Governor Brown Declares the End of the Drought

On April 7, 2017, Governor Brown signed Executive Order B-40-17, ending the drought state of emergency in most of California. Drought restrictions will remain in effect in Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolomne counties, which continue to face drinking water shortages and diminished groundwater supplies. The new Executive Order rescinds the emergency proclamations from January and […]

End of the Drought: Law Changes Your HOA Board Needs to Know About (CA)

The California drought has officially been acknowledged as coming to an end. While this is great news for the residents of California, it’s not back to the normal day-to-day management of homeowners association just yet.  Desperate times called for desperate measures, which meant enforcing some strict water conservation efforts that trickled down to HOA communities […]

A Checklist For Going Green In Your HOA

There is much talk of green construction. The following checklist will help identify features that produce a healthier, high-performance building that costs less to operate and has fewer negative environmental impacts. HOA developers and builders take note:      Read the article…………

Energy Efficiency and your HOA Community

Taking your HOA to a place of energy efficiency doesn’t have to mean accepting a different standard of living. With today’s technological advances, becoming energy efficient can be as simple as switching out light bulbs or practicing strategic landscaping. Going green not only saves your community money, it can also increase desirability for buyers committed […]

How climate change could affect maintenance fees

Summer 2016 was one of the hottest on record in the Greater Toronto Area, with experts predicting summer temperatures could soar to 44 degrees Celsius by 2050. In this rapidly changing climate, the city’s high-rise buildings are also feeling the heat, with the provincial government tightening up the Ontario Building Code to meet new global […]

Lawmakers pass bill limiting HOA control on solar (UT)

A bill that limits the ability of homeowners associations to regulate rooftop solar installations made it through the Utah Legislature late Thursday.  Senate Bill 154, sponsored by South Jordan Republican Lincoln Fillmore, would prohibit rules against solar in most cases, potentially adding a new roll of homeowners to the list of potential buyers in one […]

Utah Op-ed: Let HOA residents join fully in the solar revolution

As the manager of a Utah business, it’s very important to me that we do our part to help protect the health of our community. That’s one of the big reasons we at Mark Miller Subaru chose to invest in rooftop solar.  As our Legislature discusses legislative solutions to our state’s most pressing problems, I […]

Energy Efficiency in Your HOA

While there is continuing debate about the reasons driving climate change, most agree on the need for better stewardship of the Earth. While governments often move at a glacial pace to enact green policies, self help is readily available today. What better place to start than at the homeowner association? HOAs often control a variety […]

SB 814: Discouraging Excessive Water Use (CA)

California is experiencing the worst drought in over a century. While recent rains bring good news for our water supply, the California Legislature has enacted a number of laws aimed at water conservation that still stand. Existing law requires the Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board to take appropriate actions […]

How to Grow Veggies at Your Apartment or Condo

No access to land for growing a vegetable garden? No problem. You can still grow a vegetable and herb garden, enjoying all the benefits of gardening without the added cost and maintenance of a large outdoor garden bed. Perfect for people living in apartments, condos or another urban setting, container gardening is effective and highly […]

Tips for Eco-Friendly High-Rise Living: Living Sustainably in the City

Many multifamily properties and high-rises want to implement “green” living practices and create eco-friendly communities, but not everyone knows where nor how to get started. Here are some effective and easy tips to help you be proactive and successful in achieving your sustainability goals.  Before embarking on any of the programs below, consider forming a […]

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 for residents.   Read the article………….

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 weather forecast for much of the state calls for hot and sunny weather without a […]

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 below case illustrates, alterations to your property may be prohibited by or require prior approval […]

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 you as your choice of landscaping. Don’t be too fast to rule it out of […]

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 so beneficial to the HOA’s financial accounts.   Read the article…………..

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 five of Matthew “Scott” Hausman’s appeal arguments. The judicial panel’s review follows a judgment issued […]

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 Associations (HOAs), may serve to reduce municipal water use, joining other water-use reducing measures under […]

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 — mistakenly, she says — that the county would temporarily cut off this supply.   […]

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 cord, rope, or wire from which laundered items may be hung to dry or air.” […]

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 benefits, but it can also be dangerous if the HOA is struggling.   Read the article…………….

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 nearly 20 years and front and center in the hearts and minds of many Californians […]

Programs HOAs Can Adopt to Deal with Drought

Although summer is technically over, temperatures across Southern California remain high, making it feel more like summer than fall. As residents continue to battle the statewide drought, we wanted to follow up on our article covering the impact the drought has on homeowners associations.   Read the article………………

Energy-Saving Incentives: Taking Advantage, Saving Money

Trade-offs are a symptom of modern society, and we all find ourselves playing one zero-sum game or another. All the more reason to appreciate circumstances under which everyone wins, right? Enter the concept of energy incentives. Energy conservation benefits both the environment and, thanks to state and federal government incentives, your bank account.     […]

Power-Up with Co-Generation: A Look at our Next Generation’s Technology

The process of producing energy for metropolitan New England-area co-ops and condos has dramatically evolved in recent years, advancing to the point in which one energy professional has quipped, “The old way of using a traditional energy-producing system is like using a chainsaw to cut butter.”   Read the article………………

The Green Movement: Conservation and Savings for Residential Buildings

Americans today are moving toward a more well-developed awareness of the environment, and what it takes to protect and preserve Earth’s natural resources. City dwellers and suburbanites alike typically recycle paper, plastic, and glass, and now more than ever, look to conserve energy whenever possible. Some even garden and compost.    Read the article…………

Don’t Trash This: Recycling and Garbage Rules

In days gone by, when you opened something up, you simply threw away the packaging. You ate your dinner and threw away the scraps, and you tossed your ratty old sweatshirt, t-shirt or jeans in the dumpster when they had more holes in them than a chunk of Swiss cheese.     Read the article……….

Ways Your Homeowners Association Can Help Conserve Water (CA)

Do you keep your water running when doing the dishes? Do you wash half loads of laundry? Do you enjoy extra-long, hot showers to start your day? In the midst of the California drought, residents are learning to cultivate new habits to conserve water as a result of the Governor’s statewide declaration requiring Californians to […]

Indoor Water Conservation Tips for Homeowners Association Residents

In the midst of the state-wide drought, residents of California have been mandated to follow water restrictions. Reducing water use means making significant changes in your everyday habits and routine, but it can also mean substantial savings on water, sewage and energy bills for homeowners association residents.   Read the article………..

Landscaping With Artificial Turf in an HOA Neighborhood

With increasing concerns over drought and water conservation, artificial turf is growing in popularity. If your first thought is “ew,” you’re probably visualizing the scratchy plastic carpet in Aunt Edna’s sunroom or a miniature golf course. You may want to reconsider. Over the past several years, technology has dramatically improved the look and feel of […]

California Water Restrictions and their Impact on HOAs

The severe drought currently impacting California shows no sign of abating in the near future. California Governor Jerry Brown has issued mandatory water cutbacks for the state, instituting limits and guidelines for both commercial and residential property. Residents are asked to reduce potable water usage by 25% through February 28, 2016, while certain high-usage areas […]

Yes, in My Back (and Front) Yard!

But in communities overseen by homeowners associations—where 20 percent of all U.S. homeowners live—progress can be slower. While some HOAs support and even codify gardening for wildlife, many are still attached to the anachronistic symbol of suburbia: lush lawns that, combined with commercial uses of turfgrass, collectively suck up more water than any other irrigated […]

Considerations About Artificial Turf in Your Homeowners Association (CA)

It’s the responsibility of the HOA board to protect, maintain and enhance the Association. This comes in all shapes and sizes – from compliance with the Davis-Stirling Act to the type of grass members can have in their yard. In the current drought that California is experiencing, the latter may come into play more often […]

Consider These Green Choices for Your Next Repair or Upgrade project

Earth Day may have come and gone, but the green agenda is very much alive and well in New York. Reducing the state’s energy consumption, for example, is an important part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comprehensive energy strategy. Mayor Bill de Blasio, meanwhile, has laid out his goals and targets for a sustainable and equitable […]

California Assembly OKs bill barring HOA bans on fake grass

California homeowner associations couldn’t stop members from installing fake grass on lawns under a bill moving through the Legislature.  AB349 advanced out of the Assembly Thursday on 69 to 2 vote. It would prohibit bans on artificial turf and synthetic grass.      Read the article……….

Nevada ads use humor and a kick in the groin to sway water-wasting guys

Not long after the onset of the West’s deadening drought, officials here saw the enemy, and he was Joe Six-Pack.  The Southern Nevada Water Authority determined nearly a decade ago that 70 percent of its water went right into the ground, with no chance for recycling, thanks to an army of indulgent blue-collar homeowners, mostly […]

Resident Tips: Shedding Light on New Bulbs in a Homeowners Association

Standard incandescent light bulbs may soon become a thing of the past. We’re here to shed light on new bulbs being used. Under the Clean Energy Act, the sale of energy-inefficient incandescent bulbs were phased out over a two-year period and no longer sold by January 2014. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) have become the most […]

(The Desert Sun) Our Voice: HOAs owe residents easier solar process

Many in the Coachella Valley have gone all in with solar. Six of the valley’s nine cities installed at least one megawatt of rooftop solar last year — a solid demonstration of eagerness to adopt the green energy technology.  But some who are looking to have the sun help cut their power costs are being […]

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 nearly 20 years and front and center in the hearts and minds of many Californians […]

Desert slowly ditches grass, goes brown on landscaping (CA)

With a population of about 6,000 people, Sun City Shadow Hills is larger than many small towns. Its 55-and-over residents flit from single-family homes to golf courses to pickleball and tennis courts, some driving golf carts alongside cars on the gated community’s rolling streets. Dogs abound. Joggers wave to one another in morning sunlight.  Much […]

Grow Low H20 Plants in Your HOA

One of the great challenges most homeowner associations experience is how to reduce landscape maintenance and water costs. Xeriscaping is a method of combining attractive, pest resistant and low maintenance native plants in a way that conserves water. It is based on seven basic horticultural principles:   Read more……..