On Monday, Jan. 27, the Washington state House of Representatives passed legislation (House Bill 1165) which would allow owners of condominiums to utilize water-efficient landscaping techniques on their properties, while still maintaining the integrity of homeowner’s and condominium unit owners’ association rules.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, after Kent homeowner Beroz Ferrell brought the issue forward. Ferrell had attempted to install drought friendly landscaping to better conserve water during the height of Washington’s statewide drought, however she found herself involved in a lengthy legal battle with her homeowner’s association regarding rules on what types of plants could be installed.

“This is a win for our environment and for homeowners,” Orwall said. “We worked hard to strike a balance between the needs of homeowners wanting to cut back their personal environmental impact, while still respecting the authority of individual homeowners’ associations. This works for everyone.”

“Homeowners who want to be more conscious of how much water is being used on their properties shouldn’t have to jump through legal hoops. This is good for our communities and environment,” said Ferrell.

The legislation passed out of the House 93 – 4, and next moves to the Senate for consideration. The 60-day legislative session will conclude on March 12, 2020.