HOA Landscape Laws

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Help for customers living within 2015 Landscape contest winner
Homeowners Associations (HOAs)

For customers who are concerned that their HOA may fine them for not watering their yard during the recent drought or installing a water-wise landscape, here's some information that may help: 

  • California Water Board (Fact Sheet updated May 8, 2017) 
    The Governor’s declaration of a drought state of emergency was lifted on April 7, 2017.  On April 26, 2017, the Board partially rescinded its Drought Emergency Water Conservation regulation, but left in place penalties for HOAs that try to fine or require a homeowner to reverse or remove water-efficient landscapes upon the conclusion of the drought state of emergency. The Water Board’s provisions will remain in effect until November 25, 2017. Read more...
  • Assembly Bill 349 (Gonzalez D) went into effect on September 4, 2015. This bill prohibits common interest developments (typically governed by homeowners associations, or HOAs) from banning artificial turf. Assembly Bill 349, carried by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, takes effect immediately and will enhance outdoor water conservation opportunities statewide so that homeowners living in these developments can replace their lawns with artificial turf, without fear of fines.

    The law is important because irrigation accounts for more than half of a typical home’s water use in California, and more than a quarter of the state’s housing stock is in common interest developments.  Read more...

  • Assembly Bill 2100 (Campos D) went into effect on 7/21/14. This bill prohibits an association of a common interest development (i.e. HOA) from imposing a fine or assessment against a member of a separate interest (i.e. homeowner/resident) for reducing or eliminating watering of vegetation or lawns during any period for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency, or a local government has declared a local emergency, due to drought. Read more...

  • Assembly Bill 2104 (Gonzalez D) went into effect on 9/18/2014. This bill states that any existing rules in the common interest development governing documents (i.e. HOA rules/regulations) that prohibit the use of low-water plants, compliance with a local water-efficient landscape ordinance or water conservation measure (i.e. Vallecitos' drought ordinance) or replacement of existing turf, would be void and unenforceable.  Read more...