Gov. Brown signs law protecting artificial turf installation by homeowners

Governor Gery Brown has made another progressive piece of legislation that should help protect consumers and the environment in the midst of one of the worst droughts in CA history.  A San Diego assemblywoman’s drought-driven bill to prevent homeowners’ associations in California from banning the installation of artificial turf was signed into law this month by Gov. Jerry Brown.

AB 349, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, in response to the four-year-old drought, nullifies any HOA prohibition on artificial turf or any other synthetic surface that resembles grass.  For years many up tight HOA’s used their influence to control homeowner behavior.  Some HOA’s feel that artificial grass reduces curb appeal, looks poor and have even raised concerns over health and safety issues.  Many of the HOA reasons for banning synthetic grass are simply cosmetic reason.  They are outdated philosophies and did little to help the current water use restrictions.

Once the drought is declared to be over, the new law will prevent HOAs from requiring homeowners to remove or reverse water-efficient landscaping measures taken in response to an emergency conservation declaration such as the governor’s order for the state to reduce consumption by 25 percent.

“Across the state, Californians are making great strides to reduce their water use and hit aggressive benchmarks for conservation, and this new common sense law will give homeowners one more way to save as this drought continues,” Gonzalez said. “The grass may be fake, but the amount of water a homeowner can save by installing it is very real.”

As an urgency measure, the statute will take effect immediately.

Last year, the the same assemblywoman authored a similar law that bars HOAs from preventing homeowners from tearing out their lawns and replacing them with drought-tolerant landscapes.  Again another piece of progressive legislation that helped to reduce water use for outdoor watering.