Capitol Alert

California law sows seed for artificial lawns

Antonio Guerra, an installer with Pacific Grass and Turf, cuts artificial grass, Monday, June 8, 2015, at a client's home in North Natomas.
Antonio Guerra, an installer with Pacific Grass and Turf, cuts artificial grass, Monday, June 8, 2015, at a client's home in North Natomas. lsterling@sacbee.com

Drought-resistant artificial turf can’t be prohibited by California homeowners associations under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday.

In an effort to encourage water-saving landscaping, Assembly Bill 349 bars homeowners associations that oversee common-interest developments from forbidding synthetic grass or turf. That type of living space, which typically features private dwellings in a larger communal space like a condominium, encompasses nearly 5 million units statewide.

Homeowners associations could still make landscaping rules – just not in a way that would ban artificial lawns.

The bill sailed through the Legislature, passing committees and the Senate floor without a single “no” vote. It takes effect immediately.

A desiccating drought has prompted lawmakers to protect drought-conscious landscaping. Last year Brown signed a bill shielding common interest development dwellers from fines for letting their lawns wither and turn brown. Sacramento has considered reversing a ban on artificial turf.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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