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Lessons from HOA lawsuit over Florida-friendly grass

The long-fought lawsuit between a homeowner near Windermere and her HOA makes me realize three fundamental truths at the exact same time, to borrow a phrase from the Hamilton soundtrack.    No. 1: This state’s Florida-friendly law is neither very

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Settled lawsuit over grass leaves few answers (FL)

A legal battle between an Orange County homeowner wanting to eliminate irrigation and fertilizing in her yard and a neighborhood association favoring lush lawns has ended in a secret settlement, disappointing those hoping for an environmentally favorable precedent.  Read the

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Sewer line raises concern (CT)

The massive project for Woodridge Lake seeks to put an end to a decades-long battle between the Woodridge Lake homeowners association and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. In 1989, the agency issued a consent order over concerns

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What’s easier: Turning off water indoors or outside? (FL)

To put this data into context, about 50 percent of Floridians’ daily water use is for outdoor purposes, such as landscape irrigation, according to the South Florida Water Management District. The 50 percent figure is 20 percent more than the

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23ABC Investigates: HOA warns residents of potential fines for dead lawns, CA water board disagrees

Several residents in the Rio Vista Community Association received notices that they were going to be fined for having brown spots in their lawns.  Many of those residents said they were watering the maximum three days per week and felt

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City of Chicago Passes Ordinance Requiring Associations to Implement Source-Separated Recycling Programs

Recently, the Chicago City Council passed the Chicago Recycling Ordinance. Effective January 1, 2017, the ordinance requires commercial and multi-unit residential buildings – including apartment buildings, condominium associations, and cooperatives – to provide a system for source-separated, single stream recycling

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Rain barrels in Colorado – what you need to know

Are you ready for rain barrels?  Next Wednesday, August 10 is the first day that most Colorado residents can legally collect rainwater off their roofs into rain barrels. Mother Nature doesn’t seem to have taken much note of it – the

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Rainwater Collection Systems Policies in Your Homeowners Association

Some states like Texas prohibit HOA communities from banning rainwater collection systems, as the benefits of these systems are tremendous. However, if you are considering when outlining your HOA rainwater collection policy.   Read the article………….

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Looking to Go Green? You May First Need to Check with Your Homeowner’s Association

If you live in a subdivision, your property is likely governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA) and a written declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions regarding the use, condition, and overall appearance and aesthetic of your home (“Declaration”). As the

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Dry your tee? Senate brings back the old way (MA)

To promote energy conservation, the State Senate has taken the surprising step of legally reaffirming residents’ rights to a traditional but increasingly threatened practice — the option of hanging laundry out to dry on a clothesline.     Read the article………….

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Village resident embroiled in battle with neighborhood HOA (CA)

A Vandenberg Village resident is embroiled in a years-long battle with his neighborhood’s homeowners association, an organization the resident said has overstepped its bounds.  Aaron Dixon, who lives in the Providence Landing subdivision, said he thought he was being a

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Strata owners look to green ideas

Strata owners — who make up nearly a quarter of Vancouver Island property owners — are going green, says the non-profit Vancouver Island Strata Owners Association.  Owners in many condo or townhouse complexes around Oak Bay have been suggesting “green”

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Turf War: Resident/HOA battle sprouts over use of synthetic grass (AZ)

Byrne has been accused of violating the community’s covenants, conditions and restrictions, commonly referred to in homeowner association parlance as “CC&Rs.”  That’s because Byrne’s lawn is actually synthetic grass. Not that, it should be noted, the same tacky stuff that

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HOA & Xeriscaping

When you hear the word “xeriscaping,” does it evoke images in your mind of endless gravel, rocks, and cacti? Well, if you’re like most people, this is probably how you tend to view xeriscaping and it may seem less-than-appealing to

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Major increase in water rates stirs debate (CA)

The rate hikes will vary widely, though, depending on the customer. Some homeowner associations, for instance, would see rates jump by more than 50 percent if they continue using the same amount of water – a change that for some

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Longmont (CO) HOAs watch rising water rates closely

Some Longmont Homeowners Associations are watching a possible dramatic water rate increase closely as it will increase landscape watering costs and might cause them to raise dues.     Read the article………..

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Valencia Lakes residents picket FPL, asking for LED street lights (FL)

A debate is brewing over street lights in one western Boynton Beach community.  Residents at Valencia Lakes want to put LED fixtures in the lamps. Florida Power and Light (FPL) said it’s not that easy.  Read the article………….

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Is It Worth It for Your HOA to Go Green?

There’s no question that going green has a positive impact on the environment as a whole. But, as those who prefer organic food over regular know well, it doesn’t come cheap. Making changes that benefit the earth might not be

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Resident fighting to install solar panels on her house (SC)

A Summerville resident has been denied permission from her homeowners association to erect solar panels on her house, but she plans to put them up anyway.  Read the article…………..

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Court says solar panels must go (MO)

A Missouri appellate court rejected a homeowner’s appeal of an order to remove solar panels from property in the Lake of 12 Oaks subdivision.  The Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals issued an 18-page judgement Tuesday denying all

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California HOA demands residents return to ‘beautiful landscaping’

One homeowners association in California has had it with the “brown is the new green” campaign and is expecting “beautiful landscaping” from its residents once more.  Blackhawk Homeowners Association in Danville issued a letter telling residents that as of June

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Blackhawk’s brown-lawn crackdown may flout California drought law

There are patches of brown scattered between the manicured lawns, fountains and lion statues behind the gates at Blackhawk, the exclusive vicinage of 2,400 homes outside Danville where curb appeal is both a right and an obligation.   Read the article………..

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Impact of Homeowner Association (HOA) landscaping guidelines on residential water use (AZ)

The association between increasing water intensive land-cover, such as the use of turf grass and trees, and increasing water use is a growing concern for water-stressed arid cities. Appropriate regulatory measures addressing residential landscaping, such as those applied by Homeowner

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Rancho Santa Fe (CA) residents say solar panels created ‘blight’ in neighborhood

Rancho Santa Fe homeowners are complaining that a recently installed “power plant” of solar panels on a residential property in the Rancho Del Sol community on El Camino Del Norte is negatively impacting the surrounding neighborhood.    Read the article………..

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County won’t shut off reclaimed water to Timber Pines (FL)

The retirement community on U.S. 19 has long used reclaimed wastewater to irrigate its common areas and golf courses. Its representatives told commissioners that in a recent meeting with county environmental services director Susan Goebel-Canning, they got the definite impression

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Haile HOA Says Yes To Florida-Friendly Lawns

Since 2009 Haile Plantation, a 1,700-acre development with about 100 individual neighborhoods west of Interstate 75 in Gainesville, has been using reclaimed water, or highly treated wastewater, to irrigate common areas such as parks and playgrounds.   Read the article…………

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Solar panels have another day in court (MO)

Matthew “Scott” Hausman had another day in court Monday as he continues to appeal a decision ordering removal of some of his solar panels by the home owners association at the Lake of 12 Oaks. Hausman has been in court

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Community tries to go green with LED streetlamps, but FPL makes it tough (FL)

It seems like a no-brainer: Save money, use less energy, get brighter lights to improve safety and help the environment all at the same time. That’s what a homeowners association near Boynton Beach wants to do by switching its inefficient old

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Summerville (SC) homeowner says efforts blocked to add solar panels

Solar panels can help a household save on energy costs and cut down on their carbon footprint. But they’ve started a controversy in one Summerville neighborhood.  Stephanie Bernard said her family spent a lot of time outside; it was part

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Ontario looks to close loophole on energy standards for buildings

They’ve become impossible to miss in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver: giant condo towers that soar higher than even Bay Street’s bank towers. But the building industry’s fixation with glass-walled apartments is a looming energy efficiency nightmare, says one

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Scarborough condo leading way toward ‘zero waste’

The 1,000 or so residents of Mayfair on the Green responded to skyrocketing waste fees with a multi-pronged diversion campaign. They turned the garbage chute into an organics collector, tapped city educational tools including multilingual signs and cut trash output

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How much lead is in your water?

With the recent exposure of elevated lead levels in the Flint, Michigan public water systems, many are wondering how much lead is in their water.    Read the article………..

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Phoenix (AZ) Looks To Help HOA’s Save Water

Phoenix recently rolled out a new program aimed at helping homeowners’ associations get a handle on how much water they’re using in common areas and to help them use less.   Listen to the audio……….

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Amended Rain Barrel Bill Clears the House (CO)

House Bill 16-1005 (“HB 1005”) has just cleared the Colorado House of Representatives in an amended version on a vote of 61 to 3 and is heading to the Senate for consideration.  As originally introduced, HB 1005 permits rain water

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HOA trying to be proactive in drought

Recycled water is a long-running point of emphasis for the city.  And at least one local homeowner’s association is attempting to join those efforts. However, the group at Poinsettia Cove has struggled for nearly one year to even get an

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One solution to high water bills (TX)

It’s been a frustrating past several months. Crosby is the HOA president for the River Place community, an area where dozens of residents have complained of their bills suddenly skyrocketing.   Read the article………..

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Hung Out to Dry (CA)

Section 4750.10 has been added to the Civil Code in order to allow residents to use clotheslines and drying racks, under certain conditions, without fear of disciplinary action by a homeowners association. The new law defines “clothesline” to include “a

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Brown lawn bill advances in legislature (OR)

The Oregon Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow residents to let their lawns go brown during a drought, even if their homeowners association requires watering.  Read the article……..

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HOAs could face fines under California drought rules

The latest drought regulations adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board enable local water districts to fine associations that seek to prevent homeowners from reducing outdoor watering or letting their grass go brown in response to the drought.   Read

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(MO Sen.) Holsman hoping to stop HOA prohibitions on solar panels

Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, is hoping the fourth time is the charm on a bill that would prohibit home owners’ associations (HOAs) from keeping home owners from installing solar panels on their residences.

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Eucalyptus Hill Homeowners Association Deemed 2015 City of Santa Barbara (CA) Water Hero

The Eucalyptus Hill Homeowners Association has been named the 2015 City of Santa Barbara Water Hero.  The city gives out the Water Hero award every year to highlight individuals, businesses or organizations that have gone above and beyond to make

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Homeowners may win right to let lawns turn brown (OR)

Should homeowners associations be able to force residents to water their yards, even during a drought?  Oregon legislators plan to tackle that question during next month’s session.     Read the article…………..

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CLOTHESLINE WARS-Are They Over With the New California Law on Topic?

Clotheslines – Don’t Get in a Bind About Them – that was the title of the blog I did this past May. The gist of that blog was to explain what and why the issue of clotheslines is a big

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Florida’s clothesline law trumps HOA rules

Indeed, there are people who don’t like clotheslines. And many HOAs’ rules state that clothesline are verboten. Cross Creek’s rules and regulations, too, state that clotheslines are prohibited.  But those were written prior to the state law, said David DeLaMater,

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Dangers of Grouping Community Utilities

One of the best things about living in a neighborhood with an HOA is being part of a community. As a community, the neighborhood does many things together, which sometimes includes grouping community utilities. This can offer a lot of

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Caution: wasting water could lead to Manatee County fines (FL)

The Lakewood Ranch Homeowners Association is adding a new caveat to the homeowner’s manual to help educate residents about water efficiency.  According to a state statute, if a resident or business has a automated irrigation system, the system is required

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Questions Left Hanging After New Right to Dry Law (CA)

In a continuing effort by the California legislature to promote and encourage energy-savings measures, a new law has been adopted which prevents homeowners associations from prohibiting or unreasonably restricting the use of clotheslines in certain circumstances to air dry laundry.

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HOA Can’t Prohibit Water-efficiency Measures (CA)

In California, a Homeowner Association (HOA) cannot prohibit individual owners from replacing their existing landscaping with low-water-using plants. That limitation on an association’s rules or actions is a result of legislation (AB 2104, Gonzalez) passed last year and that was

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San Francisco Public Utilities Commission releases list of excessive water users

……Still, the St. Francis Wood Homeowner’s Association is on the SFPUC’s list of water wasters for September, using over 100,000 gallons of water more than is required.  And they are not the only ones. The Diamond Heights Homeowner’s Association used

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Leading the Charge on the California Drought

The current drought endured by the state of California is not its first rodeo. Between 1987 and 1992 the second driest period in California history ravaged much of our country not the least of which, in the southwest. Fast forward

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