California is still suffering from a major drought and people are really starting to take it seriously. Last summer I saw a few brown lawns, but most people weren’t quite ready to let theirs die. Now it seems like there are more brown lawns than green ones! Last year my advice to homeowners putting their homes on the market was to go ahead and keep their lawns green because it would help their home sell. I said I’d change my advice as soon as the majority of lawns in their neighborhood were brown, and I think we’ve reached that point!
The problem is that some homeowner’s associations and cities have rules that require residents to keep their lawns up. So homeowners were stuck between complying with water-reduction mandates from city and county governments versus complying with rules about upkeep on their property. Some homeowners were even getting fined by their homeowner’s association or getting abatement notices from other government entities about their brown lawn.
Thankfully a new law was just signed by the Governor to settle this issue. AB1 says that local governments cannot fine a homeowner for a brown lawn during a statewide water emergency like we are under now. Last year a law went into effect prohibiting HOAs from fining homeowners, so this new law covers the rest of the bases regarding other government agencies.
Let’s all pray for rain next year! They say a big El Nino season is possible. Let’s hope they are right!