57-8a-231. Water wise landscaping

(1) As used in this section:
      (a) "Lawn or turf" means nonagricultural land planted in closely mowed, managed grasses.
      (b) "Mulch" means material such as rock, bark, wood chips, or other materials left loose and applied to the soil.
      (c) "Overhead spray irrigation" means above ground irrigation heads that spray water through a nozzle.
      (d)(i) "Vegetative coverage" means the ground level surface area covered by the exposed leaf area of a plant or group of plants at full maturity.
            (ii) "Vegetative coverage" does not mean the ground level surface area covered by the exposed leaf area of a tree or trees.
      (e) "Water wise landscaping" means any or all of the following:
            (i) installation of plant materials suited to the microclimate and soil conditions that can:
                  (A) remain healthy with minimal irrigation once established; or
                  (B) be maintained without the use of overhead spray irrigation;
            (ii) use of water for outdoor irrigation through proper and efficient irrigation design and water application; or
            (iii) the use of other landscape design features that:
                  (A) minimize the need of the landscape for supplemental water from irrigation;
                  (B) reduce the landscape area dedicated to lawn or turf; or
                  (C) encourage vegetative coverage.
      (f) "Water wise plant material" means a plant material suited to water wise landscaping as defined in this section.

(2) An association may not enact or enforce a governing document that prohibits, or has the effect of prohibiting, a lot owner of a detached dwelling from incorporating water wise landscaping on the property owner's property.

(3)(a) Subject to Subsection (3)(b), Subsection (2) does not prohibit an association from requiring a property owner to:
            (i) comply with a site plan review or other review process before installing water wise landscaping;
            (ii) maintain plant material in a healthy condition; and
            (iii) follow specific water wise landscaping design requirements adopted by the association including a requirement that:
                  (A) restricts or clarifies the use of mulches considered detrimental to the association's operations; and
                  (B) restricts or prohibits the use of specific plant materials other than water wise plant materials.
      (b) An association may not require a property owner to:
            (i) install or keep in place lawn or turf in an area with a width less than eight feet; or
            (ii) have more than 50% vegetative coverage, that is not water wise landscaping, on the property owner's property.

 Enacted 2022, ch. 230, eff. May 4, 2022.  Amended: 2023, ch. 199, eff. May 3, 2023.

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