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Homeowner baffled by HOA's heavy-handed decision to reject their 'pet-friendly' lawn: 'Get on your HOA board'

"The best way to reform HOAs is to get on the board."

Clover lawn

Photo Credit: iStock

Pesky homeowners associations have intervened with lawns in everything from preventing composting to removing beloved gardens

The latest example of HOA overreach comes to us from California, where a Redditor has complained on the r/NoLawns subreddit about how their HOA has forbidden the planting of a clover lawn outside of their condo because it "could attract a large number of bees."

The poster said that they do not want to plant a "traditional lawn," but they own a dog that goes to the bathroom in the disputed area so they would prefer "something pet-urine resistant." The initial post requested advice on "HOA-friendly lawn alternatives," and commenters did not disappoint.

"Silver leaf ponyfoot isn't very grass-like, but attractive and very drought tolerant," one helpful commenter wrote

"Maybe one of the sedges native to your area would work," another poster suggested

"Perhaps dichondra repens could be a good substitute?" offered a third, along with a lengthy sales pitch: "It's pretty hardy once established, doesn't grow very tall so doesn't really need mowing, it's non toxic to dogs, tolerates sun or shade, and doesn't flower so the HOA don't have to worry about the bees (sending you patience)."

Another common suggestion among commenters did not involve clover as a lawn alternative but rather involved direct action and getting involved with the HOA in order to make changes.

"I think your best bet here is a little community activism," one wrote. "Get on your HOA board." Others agreed. 

"The best way to reform HOAs," one user wrote definitively, "is to get on the board."

Whether someone chooses to join or not, HOAs can be difficult to deal with. Luckily, there are many online resources that offer advice. The Arizona-based Dessaules Law Group gives some suggestions in a blog post titled "How to Fight HOA Fines—and Win!" 

The proposals include everything from "understand your rights as the homeowner" to "prepare your appeal." Even the website of legendary home renovator Bob Vila maintains a list called: "11 Unenforceable HOA Rules — and How to Fight Them."

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