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Homeowner rallies support after sharing HOA’s stringent landscaping rules: ‘Most places have protections in place’

Another option would be to change the rules themselves with the support of other residents.

Another option would be to change the rules themselves with the support of other residents.

Photo Credit: iStock

One homeowner was aghast at a landscaping provision they found in their HOA’s rules — so much so that they went to Reddit just to confirm that they were reading it right.

“This is a section of my HOA — does it mean that my entire lawn must be turf?” they asked, sharing a scanned section of text on the r/NoLawns subreddit.

Another option would be to change the rules themselves with the support of other residents.
Photo Credit: Reddit

The rule is, sadly, very clear. It reads: “The minimum landscaping for each structure on a single family residential lot shall consist of: a. Sodding or seeding the entire yard; b. Three (3) conifer shrubs having a planting height of at least two (2) feet and; c. Two (2) shade trees planted, at least one of them being placed in the front yard.”

“Forcing people to have conifer shrubs? Eww,” said one commenter.

The text also specifies that any variation from that plan would have to be personally approved by the developer or the HOA’s Architectural Control Committee.

Controlling HOAs are a prominent feature of the American homebuying landscape. The organizations often step in when owners want to add money-saving and eco-friendly upgrades such as solar panels or compost bins — or, as in this Redditor’s case, some sort of landscaping besides grass. 

Turf grass wastes a lot of water, which is expensive and bad for the environment, so many people on the r/NoLawns subreddit and elsewhere are trying to adopt alternatives.

Commenters offered this Redditor some possible options. 

“Most places have protections in place for native plants, meaning HOAs can’t force you to remove them. So fill your yard with the native plants,” one user suggested.

“It doesn’t mention grass seeds specifically. Perhaps you could seed with clover?” said another commenter.

Another option would be to change the rules themselves with the support of other residents of the neighborhood. Most HOAs have internal processes for rewriting the rules if enough members are on board. To learn more, check out this guide.

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