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(11,733 posts)
Fri Jan 24, 2014, 07:51 PM Jan 2014

Despite drought, Calif. HOA fines homeowners up to $1,000 for brown lawns

Source: KTVU

Despite the state being a drought-zone, some San Lorenzo residents are receiving citations for having a dead lawn.

John Glisar, 55, watered his brown-hued lawn Thursday; he said it’s a move he didn’t necessarily want to make but said he has little choice in the matter.

"The San Lorenzo Village Homes Association wants to fine me from $100 to $1000," said Glisar.

Glisar has lived in his home since 1985 and two months ago he received his first violation – asking him to maintain his yard or face a fine. This month he received another violation from the association titled “YARD MAINTENCE: lawn dry and dying.” Glisar said he took it to the Village Association to talk about the problem and was handed back the violation – with a written note in red ink that read, “30 days to get green from 1/21/14.”

Read more: http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/fines-brown-yards-even-amidst-drought/nczhL/

17 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Despite drought, Calif. HOA fines homeowners up to $1,000 for brown lawns (Original Post) Newsjock Jan 2014 OP
I would never ever PasadenaTrudy Jan 2014 #1
I'll second that. enlightenment Jan 2014 #3
I plan to tear out my grass PasadenaTrudy Jan 2014 #8
Southern Nevada water authority offers enlightenment Jan 2014 #9
My city does PasadenaTrudy Jan 2014 #10
That's good, then! enlightenment Jan 2014 #15
I'd be laying down some green paint... (oh, and those people are fucking morons) groundloop Jan 2014 #2
My landscape architect husband used to paint our lawn vanlassie Jan 2014 #13
If the city had passeswater saving ordnances, by law HOA's cannot supercede them Drahthaardogs Jan 2014 #4
Oh, yes they can HollyHOA Feb 2014 #16
Legally, no they cannot. Drahthaardogs Feb 2014 #17
California should follow Texas on this: jsr Jan 2014 #5
I have a Zoyza lawn that was started in the 1950's... Walk away Jan 2014 #6
This is insane. nt narnian60 Jan 2014 #7
moral of story. never, ever live in a 'home owners association' spanone Jan 2014 #11
Or near one... Sen. Walter Sobchak Jan 2014 #12
i hate the hoa concept. entirely. spanone Jan 2014 #14


(8,830 posts)
3. I'll second that.
Fri Jan 24, 2014, 07:57 PM
Jan 2014

The states need to buckle down on these associations. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

Of course, Jerry Brown should have made the watering restrictions mandatory, not voluntary. They do it in Colorado. They do it in Nevada. Since when is California such a hotbed of "don't tread on me" libertarianism that they can't mandate watering restrictions?


(8,830 posts)
9. Southern Nevada water authority offers
Sat Jan 25, 2014, 12:26 AM
Jan 2014

a rebate - I think it's up to $2 sq/f - for xeriscaping. I don't know if your water district has anything like that, but you might check. One thing to keep in mind is that they insist (here, anyway) that you have to have a percentage of living vegetation (grass/shrubs/etc) in the yard when you start the process. I assume that is to make this sure that the homeowner is actually replacing an existing lawn as opposed to just getting a subsidy for cleaning up a trashed yard.


(3,998 posts)
10. My city does
Sat Jan 25, 2014, 11:29 AM
Jan 2014

$2.50 sq ft. with a min. of 250 sq ft. Mine is really just a parkway, and may not meet the min. footage. It's my only grass, and it is next to my commercial/residential bldg. that I also live in I don't think it is much of a water-suck, but I still think it's the right thing to do. We have low flow toilets in apts, we only have 5 luckily, and the businesses pay extra in rent for water. We only have one water line into our 99 yr. old bldg.


(8,830 posts)
15. That's good, then!
Sat Jan 25, 2014, 01:25 PM
Jan 2014

It sounds like a nice xeriscaped area would be great - and your city offers a fantastic rebate. Good luck!


(11,552 posts)
2. I'd be laying down some green paint... (oh, and those people are fucking morons)
Fri Jan 24, 2014, 07:56 PM
Jan 2014

What a bunch of self serving lunatics. During a drought (and I assume a water emergency) those idiots are worried about keeping up nice appearances (I'm guessing here - property values). Shit people, it's time to conserve, not be dumping water on the ground. Selfish bastards.


(5,706 posts)
13. My landscape architect husband used to paint our lawn
Sat Jan 25, 2014, 12:13 PM
Jan 2014

green in the winter. There's a product for that. I really never noticed... Looked fine to me.


(6,843 posts)
4. If the city had passeswater saving ordnances, by law HOA's cannot supercede them
Fri Jan 24, 2014, 07:59 PM
Jan 2014

e.g., they cannot MAKE you break a law. They should petition the city to impose restrictions. It is quite silly that they have not already.


(1 post)
16. Oh, yes they can
Wed Feb 19, 2014, 11:21 AM
Feb 2014

make you break laws. At least they can keep fining you and the problem is that if you live in an HOA, you have very little recourse. You either do what they say or they make life miserable for you. Florida passed a very comprehensive bill preventing HOA’s from prohibiting Florida-friendly landscaping in 2009. The basic premise was water conservation. However, we all know that HOA’s don’t always play by the rules, even State laws, and board members are quick to fine, take to mediation, and even sue homeowners for doing anything different than what the board members want. There have been many Florida lawsuits against homeowners on this issue, and some are still ongoing. Some homeowners have “won”, but the HOA’s are appealing the decisions. One homeowner has submitted at least 5 architectural approval requests using Florida-friendly plants and has been denied each time. The HOA's know they have the money to outlast the individual homeowner in lawsuits.


(6,843 posts)
17. Legally, no they cannot.
Wed Feb 19, 2014, 08:09 PM
Feb 2014

They cannot pass HOA's that are in direct violation of city, county, and state laws.


(7,712 posts)
5. California should follow Texas on this:
Fri Jan 24, 2014, 08:02 PM
Jan 2014

New Texas law forbids HOAs to ban some water conservation methods

A new state law prohibits homeowner associations from outlawing drought-tolerant landscaping, rain collection and composting.

Walk away

(9,494 posts)
6. I have a Zoyza lawn that was started in the 1950's...
Fri Jan 24, 2014, 08:03 PM
Jan 2014

No need to fertilize, water or weed kill. It looks like a putting green from April to November. Keep it mowed to about 2 1/2 inches and it feels like a spongy carpet. Even the dogs love it. But for four months in the winter it goes dormant and turns almost white.

I highly recommend it. It's almost miraculous during droughts and heat waves.


Sen. Walter Sobchak

(8,692 posts)
12. Or near one...
Sat Jan 25, 2014, 11:56 AM
Jan 2014

My girlfriends parents have had multiple nuisance lawsuits filed against them by a neighboring HOA even though they have been out there for thirty years and the HOA community that surrounds them on three sides less than ten.

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