Bill passed that prevents HOAs prohibiting use of xerscapes

PKponder TX(7b)June 17, 2013

Here's the article!

The Texas Senate has passed SB 198, to prevent homeowners associations from prohibiting use of native grasses or xeriscapes in landscaping. The bill introduced by Kirk Watson of Austin passed the Senate March 18 and now goes to the Texas House.

texas capitolâÂÂItâÂÂs about personal property rights,â Watson said. âÂÂIt simply ensures that a landowner has a right to choose their plants, their grass, and to do so with water efficiency and their pocketbooks in mind.âÂÂ

The bill would insure that Texans living under HOAs can install drought resistant landscaping or water conserving turf, but it would still let HOAs require that homeowners submit their plans for approval. The bill was voted out of committee unanimously. No one testified against it.

Over in the House Austin Rep Dawna Dukes has introduced HB 449, which goes further by preventing municipalities and counties from restricting xeriscaping. Her bill is still in committee.

You can follow the progress of any bill through the legislature at

Here is a link that might be useful: Texas Senate passes landscaping bill

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That's a step in the right direction. But what happens when the HOA won't approve a xeriscape plan?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:55PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

I wish my HOA would let me grow St Augustine Floratam!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 5:55PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Details will be hammered out, but seems there's considerable underlying pressure for an oncoming trend. Lowering per capita seasonal water use is too critical for long term growth that resistive HOAs are likely to find themselves pitted against both environmental and business interests. Folks who want to live in a neighborhood that will continue to be dominated by traditional-style large lawns can still go the "historic district" route (assuming they can afford it) which provides a different layer of controls over what can be done to a property's landscaping. But even in these, a bit more flexibility may be emerging.

Here is a link that might be useful: Homeownerâs cactuses, jagged stones run afoul of Dallas officials

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 6:13PM
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beacivil1(8a/8b NW Austin, Tx)

Page 2, lines 15 and 16. This is under the "This bill does not..." section.

I would hope the HOA would use some common sense on this one and have the neighborhood approve a general "approved materials list". The end goal is to conserve water, but if you are living in an HOA, then you have to be prepared to accept that not everyone wants xeriscape. I'm willing to bet that native shrubs/bushes/plants/trees in mulched beds that contribute to water convservation without having yards look like Arizona are going to be the agreed upon standard. Don't get me wrong, I just visited family in Phoenix for the first time this past Christmas and thought the landscaping there was absolutely beautiful.

This bill is a great start, and, I would not be surprised if we see this bill expanded in the future as Texas' water supply dwindles.

Here is a link that might be useful: SB 198 Text

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 6:20PM
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I know this thread is not over HOAs in general, but I have to tell ya'll I got warning letters about my lantana touching the sidewalk, ("plant materials may not touch or overhang driveways or sidewalks") and once about removing my "dead bushes", ie winter-killed perennials protecting the crown of the plant.

From what I can see on Texas Legislature Online: the bill has passed and is effective Sept. 1, 2013

Certainly a step in the right direction!

Here is a link that might be useful: Senate Bill 198 History

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 7:22PM
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