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Bill Aims To Block HOAs' Limits on Drought-Resistant Lawns
The drought has some homeowners wanting to conserve water by installing drought-resistant lawns. But some homeowners associations say not so fast.
Lisa LaPaso bought her Avery Ranch home in a Homeowners Association guided neighborhood. She said after she jumped through hoops, HOA gave her the okay to turn her lawn into 100 percent Xeriscape.
"It's needed because we are running out of water," LaPaso said. "Not everyone is interested in having lawns."
Austin's extreme drought and growing population has some communities easing requirements on people who want to use a drought-resistant landscape. Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Dawnna Dukes are proposing a bill to prevent HOAs from restricting xeriscaping.
The bill would affect LaPaso as a homeowner and her landscaping business. She said her clients who want to install water-conserving landscape are denied from doing so by the HOA.
"The customers that I have worked with are so frustrated and so discouraged because they can't justify the water that they are using on these huge lots," LaPaso said. "It would be very negligent at this point not to embrace these changes."
LaPaso said her water bill decreased by more than 30 percent instantly after transforming her lawn.
Randy Allen is a property manager for Goodwin Management. He works under HOA and said he is onboard with water-conserving yards, but said guidelines still need to be in place.
"The primary goal for most homeowners associations is to preserve property values," Allen said. "It's important for homeowners to have some options to better conserve water other than just restrictions on water use."
By Cassie Gallo