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Bill forcing HOAs to approve water-saving landscaping passes Colorado legislature

The bill heads to Gov. Jared Polis' desk for signature. Outdoor water use accounts for nearly 55% of residential water use along the Front Range.

DENVER — As Colorado continues to suffer through harsh drought conditions, the Colorado legislature passed a bill seeking to remove barriers for some residents to save water on lawn watering. 

Around 60% of Coloradans live under a homeowner association. If signed into law, Senate Bill 178 would allow those homeowners to swap their grass lawns for landscaping that needs less water to maintain, forcing HOAs to accept the alternative landscaping. 

The bill passed its final legislative vote on Wednesday, now only needing the governor's signature to become law.

>Video above from March: Colorado River levels continue to drop.

"We've been in a mega-drought for about two decades and we have to find every way possible to utilize water more efficiently, especially in outdoor spaces," said bill sponsor Rep. Karen McCormick, D-Longmont. "We have many homeowners across our state that want to and can be part of the solutions to these problems, but are finding themselves blocked or discouraged from doing so by some barriers in their HOA rules." 

Under current law, HOAs cannot entirely prohibit low-water landscaping, but, in practice, such proposals are often rejected for subjective aesthetic reasons, bill sponsors said. Current law also does not require the landscaping review process to be transparent, fair or timely. Because of this, sponsors said homeowners often don't know how the process works or what landscaping will be accepted. 

>Continue reading on ColoradoPolitics.com

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