In response to a large number of requests to replace turf with water-wise landscapes, the Design Review Committee led by Robert Krull proposed Interim Landscaping Guidelines for Xeriscape. Those interim guidelines were adopted by the Board at their August 5, 2022 meeting and can be found here.
In 2013, Colorado passed a law (SB 13-183: AN ACT CONCERNING WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES IN COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES) that made unenforceable any HOA covenant requiring turf grass. The text of that law is attached below.
Important things to know:
- YOU NEED TO WATER THE TURF YOU HAVE. SB 13-183 expressly states that an HOA Board can enforce covenants (which could mean issuing fines) where owner who allows his or her existing landscaping to die or go dormant unless there are watering restrictions. SB 13-183 also includes a provision that empowers the HOA Board to require, as part of an enforcement action, reseeding of the area or placement of new sod.
- THE HOA BOARD CAN DEVELOP GUIDELINES THAT REQUIRE DROUGHT-TOLERANT PLANTS AND REGULATE THE TYPE, NUMBER, AND PLACEMENT OF PLANTS AND HARDSCAPES. In other words, SB 13-183 does not give the homeowner carte blanche to define xeriscaping as they please. It empowers the HOA Board to establish and enforce guidelines.
- THESE INTERIM GUIDELINES WILL BE EXPANDED. Once the vote on the Proposed Consolidated Covenants has taken place, the HOA Board will form a committee to work on expanding the initial outline into more detailed guidelines.
Congratulations to the Design Review Committee for this important first step!