Environment & Science

California Assembly OKs bill barring HOA bans on fake grass

Workers install fake grass as part of a drought-tolerant lawn in Los Feliz.
Workers install fake grass as part of a drought-tolerant lawn in Los Feliz.
File photo by Jed Kim

California homeowner associations couldn't stop members from installing fake grass on lawns under a bill moving through the Legislature.

AB349 advanced out of the Assembly Thursday on 69 to 2 vote. It would prohibit bans on artificial turf and synthetic grass.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego says her bill is needed as California's drought persists. Similar legislation was vetoed in 2011 and 2010.

Now California is in its fourth drought year and state regulators are encouraging residents to replace water-guzzling lawns.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed another Gonzalez bill last year prohibiting homeowner association bans on drought-tolerant landscaping. He has already barred associations from punishing residents who conserve during the drought.

The bill heads to the Senate. It would take effect immediately if signed into law.