From Sacramento to San Diego, residents of California have been eager to replace their water-guzzling natural grass with synthetic turf, but one thing has been standing in their way: Home Owner’s Associations. While some HOAs allow fake grass for their residents, like the La Costa Greens HOA, the numbers are fewer than hoped for. With artificial grass having the same look and feel as natural grass all year round; residents are beginning to question their HOAs for their stance on keeping their natural grass.
Many of these residents are caught in a catch-22 when it comes to keeping their natural grass healthy. California has been in a drought the past couple of years that is projected to continue through next year. So with concerns of conserving water, residents are either watering their lawns less and allowing their lawns to become brown, prompting fines from their HOA, or ignoring the concerns of the drought and wasting water to keep their lawns green and paying for an increased water bill. As some California residents become more frustrated with their HOAs, they install artificial grass without their HOAs knowing.
Two bills have been signed to take effect in January of next year. Assembly Bill 2104, by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, will prevent HOAs from penalizing residents that replace their plants with more drought-tolerant options. The other bill, Senate Bill 992, will also prevent HOAs from fining residents who reduce or stop watering their grass after there has been a statewide emergency due to drought.
While these bills do not include artificial grass installations on Californian front lawns, it is not a topic that is going away, and will be the next target of discussion going forward in the New Year. California has around 47,000 HOAs, and with only a fraction of them allowing synthetic grass, residents are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to add artificial grass to their homes.