Homeowners in Planned Unit Developments have right to remove turf.

by Marsha Willingham on 10/06/2015

in Latest News, Local News, San Luis Country Club Estates

Associations in common interest developments are barred from fining residents who stop watering their lawns during drought emergencies.

Civil Code section 4735, part of the Assembly bill, states that any provision of the governing documents, architectural, landscaping guidelines or policies shall be void and unenforceable if it essentially prohibits the use of low-water-using plants as a group or as a replacement of existing turf or if it prohibits the use of artificial turf or any other synthetic surface that resembles grass.

The Legislature has recognized the right of an association to regulate aesthetics. But the conservation of water, especially during a severe drought, takes precedence over that right.

A homeowners association shall not impose a fine or assessment against an owner for reducing or eliminating vegetation or lawns during any period for which either the governor or local government has declared a local or state emergency because of drought.

The California Water Service maintains a database of helpful information and handouts. There is a call center to get clarification on regulations and report water wasters: (844) 726-8579.


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