Dear Mr. Richardson,

The president of our HOA was recently removed as president (with no explanation and at an unposted meeting) but she is still on the board, referred to as director at large, with no duties. Someone said she is not eligible to vote in that capacity. Is that true?

J.K., Murrieta

Dear J.K.,

The president, as with any officer position within the board of directors, normally serves at the pleasure of the board, under Corporations Code 7213(b). Check your HOA bylaws to be sure. Usually there is one section for “board of directors” and a different section for “officers.” You probably will find that officers are appointed from within the board. So, one could be removed by the board from one’s officer position – but being removed from an officer position is different than being removed from the board. Normally after losing one’s officer position one is still a board member. The board does not need to state a reason for changing officers, because no “cause” is needed.

However, changing officers should be accomplished during an open meeting with the minimum 4 days agenda notice. Some boards mistakenly consider this a “personnel” matter and so handle the decision in closed session. However, in this context, “personnel” means employees of the association.

Thanks for your question,


I live in a PUD as I was told. Why do you say there is no such thing, and California has planned developments?

B.K., Sun City 

Good morning,

In an earlier article you stated that California has only planned developments not PUDs. Our manager swears that we are a PUD. Is this written some place? Is it a state or DRE thing? Any assistance would be appreciated.

Thank you,

D.K., Anaheim

Dear B.K. and D.K.,

The Davis-Stirling Act at Civil Code 4100 describes four varieties of common interest developments: community apartments, stock cooperatives, condominiums and planned developments. Planned developments are further described in Civil Code 4175 as common interest developments which are not condominiums, stock cooperatives or community apartments, but which involve common property owned by the association or the members in common and/or common area which is maintained by an association which has the power to impose liens. In a planned development, the legal interest owned is called a “lot.” While planned developments typically evoke the image of detached residential structures, some planned developments involve attached “townhouse” style homes.

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act does not use the term “planned unit development,” but there are still some statutes elsewhere which contain the misnomer – for example Civil Code 1917.330, regarding shared appreciation lending, erroneously references the “planned unit development” as one of the four forms of the common interest development.

The term “unit” doesn’t fit planned developments, because “unit” is what one owns in a condominium project. Nevertheless, you will often see older CC&Rs using the wrong term, and even municipalities and respected organizations such as the California Land Title Association also still use it. Other states may use the term, but in California the term is “planned development.”


p.s. Another commonly used term not found anywhere in the Davis-Stirling Act is “homeowners association.” The correct term is “common interest development.” But I’ll keep calling this column “HOA Homefront” anyway!


Kelly G. Richardson Esq., CCAL, is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers and a Partner of Richardson | Ober | DeNichilo LLP, a California law firm known for community association advice. Submit questions to Past columns at All rights reserved®.


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