Distinct from Board Meetings
HOA board meetings are subject to the requirements contained within the Open Meeting Act. Some of the more significant requirements are those which require the board to take action only at a properly noticed board meeting, and to allow the association’s members to attend open board meetings. However, those requirements do not apply to meetings of HOA committees; there are no provisions of California law which require notice of committee meetings or which allow for members to attend committee meetings.
Directors Serving on Committees
As referenced above, HOA board meetings are subject to the requirements contained in the Open Meeting Act. A “board meeting” is defined as:
“…A congregation, at the same time and place, of a sufficient number of directors to establish a quorum of the board, to hear, discuss, or deliberate upon any item of business that is within the authority of the board.” (Civ. Code § 4090(a) (Emphasis added).)
Thus, if there are enough directors serving on a committee so as to establish a quorum of the board, and the committee heard, discussed or deliberated upon any item of business that is within the authority of the board, the committee meeting would constitute a board meeting subject to the Open Meeting Act’s requirements (i.e., requiring notice of the meeting and the posting of an agenda). (See “Directors Serving on Committees.”)
Committee Findings, Recommendations & Reports
Most committees are purely advisory in nature; they provide findings, reports and recommendations to the board for the board to take action on a particular item of business. In general, such findings, reports and recommendations are heard and acted upon by the board in an open board meeting unless they pertain to one of the specified matters that the board may address in executive session.
Committee Meeting Minutes
With the exception of executive committees and committees that have “decisionmaking authority,” there is no explicit legal requirement for a committee to keep and maintain minutes of its meetings. (Civ. Code § 5210.) Committees with “decisionmaking authority” would include architectural committees that have the power to approve or deny a member’s architectural application. (See also “Committee Meeting Minutes.”)