Correspondence to CDPH Attorney on Pool Opening

Mark T. Guithues, Esq.
Laurie F. Masotto, Esq.
Michael J. Alti, Esq.
Mark Allen Wilson, Esq.
Jeffrey W. Speights, Esq.
Tracy Linkowski, Esq.

         Please Respond To: Oceanside Office


June 1, 2020

Mr. Peter Sapunor, Deputy General Counsel            Via E:Mail
California Department of Public Health – OLS
1415 L Street, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re:     Opening Homeowner Association Pools in California

Dear Mr. Sapunor:

As previously discussed, our firm represents hundreds of homeowner associations throughout Southern California.  Chandra, a Supervisor at the CDPH COVID-19 Information Line, informed us on Thursday that homeowner association pools are now permitted to open and operate in California in accordance with applicable local regulations.

Background.  Discussions were held with Chandra on May 27 and May 28, 2020, wherein we carefully explained a conflict caused by the CDPH website (, which currently states, “The following sectors, businesses, establishments, or activities are not permitted to operate in the State of California at this time: … Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas.”  Section 65503 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations includes homeowner association pools and condominium pools within the definition of “public pools.” However, numerous counties including Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are allowing homeowner association pools to open.  Chandra researched this issue over a 24-hour period and responded that we could rely on her word and her position. Accordingly, we distributed a newsletter to all clients which has garnered quite a response.

We understand that telephone calls to the CDPH COVID-19 Information Line are all recorded, and we request, at a minimum, that you retrieve the record of our discussion with Chandra on May 28, at approximately 4:32 PM, and that you also review Chandra’s notes.

Your quick e-mail reply to our comprehensive and confirming letter about the information Chandra provided was as follows:

“My understanding is that public pools, including HOA pools, are in fact not permitted to operate yet, per the existing State order. My further understanding is that variances for public pools may be granted to counties attesting to having met set metrics in the future, but such variances haven’t been granted yet. So, the statements referenced in your letter and attributed to a Chandra appear to be incorrect.”

Before we send out a second newsletter reversing the previously stated position, could you please confirm in some manner that your “understanding” has some foundational basis? We don’t mean to be rude, and are willing to accept such a proposition – it is just that such a perfunctory response from the same office as took 24 hours to conclude the exact opposite at least deserves confirmation.

Thanking you in advance.


Michael J. Alti, Esq.