Plano HOA: Letters asking for greener lawns 'mistake' in face of water restrictions

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 7:36 PM

PLANO -- It is a delicate balance that some North Texas homeowners are having to strike: to follow water-restrictions while keeping the lawn green.

Residents in one Plano neighborhood raised concerns after they received letters from their Home Owners Association asking them to comply with certain “aesthetic” rules. When News 8 pressed the issue with the HOA, SBB Management, we were told the letters that were sent out were a mistake.

Bill Bonnett of Plano fights that same battle to keep his lawn green. But he says that fight is getting more and more difficult.

“They're asking you to do something you can't do,” Bonnett said.

Last Thursday, the board of the North Texas Municipal Water District voted to remain on Stage 3 water restrictions. The board made that recommendation to all of its member cities, including Plano. That means residents will be under restricted water usage - once every two weeks - through the end of the year.

The letter sent to some residents in the Steeplechase neighborhood read “…the grass in front is looking dead or diseased. Please treat your lawn."

Bonnett has lived in the Willow Bend community for more than 24 years. He didn’t get a letter, but has received them in the past. He’s even put in a special drought-resistant grass, called zoyshia, to keep the HOAs off his back.

“You're putting the homeowner in a no-win situation. They either have to ignore the HOA or they have to ignore the watering rules -- both times you'll get fined,” Bonnett said.

Steve Stoler with the city of Plano said the city has had quarterly meetings with HOA presidents and just recently asked them to relax on these rules.

“We're encouraging HOAs - just like all of our citizens that live in Plano - you gotta conserve water," Stoler said. "This is a very serious situation."

SBB Management told News 8 that follow-up apology letters will be handed out to the residents in the Steeplechase neighborhood. And also, the association will not be pursuing landscaping concerns.

A statement from the company reads, “SBB works with board members at all of the communities we manage to balance the water restrictions with the association's need to maintain property appearance and values for the benefit of the association and the owners.”

Next week, the city of Plano is planning a special press conference to highlight the necessity for water conservation.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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