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HOAs can and are getting on board with drought restrictions

Posted: August 3, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 3, 2014 2:00 a.m.

“Following the water rules” (Thursday’s Signal) expresses a legitimate concern of SCV HOA residents — they are concerned about penalties for letting their lawns go brown as they cut back water use — landscaping accounts for some 60 percent of residential water use — because associations have rules about care and upkeep of homes, landscape and lawns.

Such concerns, however, fly in the face of the announcement from Sacramento last week. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law making it illegal for HOAs to fine members who stop watering their landscaping during a drought.

HOAs don’t have a legal leg to stand on if they continue to harass and fine residents cutting landscaping water use.
Concerned residents came to our HOA board meetings recently and asked us about various drought related issues:

1. Redoing their yards with decorative rock, mulch, and drought-tolerant landscaping; 2. Violation letters and fines in connection with brown spots and browning of yards as residents cut water use.

Our board expressed absolute support for our residents and instructed our management company to “lay off” on brown-grass violation letters, and that was before Brown’s announcement.

We enjoined residents to make drought-conscious changes to their landscaping and reminded them that they still just can’t “let yards go” and need to keep yards clean, trimmed and kept up.

Here in Southern California, we created a lot of lush English garden-style landscaping sometimes have a tendency to over-water.

Grass, flowers, and trees are beautiful! However, desert-appropriate landscaping can be very attractive, and there is generally less maintenance and cost involved.

Cut over-watering and implement state/local watering guidelines. Redo landscape with drought-tolerant hedges and native plants. (Drip irrigation is very efficient.) Today’s artificial turf looks great.

Lastly, tell your HOA board and management company to get on board.



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