Posted by: GreenerGreenGrass | _

Woman Fined $200 by HOA for Brown Grass During Drought

I try to keep this a family-friendly blog (you know, for all those precocious little lawn geeks out there), but you have got to be f**king kidding me!  Our buddy at Ernie Writes told me about this article via Twitter and the outrage started to bubble up very quickly.

Ok, I understand that she participates in a Home Owner’s Association and agreed to follow their rules about keeping the lawn green, but really?  It’s a drought.  I don’t know the local details, but keeping the grass green might actually require her to break water restriction laws, or not abide by the voluntary restrictions that she may wish to support.

I actually read the Green Valley Ranch Home Owner’s Association Residential Improvement Guidelines & Site Restrictions and am struck by the requirement that, “All areas of the yard should be weed free.”  You also have to get approval for almost any change to the landscape, or get charged $1,000 (!!!) for failing to do so.  I’ve never been a fan of cookie cutter subdivisions, but reading this document made me cringe.  The granular detail they go into about what you can and cannot do is crazy!  For example, if you pass all the detailed requirements to install a portable basketball goal (permanent ones are forbidden), you can only use it between 9am and 9pm.

I digress… But wait, I just saw one more rule (item 3.40 for those doing their own research) – the only flags you are allowed to install are the American flag, the Colorado state flag, and military service flags.  So, if you happen to be from another country, maybe find another place to live if you wish to express your patriotism.

Anyway, the full article is below….

When the Green Valley Ranch Home Owner’s Association calls itself “Green,” they really mean it.

Lori Worthman was fined $200 by the HOA of the Denver subdivision for not keeping her grass green enough. Worthman reportedly had unsightly brown spots on her lawn.

The Colorado woman did have a valid excuse for the brown grass as the region grapples with one of its worst droughts of the year. But that was no excuse for Green Valley Ranch.

Worthman says she is dealing with the issue. She hired someone to fix her sprinkler, started watering more, and put new seed down. However, her efforts were to no avail given the Stage 1 drought and watering restrictions in the city, reports ABC.

For their part, the HOA says that this is not the first time they’ve talked to Worthman. Instead, they say they brought up the brown grass last year and gave her nine months to fix it. In fact, a spokesperson for the HOA said they would much rather have the woman fix her lawn than collect the $200.

After all, the effect of an unsightly lawn has a much greater impact on the neighboring properties than the fine, the spokesperson said. The HOA added that if Worthman gets her grass green, the fine will be waived, reports ABC.

Regardless of the effect on home values, you may think that the HOA is behaving ridiculously here. And you’re probably right given the fact that they fined someone for brown grass during middle of a drought. However, no one forced Lori Worthman to move into a home covered by the HOA. And when she choose that particular subdivision, she agreed to abide by all the HOA rules and regulations, no matter how ridiculous.

via Woman Fined $200 by HOA for Brown Grass During Drought – Strange Local Laws – Legally Weird.


  1. What is she supposed to do, paint it herself! This is preposterous! I guess she could make a call to God…. Jeez!

    • I know… Or maybe they should fine Mother Nature!

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