Odds and Ends From Last Week’s Board Meeting


There were some issues that were brought up at last week’s RSF Association Board meeting that I’d like to provide hopefully helpful additional information about.

Member Input

The Association will need to clarify and lay out precise rules for Association members to provide input during Board meetings. While 7 members provided input during the member input session of the meeting (taking 24 minutes in total), one of those members decided to also interrupt the Board during deliberation of a lighting regulation. Not only is this not allowed under Davis Stirling, it also had the unfortunate side effect of having a disjointed Board discussion such that important points weren’t raised and discussed.

Regulation Authority

As near as I can tell, that member was trying to make the case that the Art Jury has the authority to write Regulatory Code regulations (rules that all us members must adhere to) based on the member’s reading of Paragraph 58 of the Protective Covenant which states:

Par. 58. (d) (As amended 1973) The members of the Art Jury shall elect from its own number a President and a Vice-President and shall adopt Rules of Procedure and prescribe regulations for submission of all matters within its jurisdiction. Three members shall constitute a quorum and shall have full power to act as the Art Jury during a period of any vacancy in the membership thereof. The members of the Art Jury shall also appoint a Secretary and such other officers as it may find necessary.

This is a misread of the above paragraph. When it says it “prescribe regulations for submission of all matters within its jurisdiction” it means the Art Jury can specify procedures for how member applicants submit building plans for review to the Art Jury. Ie. It is specifying regulations for submissions to the Art Jury. For example, a while back, the Building Department/Art Jury changed requirements such that all submissions must be provided electronically as well as in paper form. This was a new requirement in keeping with the times.

If you still aren’t convinced, then go read the relevant sections of the Davis Stirling act that governs HOAs, and supersedes our Protective Covenant. Davis Stirling makes it very clear that only the elected Board can adopt new regulations.

Anyways, from a governance perspective this makes a lot more sense than the alternative that the Art Jury, an unelected appointed committee, has the authority to create regulations that it then itself enforces. Instead, the way the Association operates is that new and modified regulations are adopted by the elected Board. And the Art Jury then follows the Protective Covenant and Board adopted Regulatory Code when making its determinations.

Now, there has been some angst among Art Jurors (past and present) about being excluded from the process to draft new regulations. This is a real issue to be addressed since Art Jurors are the community experts regarding regulations since they apply them all the time and can spot when problems in the regulations occur. But there is a difference between being part of the revision process versus being the final decision body for making policy decisions on regulations. Like all committees, the Art Jury advises, but the elected Board is the final decision making body.

At any rate, some Art Jurors are concerned that they haven’t been able to even advise and the Board is looking to address this issue in concert with the Art Jury to hammer out some revised guidelines on the regulation making process.

Lighting Regulation: 11pm Landscape Curfew

The Board adopted a new exterior lighting regulation such that all landscape lighting (which does not include house attached lighting or motion detection security lighting), must be turned off by 11pm. Some members have objected that this is too early and some that this is too late.

Our lighting regulations never used to have any time restrictions, so this is a new restriction. However, the County of San Diego, where we live, has had a longstanding regulation of their own which states that all landscape lighting must be off by 11pm. So we are mirroring their regulation to allow our own code enforcement to ask members to comply with our own regulation should we receive complaints. Absent our own regulation, we couldn’t enforce an 11pm curfew (even though it was in violation of a County regulation). As such, this regulation doesn’t actually change the regulatory environment that we have all been living under, it just allows us to enforce something that was already existing.

Some people have complained that an 11pm curfew is too late and wanted a much earlier time, like zero to 2 hours after sunset. I don’t believe there are votes for such a restriction on this Board.

Lighting Regulation: Color Temperature

With the advent of LED lighting, we now have to know about color temperature. The older incandescent lightbulbs have a color temperature of 2700K, while halogen bulbs (which were often used for landscape lighting as well as higher end indoor spot lighting) have a 3000K color temperature. LEDs can come in all color temperatures, with the cheaper and higher power LEDs tending to come in 4000K or 5000K temperatures which is very white and/or blueish.

See the chart below.

Most people prefer the “warmer” light of a 2700K bulb, partly because that’s what they’ve been used to, and partly because the light appears less harsh. For outdoor lighting, there is also an environmental reason for warmer lights in that bluer light (higher color temps) negatively affect wildlife.

So, for aesthetic and environmental reasons, the Board decided to limit outdoors lighting to 3000K in a proposed Exterior Lighting regulation which has been posted for member comment (it isn’t in effect yet, please comment on it). Now, this regulation would affect all exterior lighting: landscape, house attached, security lighting, etc.

3000K was chosen for several reasons. First, it mimics the temperature of the kind of landscape lighting that we’ve all been using before the advent of LEDs (halogen with their 3000K color temperature). Second, it is extremely hard to find motion activated security lighting with a color temperature less than 3000K since they tend to be high power (and cheap), so limiting color temperature to something lower like 2700K would effectively ban LED security lighting.

Now, I would certainly recommend that you buy landscape and house attached LED lights that have 2700K color temperatures (instead of 3000k) since they look nicer. Do let me know if you can find a motion activated security light with a 2700K color temperature because I haven’t been able to find one.

LED Lights: Color Rendition Index (CRI)

This section gets into the weeds of LED technology and has little to do with regulations, I am just throwing it in here.

There’s one other wrinkle LED lights have. You may have noticed that an incandescent bulb produces a “better” light than even a 2700K LED bulb even though they are the same color temperature. Indeed the early LED bulbs when used indoors made everyone look gray and pale (they’ve gotten better since then). The reason is that LED bulbs have a defect/limitation in that they don’t emit all light wavelengths evenly. In particular, they have a hard time emitting the wavelengths that make red things look red. For example, here’s an image showing 2700K LED lights with different Color Rendering Indexes (CRI) and how an apple would look under each:

The point being that you want to buy LED lights that have the highest CRI possible. For example, when buying a normal LED light bulb, check the specs at the back for a CRI of 90+ or higher (incandescent and halogen bulbs have a CRI of 100). Many manufacturers now brand their high CRI bulbs with some sort of “vivid lighting” patch like this one:


Here’s a more detailed article about high CRI lighting.