Now that the session of the 83rd Texas Legislature has come to a close, I have begun looking at the various bills that were passed effecting Texas Homeowners' Associations. During the length of the regular session, approximately 55 bills related to HOAs were introduced. I will look at a number of the bills that were passed, starting with a bill related to xeriscaping.
First we should discuss what, exactly, is xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is a style of landscape design that requires little or no irrigation. The style is frequently found in arid regions. Xeriscaping is designed to conserve water and protect the environment. In Texas, this usually means pebbled ground cover, drought-resistant and native plants, and other water-conserving natural turf.
The new law, which was proposed by Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Austin, mandates that Texas homeowners can now xeriscape their properties without being scrutinized by their homeowners association. HOAs are still permitted to require preliminary plan approval of new xeriscaping plans, but the Association's ability to reject plans including xeriscaping is limited.