Member Gets Mixed Messages from HOA, Local Government

September 12, 2014
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A homeowner is being fined by her California association for taking out her lawn, despite requests from local water agencies for residents to do so. A severe drought has affected the area and the homeowner felt that planting mint, which requires very little water to survive, where there once was turf would temporarily solve the problem. But the board of directors demanded at least 25 percent grass. The homeowner planted the mint and is now being fined monthly.

Her municipality, however, has commended her efforts at water conservation. In a public letter, it commented that it was amazed that in one of the worst droughts in the state’s history HOA rules still prohibited removing a lawn and installing drought-friendly plants. State law supports the homeowner’s landscaping change, it noted.