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 lot owner's lot.

(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 lot owner to install or keep in place lawn or turf in an area.

(4)(a) Subject to Subsection (4)(b), if an association does not adopt rules as required by Subsection 57-8a-218(16) and fails to remedy the noncompliance within the time specified in Subsection (4)(c), a lot owner may file an action in state court for:
           (i) injunctive relief requiring the association to comply with the requirements of Subsection 57-8a-218(16);
           (ii) $500, or the lot owner's actual damages, whichever is greater;
           (iii) any other remedy provided by law; and
           (iv) reasonable costs and attorney fees.
     (b) No fewer than 90 days before the day on which a lot owner files a complaint under Subsection (4)(a), the lot owner shall deliver written notice described in Subsection (4)(c) to the association.
     (c) The lot owner shall include in a notice described in Subsection (4)(b):
           (i) the requirements in Subsection 57-8a-218(16) for adopting water wise landscaping rules with which the association has failed to comply;
           (ii) a demand that the association come into compliance with the requirements; and
           (iii) a date, no fewer than 90 days after the day on which the lot owner delivers the notice, by which the association must remedy the association's noncompliance.

 Enacted 2022, ch. 230, eff. May 4, 2022.  Amended: 2023, ch. 199, eff. May 3, 2023; 2024, ch.'s 519 and 115, eff. May 1, 2024.

HOA resources and laws annotated
HOA resources and laws annotated