Although California’s historic drought rages on, a bit of good news for water-conserving residents who want to practice restraint in the lawn irrigation department but fear punishment from overzealous homeowners associations hellbent on keeping up immaculately lush appearances:
Just one part of a third executive order issued late last week by Gov. Jerry Brown to “redouble drought actions” across the state, HOAs are now forbidden from fining homeowners who have let their lawns go brown in an effort to help conserve water. California has been in an official state of drought emergency since January.
Reads the fourth tenant of Brown’s executive order:
Homeowners Associations (commonly known as HOAs) have reportedly fined or threatened to fine homeowners who comply with water conservation measures adopted by a public agency or private water company. To prevent this practice, pursuant to Government Code section 8567, I order that any provision of the governing document, architectural or landscaping guidelines, or policies of a common interest development will be void and unenforceable to the extent it has the effect of prohibiting compliance with the water-saving measures contained in this directive, or any conservation measure adopted by a public agency or private water company, any provision of Division 4, Part 5 (commencing with section 4000) of the Civil Code notwithstanding.
Aside from instructing HOAs to kindly knock it off, Brown’s sweeping order also asks residents to conserve by refraining from washing off sidewalks and private driveways with water; turning off decorative water features such as fountains (unless said features use recycled water or greywater); and washing cars not at home but at commercial car wash establishments that recycle waste water. Furthermore, he requests that residents not water their lawns more than twice a week, if that.
Outside of requesting that homeowners chip in and do their part, Brown asks that parks, business complexes, college campuses, golf courses, and other recreational and institutional facilities to “immediately implement water reduction plans to reduce the use of potable water for outdoor irrigation.”
Restaurants are also asked to serve patrons water not by default, but by request.
Via [Los Angeles Times]
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