U.S. Water News Online
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- Residents voluntarily doing their
part to save water because of the drought are being warned by
homeowner associations that brown lawns violate neighborhood rules.
Associations in at least two subdivisions in Highlands Ranch and
Westminster are enforcing their regulations, which seek to maintain a
neighborhood's neat appearance.
Marilyn Geerdes, who lives in the Arrowhead Filing subdivision of
Westminster, sent a letter to management company Management
Specialists after receiving a note that said her thirsty lawn
``creates an unsightly condition.''
``I would say the entire state of Colorado is `lacking in water.'
Perhaps you haven't heard, we are experiencing a drought,'' she said.
``As a consequence of dry conditions, farmers may have to sell their
land and cattle, but we will have our lush, green lawns, by golly.''
Ken Hammack in Highlands Ranch received a similar notice.
``I was shocked,'' he said.
Neither Westminster, nor Douglas County, which governs Highlands
Ranch, have imposed water restrictions.
Karen Becker, a community manager for Management Associates, said
the drought doesn't let homeowners off the hook.
``A certain amount of stressed lawn is going to be acceptable due
to the conditions,'' she said. But, ``to use water properly doesn't
mean you'll have a dead lawn.''
Carrie Hugus, a spokeswoman for the 25,000-home Highlands Ranch
Community Association, said they're asking homeowners to follow
guidelines of watering every three days, for up to 15 minutes.
``If homeowners follow those guidelines, their lawns will be
properly maintained,'' she said. ``That's all we ask. We don't want
to waste water, but we don't want dead lawns, either.''
The Western Slope towns of Parachute and Silt as well as
Denver-area Aurora and Louisville, have imposed mandatory
water-conservation measures. Other communities, such as Boulder and
Lafayette, are preparing to pass restrictions.
Officials in Thornton and Brighton have said voluntary curbs could
become mandatory if severe drought conditions continue.
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