Water-efficient Landscaping

  • All condo and community associations are required to adopt rules supporting water-efficient landscaping, including allowance for low water use on lawns during drought conditions.  Community associations are required to adopt those rules by June 30, 2023. See Utah Code §§ 57-8a-218(16) and 57-8-8.1(9).  See the downloads tab in the Downloads and Guides for sample rules (for Prudent-Legal subscribers).
  • Both condo and community associations must allow an owner to convert a grass park strip the owner maintains to water-efficient landscaping.  Utah Code §§ 57-8a-218(16) and 57-8-8.1(9).

Community Associations Only

  • Community associations may not prohibit low water use on lawns during drought conditions, and may not require a lot owner to: (1) install or keep in place lawn in an area with a width less than eight feet, or (2) have more than 50% vegetative coverage that is not water wise landscaping on the owner's lot.  Utah Code §for § 57-8a-218(16) and 57-8a-231(3).

  • An association may not prohibit an owner of a lot with a detached dwelling (aka single family home) from the following on the owner's lot:

    1. installing plant materials suited to the microclimate and soil conditions that can remain healthy with minimal irrigation once established or be maintained without the use of sprinklers,
    2. use of water for outdoor irrigation through proper and efficient irrigation design and water application, or
    3. using other landscape design features that either minimize the need of the landscape for supplemental water from irrigation or reduce the landscape area dedicated to lawn.

However, an association can require a lot owner to: (1) comply with a site plan review process, (2) maintain plants in a healthy condition, and (3) follow specific water wise landscaping design requirements adopted by the association.  Additionally, an association can restrict the use of mulches considered detrimental to the association's operations and restrict the use of specific plant materials.  Utah Code Section 57-8a-231.  

Statutes and Cases:

(For reference: 57-8 is the Condo Act, 57-8a is the Community Association Act, 16-6a is the Nonprofit Act)

HOA resources and laws annotated
HOA resources and laws annotated