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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Southern California lawmaker wants to protect homeowners who cut back on watering during the statewide drought against retaliation from homeowner associations (HOAs).

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez authored the bill, which passed the Assembly Thursday in a 71-1 vote without debate.

Under Assembly Bill 2104 (PDF), associations, apartment projects and housing cooperatives would be prohibited from implementing any ban on water-saving plants or prohibit their members from following local water conservation rules.

Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said HOAs have been finding ways to force their members to maintain lush lawns despite existing laws that seek to protect homeowners. Her bill aims to reduce loopholes that are being used by the associations.

“If a individual, a homeowner who lives within an HOA, wants to replace their lawn with drought-resistant landscaping, that they can’t be sued or penalized or fined for that decision,” said Gonzalez.

California lawmakers are also considering four other bills targeting homeowner associations that would spare homeowners from fines for letting their lawns die during a drought, the Associated Press reported.

AB2104 is now headed to the state Senate.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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