Xeriscaping and Water Conservation in Common Interest Communities (SB 13-183)

June 1, 2013

Bill Summary.  The bill has two primary applications.  It makes unenforceable any governing document that:

  • prohibits or limits xeriscape or drought-tolerant vegetative landscapes
  • requires cultivated vegetation to consist wholly or partially of turf grass

Effective Date.  May 10, 2013


  • Turf Grass Cannot be Required.  “Turf grass’ can no longer be required by HOAs in any governing documents
  • “Turf grass” means areas that when regularly mowed, form a dense growth of leaf blades and roots, of
  • Non-native grasses or
  • grasses that have not been hybridized for arid conditions
  • Xeriscape is Expressly Allowed.  Xeriscaping or drought-tolerant vegetative landscapes cannot be prohibited or limited by HOAs
  • “Xeriscape” means the combined application of principles of landscape planning and design that include irrigation efficiency and appropriate maintenance
  • Irrigation Restrictions Preclude Landscape Maintenance Enforcement.  Association enforcement actions cannot require a unit owner irrigate in violation of city, county or special district water use restrictions
  • Opportunity to Re-seed and Revive.  Associations must allow owners a reasonable opportunity to reseed or revive dead or dormant turf grass before requiring the owner to replace that area with other live landscaping
  • Local Government Authority Remains.  The bill does not supersede any regulation of a county or municipality

Recommendations to HOAs.  It is recommended that HOAs with governing documents (declarations or covenants, design guidelines or rules) that require any part of landscaping to include ‘turf grass’ be reviewed and appropriate amendments or subordinate guidelines or rules be prepared and adopted.

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