Perhaps you read this recent story from a colleague of mine on a High Point woman facing fines from her homeowners association because of her grassless lawn:
"Similar battles have been waged on a statewide level recently, as the drought has turned attention toward the vast amounts of water sprinkled and sprayed on suburban lawns each summer.
"In its past session, the General Assembly passed a bill limiting the ability of homeowners’ associations to fine residents who don’t water their lawns during a drought."
It's only a matter of time before grassless lawns move away from the minority to the mainstream as homeowners deal not only with perpetual drought, but rising food and energy prices. Urban gardening and edible landscapes are becoming more attractive to Americans across the country, even in Greensboro, where public schools are putting their lawns to use for educational purposes.
HOAs serve their purpose, namely to protect property values and maintain joint-owned amenities, such as pools and recreation centers. In some cases, the HOAs pay to cut grass or repair exterior surfaces of the homes. But HOAs are vulnerable during recessions when cash-strapped mortgage payers stop paying their assessments on time. And HOAs have to be carefully managed; otherwise, funds get misspent, leaving homeowners in the lurch. (I've owned a home where I paid a monthly HOA and experienced a near 50 percent increase in one year.)
At any rate, will homebuyers continue to favor neighborhoods with HOAs or will the associations come to be seen as unnecessary and expensive burdens for residents to carry? Neighborhoods that gain in value may very well be those that allow their residents to install clotheslines and solar panels and grow food instead of teh water-hungry, glorified weed called grass. (More on edible landscaping here.)