HOA cracks down on lawns

August 30, 2010 5:19:40 PM PDT
When it comes to lawn care, homeowners say it's been a brutal summer. The scorching sun has left many yards brown and parched looking - even if they've been watered.

"It's really rare to get a yard that looks great right now," explained Cary resident Maria Reier.

That's why Reier was surprised when a letter arrived from her homeowner's association telling her - and dozens of her Carpenter Village neighbors - that their lawns don't meet their homeowner's association standards.

From weeds to bare spots, the HOA has demanded residents submit a lawn care action plan in writing.

"With so many people being unemployed, out of work and having a hard time just paying their mortgages, well, they want us to hire someone to come up with a lawn maintenance plan.

Reier contacted ABC11 for help when a sign was - coincidentally - stuck in her yard complete with price quotes and lawn measurements.

"That must've required someone to come into our yard and measure our lawn when we weren't home," said Reier.

Reier and some of her neighbors wondered if their HOA and a local lawn care company were in business.

"Just the fact that it happened a day later after we got this letter about a lawn maintenance plan, that just didn't sound right to me," she said.

But Reier's HOA said it does not have any relationship with the lawn company.

"No, absolutely not. That would be something we wouldn't do. It would be inappropriate," said Sue Fallwell with Omega Management.

The HOA says homeowners are free to maintain their lawns as they wish - just as long as they do it.

"A lot of people don't understand with fescue. If they don't do anything in the September - early October -to address the situation, they're not going to have any improved grass next year at this time," Fallwell explained.

The HOA says its lawn care campaign was never meant to pressure homeowners, but rather a proactive approach for the sake of property value.

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