Bill aims to protect your yard during drought - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Bill aims to protect your yard during drought

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - If you live in a homeowner's association and want to either install drought-tolerant landscaping or water your lawn less, a new proposed state law would prohibit the HOA from fining you.

"Here in Southern California we live in a desert, you have to recognize that," Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said.

The bill Assemblywoman Gonzalez is sponsoring flew through the Assembly on Thursday with a vote of 71-1.

In January, Governor Brown called California's drought the worst in the past 100 years and asked people statewide to cut back on their water use. Assembly Bill 2104 would prohibit homeowner's associations, apartment complexes and housing cooperatives from requiring lush lawns. But we couldn't help notice how every yard, green or brown, has a story of its own.

The point is, how can one law apply to so many different situations?

"You're going to have people who just don't care what their neighbors think, and they're going to allow their lawns go dead," Scripps Ranch Civic Association President Bob Ilko said.

Ilko says his HOA has never fined a homeowner for having a brown lawn, but thinks the HOA should have the power to make a homeowner with an ugly yard get back on track.

"I don't want to see the abuses of the people taking advantage of the law and simply allowing their property values to go down," he said.

Assemblywoman Gonzazlez hopes homeowners won't abuse the law by scrimping on their water bills, but if by doing so, they conserve water and their lawns go brown?

"I think during times of drastic drought, I probably would agree with that. If you're looking at the extreme drought that we're in right now, obviously that's responsible usage," she said.

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