It’s official! 81 days into the 2022 Arizona Legislative Session, the first major bill pertaining to planned communities was signed into law.
On March 30, 2022, Governor Ducey signed into law HB2131 which adds a new section to the Planned Communities Act (A.R.S. Section 33-1819) and paves the way for planned community owners to install artificial turf on their property. Set forth below is a summary of new artificial turf ban Law:
- If a Planned Community’s documents allow natural grass on a member’s property, after the time of developer control, the association may not prohibit installing or using artificial turf on any member’s property.
- A planned community can adopt reasonable rules regarding (1) the installation and appearance of the artificial turf (if those rules do not prevent installing artificial turf in the same manner that natural grass would be allowed by the community documents) and (2) the location on the property and percentage of the property that may be covered with artificial turf to the same extent as natural grass and may regulate artificial turf quality.
- A planned community can require (a) the removal of a member’s artificial turf if the artificial turf creates a health or safety issue that the member does not correct; and (b) replacement or removal of the artificial turf if is not maintained in accordance with the association’s standards for maintenance.
- A planned community can prohibit the installation of artificial turf in these situations: (a) if it is installed in an area the association maintains or irrigates (for example, on common areas or front yard areas that an association under the CCRs maintains); and (b) if a planned community prohibits the new installation of natural grass on a member’s property, the association can also prohibit the new installation of artificial turf on a member’s property (except that, in that instance, an association may not prohibit a member from converting natural grass to artificial turf on the member’s property.
- If a court finds a planned community violates this law, a court shall award reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
- This law doesn’t apply to a planned community that has unique vegetation and geologic characteristics that require preservation by the Association and in which the viability of those characteristics is protected, supported or enhanced as a result of the continued existence of natural landscaping materials.
This new law will go into effect 91 days after the 2022 Arizona Legislative Session is over.
Last week marked the end of the Arizona Legislature’s regular committee hearings and it is now officially time for the legislature to start the budget season. To date, 106 bills have been signed into law (only 1 of which directly pertains to planned communities). Each week that the Arizona Legislature is in session, our firm posts an updated summary of the pending HOA and Condo bills. You can find this weekly updated summary on the home page of our firm’s webpage at www.mulcahylawfirm.com or by clicking the link below:
If your association would like assistance regarding interpretation of this new law or help with creating reasonable rules regarding the installation and appearance or replacement or removal of artificial turf on an owner’s property, please contact Beth Mulcahy, Esq. at email@example.com.