Thanks to Senate Bill 23-178, community associations throughout the state will see a significant increase in the presence of mischievous young rabbits in the coming years.  Senate Bill 178 requires planned communities with detached structures – single family home communities – to permit the installation of vegetable gardens (which include flowers, fruit, herbs, and other edible plants) in front, side, and rear yards. Only owners who are responsible for their landscaping are allowed to make these changes.

The first thing that crossed my mind was that my front yard, with its steep slope, would wash immediately onto the sidewalk if I removed the turf and left a bare dirt planting bed.  Fortunately, community associations can impose design and aesthetic guidelines on vegetable gardens, so you probably shouldn’t plow up your sod to grow corn throughout your 800 square feet of front yard yet. Associations can protect existing drainage and grading, and require that these changes not impair fire buffers.

The bill also ensures that owners can install nonvegetative turf grass in backyards, and strengthens the existing right of owners to install xeriscaping.  In fact, it requires community associations to provide owners with a choice of three pre-approved water-wise garden designs!

We are hard at work preparing policies for our clients to be ready for this bill to take effect this August.  Reach out to any of our attorneys for more information and pricing!