Artificial city

How artificial turf went from an HOA brawl to a state bill

A Paradise Valley resident’s fight against their community’s homeowners association led to a bill that prohibits HOAs from banning artificial turf.

PHOENIX — Paradise Valley owner Sherry Lund thought she was doing the right thing for her lawn and its condition last fall when she installed artificial turf to save water.

“I’m saving $1,100 a month on water,” Lund said. “I saw all the wasted water. Here we are in a drought situation in our state. Our grass wouldn’t grow in the summer. The heat was so intense. You couldn’t grow anything and make it live.

HOA Territory War

But Lund said her Homeowners Association (HOA) found her in violation of Judson Community Bylaws and told her that if she didn’t remove the fake grass, she would be fined $250. per day.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Lund said. “I said, ‘No, that’s not true. We submitted our samples and did everything if allowed. They said we will sue you if you don’t remove it in 14 days.

Now Lund and the HOA are suing for the turf war.

12 News contacted Associa AZ, which operates the HOA, but did not receive a response.

Lund took his fight to Republican State Rep. John Kavanagh, who introduced a bill in 2017 that would ban HOAs from penalizing homeowners for installing artificial turf.

He is now introducing another bill.

HB 2131 simply allows people who live in HOAs to have high-quality artificial turf in areas where their HOA allows natural turf,” Rep. Kavanagh said.

Beyond Front Yard Aesthetics

Kavanagh said his bill should gain bipartisan support and seek to resolve Arizona’s Looming Water Crisis since the state is one of many western states facing a mega-drought.

“We expect a further reduction in our water supply from Lake Mead,” Kavanagh said. “A reduction that will also begin to affect cities. For homes that have natural grass, 90% of the water they consume is used to water the lawn.

Gary Woodard is the main official with Water Resources Consulting, which analyzes patterns and trends in municipal water areas. Woodard said more often than not, new developments use artificial turf as opposed to irrigated turf because of the state’s water conservation concerns.

“I don’t like the idea of ​​some HOAs trying to establish water policy,” Woodard said. “I wish this would go further and something broader and state that no HOA can enact or enforce a rule that conflicts or local conservation efforts.

“There are benefits to artificial grass,” said Matthew Boggs with Arizona Artificial Lawns. “A synthetic lawn does not require water, it requires far less pesticides and gasoline to maintain a lawn. We have seen a significant change for residential and commercial developments.”

Sherry Lund remains optimistic that HB 2131 will pass and thinks the Arizonans can tackle a bigger problem than a fake gas slide.

“We can make a difference,” Lund said.

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