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HOA fines for lawn removal

SAN RAMON (AP) -- A California lawmaker is praising a San Francisco Bay Area woman as a hero after she replaced her lawn with low-water native plants, but was then hit with a fine by her homeowners association.

San Diego Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said Fran Paxson's water-saving efforts during the state's drought should be hailed.

But Paxson tells the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/1tzYcLi) her homeowners association in San Ramon sent her a letter in July saying it was fining her $50 a month until she puts some of the lawn back.

According to Paxson, the association's board raised concerns her lawn-free look would reduce property values.

An association staff member said in an email on Friday the fine was for Paxson's failure to get proper approval for the work.

A bill authored by Gonzalez would prohibit homeowners associations from fining families for removing their lawns.


Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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