Restrictions on the ability of homeowners’ associations to enforce covenants deemed contrary to public policy have long been the norm in states across the country, including Colorado, which could soon see an expansion of such restrictions.

Colorado’s Common Interest Ownership Act (CCIOA) contains various statutory restrictions on the ability of a homeowners’ association to enforce rules and covenants deemed contrary to public policy.  For example, notwithstanding any provision in an association’s declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations to the contrary, an HOA is barred from enforcing prohibitions on xeriscaping, display of the American flag, and the display of political signs during election cycles.

While CCIOA requires that HOAs not prohibit the outright display of American flags or political signs by residents, HOAs maintain the ability to adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations regarding the placement and manner of the display of American flags, and retain the right to ban political signs displayed earlier than forty-five days prior to an election, or longer than seven days thereafter.

House Bill 21-1310, passed Thursday by Colorado’s House of Representatives, would further limit the ability of HOAs to regulate such matters.  The bill would limit an HOAs right to prohibit the display of any flag on the basis of its subject matter, except flags bearing commercial messaging.  However, an association could continue to adopt and enforce content-neutral rules to regulate the number, location and size of flags and flagpoles.

The bill would also prohibit an association from barring residents from displaying signs of any kind, political or otherwise, other than those bearing commercial messaging.  Thus, passage of the bill would permit association residents to display political signage throughout the year—not just during election cycles.  Any existing HOA regulations to the contrary would be deemed void and unenforceable.  Again, HOAs would nonetheless retain the right to establish reasonable, content-neutral sign regulations based on number, placement, size or other objective criteria.

HB 21-1310 is scheduled to be considered by the Senate today.