As of August 21, 2014, Chatham’s new Xeriscape policy will go into effect. Comment now!

Many of you may have heard about Governor Brown signing a state wide ban on home owner’s associations enforcing watering requirements for grass, as the state wrestles with drought and chronic water shortages.

The purpose of this legislation is to save water, not necessarily money–at least in the short term. Chatham Court will implement a Xeriscape policy for any home owner wishing to install Xeriscape as an alternative to turf, or grass. Grass uses a lot of water at the best of times, let alone when summers are hot.

Long term, homeowners who install Xeriscape now will save money. In fact, for home owners with green lawns, rebates for removing the grass will help fund your Xeriscaping efforts!

Here is an example of a website promoting turf removal by offering rebates:

And here is a link to the new regulations that are now state law. Enjoy!

Xeric Plants for the Win!

Xeric Plants for the Win!

Civil Code §4735. Low Water-Using Plants.
[Old:Civ. Code §1353.8](a) Notwithstanding any other law, a provision of the governing documents shall be void and unenforceable if it does any of the following:

(1) Prohibits, or includes conditions that have the effect of prohibiting, the use of low water-using plants as a group.

(2) Has the effect of prohibiting or restricting compliance with either of the following:

(A) A water-efficient landscape ordinance adopted or in effect pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 65595 of the Government Code.

(B) Any regulation or restriction on the use of water adopted pursuant to Section 353 or 375 of the Water Code.

(b) This section shall not prohibit an association from applying landscaping rules established in the governing documents, to the extent the rules fully conform with the requirements of subdivision (a).

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Architectural Committee Forming

What is most important to you?
 This summer a Chatham Court architectural committee will begin work on two projects: re-defining a color palette for the neighborhood and creating guidelines for residents interested in xeriscaping.


Didn’t Chatham Court already have a defined color palette? It is true that back when Chatham Court was built, homes were painted according to a specific set of colors, and those colors were based on a color palette for the neighborhood. Yet, what a difference twenty years makes. No one can read the minds of those original builders, and no one should have to. Of course, if anyone has a copy of all the original paint colors, and their names, please bring those to a board member’s attention. That would definitely make the job easier to do.

The original rules did not allow xeriscaping, so why is it allowed now? Since the late ’80s and early ’90s, many laws have changed, invalidating portions of our original rules. Statewide, our water supply has dwindled relative to the need; the right to install xeriscaping features has become the law of the land. We need guidelines for homeowners who are interested in xeriscaping portions of their front landscape, and we need them as soon as possible.

What if I don’t like the changes? The best way to have a voice in shaping the future of our community is to get involved in the discussion, such as by serving on the architectural committee. If you want to get involved in all of this, just ask a board member how.