In the midst of a drought, HOA fines homeowner for brown grass

Off with her head! An HOA in Denver has fined a resident $200 for having brown spots on her lawn — in the middle of a severe water shortage.

The city of Denver has declared a “Stage 1 drought,” meaning “customers are asked to voluntarily cut back outdoor water use to help reduce the risk of more severe watering restrictions.”

But the Green Valley Ranch Homeowner’s Association doesn’t care about any stinkin’ water restrictions — those are for other people. So it’s fined Lori Worthman $200 for having those brown spots on her lawn, which HOA president James Tanner said means the house “looks like trash.”‘

To be fair, Worthman had been warned before about her lawn color not meeting neighborhood specs.

“I’m glad to try to reseed again when it cools off, but we’re in the middle of a heat wave,” she said.

Interestingly, it’s illegal for Colorado residents to catch the rainwater that falls on their property unless they have a well and don’t get “city water” — and they can only use the collected water for drinking and bathing, not something like watering a lawn or garden.  Utah and Washington impose similar restrictions.

[Updated to clarify Colorado’s water-collection law.]

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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