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Working With HOAs

Installing an Ocean Friendly Garden (OFG) can be enough of a challenge without having to face the roadblock of an HOA (Home Owner Association) board which will not approve your project. Making changes without informing your HOA and obtaining the proper approval can lead to hard feelings, fines, and other problems no matter how good the original intentions are. There are steps that every homeowner should take while working with their HOA that will make things much easier and generally lead to a fairly rapid approval of the project.
That being said, even though most HOAs are fairly amenable to low water designs, there are HOAs out there which will try to refuse any design that does not include lawn or lush tropical plantings and it is actually against the law for them to do so.
Our local Surfrider chapter is in the process of putting together some easy guidelines for working with your HOA which will be available next month.

In the meantime, have an HOA that's giving you some trouble about your low water plantings? Here's your backup:

Under the Davis-Sterling Act, Civil Code §1353.8. Low Water-Using Plants. specifically states:

"...a provision of any of the governing documents of a common interest development shall be void and unenforceable if it ... Prohibits, or includes conditions that have
the effect of prohibiting, the use of low water-using plants as a group..."

Have you had a bad or good experience with your HOA? Tell us about it in a comment!