2015 Legislation - AB 349 - Restricting Low Water-Using Landscapes and Turf

Bill Author: 
Gonzalez
Subject: 
Turf and Low Water-Using Landscapes
Status: 
Signed by Governor
Sponsor: 
Gonzalez

Updated on 7/6/15

What AB 349 Says

AB 349 further narrows the ability of an HOA to restrict “low water-using plants,” an area where associations are already very limited. It would void any provision of the governing documents or HOA guidelines that prohibit the use of “artificial turf or any other synthetic surface that resembles grass.” A recent amendment also prohibits HOAs from requiring an owner to “remove or reverse water-efficient landscaping measures” when California’s state of emergency ends. ECHO supports California’s efforts to reduce water consumption in HOAs, but believes that each HOA should be able to establish its own low water-using landscaping standards.

Full Summary of AB 349

From the Legislative Councel's Digest:

The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act governs the management and operation of common interest developments. Existing law provides that, unless otherwise provided in the common interest development declaration, the association is responsible for repairing, replacing, or maintaining the common area, other than exclusive use common area, and the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining that separate interest and any exclusive use common area appurtenant to that interest. Existing law makes void and unenforceable any provision of the governing documents or architectural or landscaping guidelines or policies that prohibits use of low water-using plants, or prohibits or restricts compliance with water-efficient landscape ordinances or regulations on the use of water, as specified.
 
Existing law also prohibits an association, except an association that uses recycled water for landscape irrigation, from imposing a fine or assessment on separate interest owners for reducing or eliminating watering of vegetation or lawns during any period for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency or the local government has declared a local emergency due to drought.
 
This bill would also make void and unenforceable any provision of the governing documents or architectural or landscaping guidelines or policies that prohibits use of low water-using landscapes that require not more than a specified amount of water.

This bill would also prohibit a requirement that an owner of a separate interest remove or reverse water-efficient landscaping measures, installed in response to a declaration of a state of emergency, upon the conclusion of the state of emergency.
 
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
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