On April 7, Governor Brown issued Executive Order B-40-17 ending the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare, and Tuolumne where groundwater supplies are still an issue.
Even though the drought is mostly over, elements of the emergency legislation will continue. For example:
- Associations cannot prohibit low water-using plants or artificial turf in landscaping design.
- Owners who installed water-efficient landscaping cannot be forced to return their landscaping to its original condition. That means owners who installed drip irrigation systems, built rain gardens, planted drought-tolerant plants, installed artificial turf, etc. get to keep what they installed.
- Associations cannot force owners to tear out everything and go back to grass lawns.
Hearings and Fines
Homeowners who let their grass die and did nothing to install drought-tolerant landscaping can now be required to water their lawns and replace dead turf. Owners who refuse can be called to disciplinary hearings where penalties may be imposed.
If your front yard requires attention, you may need to start applying more water and fertilizer to change your lawn back from brown to green. If you have areas of dead grass, weeds, old dying plants, exposed tree roots, irrigation lines or dirt, this could be an opportunity to update your landscaping to water-wise plants or approved artificial turf systems.
Please return your front yard to a neat and attractive condition by July 31, 2017 and/or submit
Starting July 31, 2017 fines will once be assessed on homeowners who fail to keep their yards up to the Carmel Mountain Ranch-RCA standards.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Carmel Mountain Ranch RCA Board of Directors