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Drought bill targets homeowner association rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A bill moving through the Legislature protects people in homeowner associations from retribution if they take steps to reduce water use for landscaping.

AB2104 passed the Assembly Thursday on a 71-1 vote without debate.

The bill's author, Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, says associations have been finding ways to force their members to maintain lush lawns despite existing laws that seek to protect homeowners. Her bill aims to reduce loopholes that are being used by the associations.

Under her bill, associations, apartment projects and housing cooperatives could not ban water-saving plants or prohibit their members from following local water conservation rules. It now heads to the Senate.

Four other bills targeting homeowner associations would spare homeowners from fines for letting their lawns die during a drought.

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