m a political junkie. But even for me, this political season has seemed like it has already lasted for an eternity and I don’t remember politics ever being quite this nasty. With the Republican and Democratic political conventions almost behind us, I can guarantee that the race for POTUS and all of the down ticket races will pick up steam and folks living in HOAs will want to place political signs for their favorite candidates and ballot issues in their yards and windows of their homes.
In anticipation of "political sign season," here is what residents, boards and managers need to know about placing political signs in HOAs in Colorado:
● The Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act ("CCIOA"), at C.R.S. 38-33.3-106.5(1)(c), governs the placement of political signs in HOAs.
● HOAs may regulate the timeframe for the display of political signs, by prohibiting the display of these signs earlier than 45 days before an election and more than 7 days after an election.
● HOAs may regulate the size of political signs which may be displayed on an owner’s property or in the window of a unit. CCIOA provides that HOAs may limit the maximum size of political signs to the lesser of: (1) the maximum size allowed by any applicable city, town, or county ordinance that regulates the size of political signs on residential property; or (2) thirty-six inches by forty-eight inches.
● HOAs may limit the number of political signs which may be displayed to 1 sign per political office or ballot issue that is contested in an upcoming election.
● HOAs are permitted to prohibit residents from placing political signs on the common elements of the community.
● HOAs cannot prohibit owners of condominiums from placing political signs in the windows of their units or within the boundaries of their units.
● CCIOA defines a political sign as “. . . a sign that carries a message intended to influence the outcome of an election, including supporting or opposing the election of a candidate, the recall of a public official, or the passage of a ballot issue."
HOAs can certainly choose not to regulate the placement of political signs in their communities. However, if the regulation of these signs is important to your community, make sure to follow these directives from CCIOA when creating and enforcing such rules. Also, if your HOA does not permit residents to install political signs prior to 45 days before the election, give your residents a heads-up on that prohibition now and on any other rules your HOA has for political signs.