Texas HOAs, Water Crisis in the Lone Star State
Today I was invited to participate in a press release meeting held by David Foster of the “Clean Water Fund” to discuss a recently published report (below) on the need for HOAs to make adjustments to their sod requirements as an act of water conservation. Irony being what it is, the need for water conservation was overshadowed by a rare rain event that resulted in a less than impressive turnout by the press, but the message was not lost. The state of Texas is in a state of crisis with our current water supply and this report covers the incredible statistics of HOAs requirements and addiction to sod.
With our current water supply in jeopardy, it is imperative that we reduce the use of water lost to irrigation. Sod accounts for nearly 60% of our annual drinking water usage and the need for change is more important than ever. I am very proud to have been part of a movement to change the current HOA rules in my neighborhood of Avery Ranch. The board members knew that creating an amendment to our CC&R’s (HOA covenants, conditions and restrictions) would require a majority vote of our nearly 3600 homes, so instead, they created a “Variance” to allow up to 75% Xeriscape and as little as 25% sod in our front yards, with 100% Xeriscape in the back. This is a HUGE improvement over the 80% sod and 20% landscape that was allowed previously.
HOA boards have to create new rules and variances to allow home owners to make intelligent decisions to conserve our precious resources. By adding rules and regulations to the variance as Bob Beyer, a friend, A/R resident and Master Gardener drafted for us, neighborhoods can still regulate the change by restricting materials to be used, and by requiring approval by the architectural board.
This is not going to happen over night and it is going to take a movement by the people to force HOAs to come into the 21st century. If you are worried about the look of this change or the value of your home, then be an active part in what this looks like for your neighborhood. Xeriscape is beautiful, lush and colorful. Native plants invite native bees, require less water, less maintenance and when you have the right combination of plants, can look very elegant. There is a Xeriscape design for every home, and with a small, intentional lawn space, the lawn becomes more manageable, the over all landscape requires less water, less time for maintenance, no need for chemicals and with the extra time you have, you can sit in your garden and enjoy a lovely glass of water.
Lisa’s Landscape & Design ( “like” me on facebook)
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”
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