As of today, the General Election is 43 days away. While like most Americans I have very strong opinions and beliefs regarding the cultural and electoral issues facing our country, I also live in an HOA and am taking the signage rules and my neighbors into account when putting up signs that mirror my beliefs relating to social justice issues, ballot initiatives and candidates running for office.
For those of you who are not aware of it, Colorado law regulates political signs in HOAs and here’s what boards, managers and homeowners need to know:
● 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 your HOA prohibits political signs in your community, CCIOA supersedes that prohibition and permits the placement of political signs in your HOA 45 days before November 3rd. However, those signs must be removed within 7 days after the election.
If board of directors or management have questions pertaining to what falls within the definition of a “political sign,” they should consult with the attorney who represents their HOA for guidance.
Finally, while I understand that passions are very high right now, please be considerate of your neighbors and exercise good judgment when installing political signs. There is no need to fight with each other about our political beliefs and I am hopeful that residents in HOAs will display leadership in demonstrating tolerance with our neighbors who might not agree with our strongly held beliefs.