New Law Allows Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Despite HOA's
A new law signed by Gov. Charlie Crist promotes the installation of Florida-friendly landscaping. The law states that homeowners associations (HOAs) may not prohibit a homeowner from installing Florida-friendly landscaping on their property, or create any requirement or limitation in conflict with state law.
Florida-friendly landscaping emphasizes nine easy-to-accomplish principles that, when practiced, can have a significant positive impact on yards and the environment. The concept was developed by the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and is based on the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods program that was originally created by the Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay and Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Programs.
By following Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ practices, homeowners use a low-maintenance approach to landscaping that conserves water and reduces chemical and fertilizer use. Homeowners also spend less time maintaining their lawns and more time enjoying them.
"Because homeowners can no longer be prohibited from following Florida-friendly landscaping practices, they will have more freedom to choose the type of plants and turf that are right for their property," said Sylvia Durell, Florida-friendly landscaping project manager for the Southwest Florida Water Management District. "This is a great opportunity for homeowners to get know their yard's sun, soil and moisture conditions and put the right plant in the right place."
The law also states that HOAs may not fine homeowners for brown lawns when the homeowner is abiding by water shortage rules such as the Water Management District's water shortage orders that restrict residents to watering their lawns one day per week.
To learn more about Florida-friendly landscaping, visit www.FloridaYards.org