Should law trump homeowners associations on lawn rules?
During Tampa Bay's drought, you may have considered converting your lawn to something friendlier to the environment, possibly using native plants that don't need as much water. But that's been forbidden by some homeowners associations intent on requiring all lawns to be bright green and St. Augustine.
If Gov. Charlie Crist signs Senate Bill 2080, Florida homeowners could convert their lawns to a "Florida-friendly" yard without fear of running afoul of homeowner association rules, writes Craig Pittman and Marlene Sokol in Today's St. Petersburg Times.
While the bill passed both houses of the Legislature without a single nay vote, some homeowner groups are voicing their displeasure, saying lush lawns are hallmarks of Florida's upscale communities.
Tampabay.com readers appear ready to hand Crist a pen so he can sign the bill, according to comments posted on the story.
"Grass is simply not a good idea in Florida," a St. Pete resident wrote. "Move northward if you want a golf course quality lawn, I've always said. The homeowners assoc rules have always annoyed me as ignorant of common sense and nature. More kudos for Charlie (and I'm a Demo.)"
Jen from Michigan offers her take: "You guys have a messed up situation. A drought. Water restrictions from your local government (and fines if you use too much). And your H.O.A's. want green grass or they will fine you. Darned if you do, darned it you don't."
JHC from Hudson implores Crist to sign the bill: "This is a step in the right direction. These condo/homeowners associations often go mad with power, run by people who never had any power in their lifetime and don't know how to handle it. Go Charlie sign the bill!"
"Finally some common sense about this issue," wrote Sam of Dunedin. "We're wasting so much water for such a silly thing. Florida is water poor state. It can't afford this level of wasted resources."
"It's ridiculous to have associations to begin with," a Tampa resident wrote. "The state causes this problem by allowing associations in essence to make laws without due process or review and THEN fine homeowners or threatened liens WITHOUT normal protections."
Your call: Should Gov. Crist sign the bill?
[Photo: John Bodimer uses reclaimed water on his lawn in Venetian Isles in St. Petersburg. Chis Zuppa | Times]