Currently, C.R.S. §38-33.3-106.5(i) of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act prevents community associations from prohibiting the use of xeriscaping on an owner’s property. While an association can still adopt design or aesthetic guidelines that regulate the type, number, and placement of drought-tolerant plantings and hardscapes, it cannot absolutely ban the use of xeriscaping on the owner’s property. House Bill 19-1050 seeks to expand the current law in two ways.

The first section of the bill applies the same limitation to common elements of the association. Consequently, if HB 19-1050 becomes law, associations would no longer be able to prevent the use of xeriscaping on either the unit owner’s property or the common elements of the association.

The next two sections of the bill work together to extend existing water conservation requirements, clarified in C.R.S. §§ 32-1-110 and 37-60-126, to special districts that manage areas of parkland and open space. The practical effect of the changes will be that xeriscape protections will now apply to “special districts” as well as unit owners’ properties and common areas. The term “special district” is defined generally in C.R.S. §§ 32-1-103(20) as “any quasi-municipal corporation and political subdivision organized or acting pursuant to the provisions of this article.”

We will keep you posted on any updates to this and other proposed legislation for 2019.

If you have any questions feel free to contact any one of our attorneys at 303.432.9999.