HOA threatens fines for 'Blonde Ambition' turf.

HOA threatens fines for 'Blonde Ambition' turf.

A Texas couple finds themselves in conflict with their homeowners association after replacing what they say is water-guzzling Bermuda grass, the Denton Record-Chronicle reports.

Angela Rosencrans, a Denton County master gardener and landscape business owner, replaced the grass on the narrow strip of land between the sidewalk and sidewalk outside her home with native plants that are easier to maintain.

However, her choice of plants — blue “Blonde Ambition” grass and monkey grass — resulted in a letter from the Homeowners Association (HOA) claiming it was in violation of HOA bylaws and demanding that she change it back.

“They want us to take it out and replace it with Bermuda grass or some other type of grass or turf,” Rosencrans told the Denton Record-Chronicle.

She and her husband made the switch to conserve water, a precious resource in Texas. The couple says Texas real estate law supports their efforts because it limits homeowners associations' involvement in water-saving measures, such as using rain barrels and planting drought-tolerant plants.

Bermuda grass is popular because it is more drought-tolerant than other grasses, but it can still be resource-intensive and difficult to maintain in certain conditions. Replacing them with drought-tolerant plants, native species, or planting desert plants can result in significant water savings.

Replacement landscaping typically requires less maintenance, resulting in time and cost savings for homeowners. A yard with native plants instead of grass can enhance biodiversity, support native pollinators, promote a healthier ecosystem and enhance the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor spaces.

“Wating Bermuda grass is among the most wasteful practices using city water,” Rosencrans told the Denton Record-Chronicle. “People think it's water wise, but that's not always true.” She also points out that Bermuda grass will not thrive in the shaded area you removed it from because there is a mature tree nearby.

Becky Bowling, a Texas A&M University professor and urban water specialist at AgriLife Extension, told the outlet that HOAs and communities must work to establish new turf standards that conserve water while also meeting aesthetic requirements.

Rosencrans says she plans to comply with the HOA's request but will wait for the cold weather when conditions are ideal.

“But this is not a good use of our resources,” she told the Denton Record-Chronicle. “And I would like to see a homeowners association allow the Texas title code.”

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