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HOA Artificial Turf Installations

NoMow's Best Practice Consulting for Establishing Synthetic Grass HOA Guidelines

Communities across the country are embracing artificial turf as an effective low-water and low-maintenance solution.  Home Owner Associations must, however, set clear standards for their residents in order to maintain the beauty and tradition of their communities.

If you’re a Home Owner Association member or a property manager and are looking to approve artificial turf for your community, we can assist in establishing official synthetic grass guidelines and standards.  Below, are a couple examples:

Pending legislation to permit artificial turf in HOA's

Passed by a bi-partisan 2/3rd majority of the California State Senate [22 to 10], Assembly Bill 1793 (AB.1793 2010-Saldana) simply needs the Governor’s signature and it becomes law; officially defining artificial grass as a viable and valuable water savings measure while voiding HOA and CID guidelines that ban its use.

Contrary to the state’s water efficiency objectives and reduction of all water use by 20 percent by the year 2020 (20×2020), many HOA and CID guidelines require property owners to landscape with lawn elements. With improvements in form and function, the natural alternative to real grass is artificial turf, which many HOAs and CID ban. Water agencies, funding rebate programs for use, and property owners, that want to invest in the materials, are stopped by restrictions and bans.

A year ago, AB1061 was passed – California legislation compelled property owners to use energy efficient products and materials in new and renovated landscape projects. To spite the new law, many HOAs and CID continued to ban the use of artificial grass materials because the term was not clearly defined in the law.

San Diego County Water Authority, during a December 2009 board meeting, decided to take action. They approached assembly member Lori Saldana to propose legislation that clearly defined artificial grass and synthetic grass-like surfaces as an option when designing landscape to be water efficient. This means the project met CALGREEN standards for water efficiency and use.

“Water has been a persistent problem in Southern California for decades,” said Saldana. “Statewide, water districts are working to reduce consumption for each person by 20 percent by the end of the decade. In my district in San Diego, we’ve had Stage 2 Drought Alert for the last couple of years. With our water supplies constantly in doubt and the subsequent mandatory cutbacks on water consumption, I believe homeowners need to have as many options as possible to cut down on water use.”

Let NoMow Turf’s team guide you through the process of establishing quality standards and guidelines acceptable to all parties including those residents that seek to improve their homes with it.

HOA 1 Turf Guidelines Example

Sub Association IV Synthetic Turf Specification

Due to restrictions/reductions by various government entities on the use of one of our most precious natural resources, water, the Board of Directors has decided to provide this bid specification for the installation of synthetic turf. Additionally, there have been several requests from our members for architectural approval of the installation of synthetic turf. Our desire is to give a variety of choices while limiting materials to the best, most natural looking. It is not in our members’ best interests to see their property values diminished due to the use of inferior materials. For this reason, we have done extensive research into the products and processes currently available and provide the following guidelines.

A handful of synthetic turf manufacturers make up the industry. The turf is then marketed & installed, mostly by professional synthetic turf installers and licensed landscape contractors. Tiger Turf is the brand that your Board reviewed for this specification. We have looked at numerous samples and have listed the following Board approved products from Tiger Turf:


  •   Majestic
  •   Marquee
  •   Sierra
  •   Natures Blend
  •   Emerald


Regular (65oz) and Pro (84oz) Regular (60oz) and Pro (76oz) Regular (60oz) and Pro (76oz) Regular (67oz)

Pro (68oz)

An infill system is required with these products and your Board looked at the Durafill product. Unlike silica sand and rubber, Durafill is non-absorbent, anti-microbial and anti- bacterial. These attributes translate into external elements not being absorbed into the infill product itself, such as animal urine. Durafill also does not suffer degradation or compact over time as rubber does. If you would like to use a product other than Durafill, it must have the same attributes mentioned above. The infill system is needed to help avoid matting of the turf, as well as lower the surface temperature in direct sunlight. Durafill lowers the temperature about 48 degrees compared to a rubber infill system.

If you choose to use a turf product other than the products mentioned above from Tiger Turf, the product must meet these minimum standards (a sample of the product with written specs must also be submitted with the Application for Architectural Review, before installation):

 Face Weight – 60oz minimum  Color – blended multi-color  Pile Height – 1 3⁄4” minimum  Turf product must have thatch


Requirements for installation:

  •   Front yard areas must retain a minimum of 30% of overall square footage as organic plant material, such as planter beds, bushes, shrubs, etc. This must be documented in the Request for Architectural Improvement application.
  •   Planters with organic plants and shrubs must border a minimum of 30% of the perimeter of any single turf area (50% or more is preferred and is more aesthetically pleasing). This must also be documented in the Request for Architectural Improvement application.
  •   If a synthetic turf area will meet a neighboring natural turf area, it must be separated with a barrier of at least 4 four inches of hard-scape or a planter containing organic plant material.
  •   Professional installation is required and must include a weed barrier and a properly prepared aggregate base for drainage.
  •   An infill system is required. Required Maintenance:
  •   Infill must be recharged or replaced if odor or deterioration occur.
  •   Turf must be cleaned and the pile raked/fluffed periodically to maintain its appearance.
  •   Since the best synthetic turf products are only warranted for 10 years, the Sub Association IV Board of Directors reserves the right to require replacement after 10 years.Issued 03/19/10

HOA 2 Turf Guidelines Example

Updated October 29, 2010


General Turf Guidelines:

●      Turf  must  be  natural  in  appearance ●      Turf  uniformity  must  be  maintained  for  all  areas  that  are  visibly  linked.

Lawn Turf Guidelines:

●      Turf  must  be  natural  in  appearance
Pile height must be at least 1 1/2 inches
Pile weight must be at least 40 ounces per square yard
Turf must have a minimum of an 8-year product warranty
Turf must have a minimum 1-year installation/workmanship warranty Turf must have UV protection
Turf must provide adequate drainage
Turf cannot be placed directly on top of existing grass, dirt or Hardscape Turf must be adequately secured – no ripples or seams showing
Turf edges must be finished
Turf  must  have  prepared  base  of  “infill”
No felt backing

Putting Green Guidelines:

●      Must  be  located  in  the  back-yard only
Must use Putting Green specific Turf
Turf must be natural in appearance
Pile height must be at least 1⁄4 inch
Turf must have a minimum of an 8-year product warranty
Turf must have a minimum 1-year installation/workmanship warranty Turf must have UV protection

Turf must provide adequate drainage
Turf cannot be placed directly on top of existing grass, dirt or Hardscape No felt backing

Artificial Turf Care Guidelines:

Remove organic material from the surface with a leaf blower or a rake
If you have animals that will use the turf, please remove the animal feces on a frequent basis, and wash the area with a hose. Urine should flow through the turf like rainwater
Color of turf must remain as original


  1. Photo of the area to be covered by the artificial turf and photo of proximity areas
  2. One square foot sample of the turf to be installed
  3. Description of the turf specifications
  4. Description of the method of installation

A list of current approved turf materials is available at the MAC desk at the Sun & Sail Club.

Approved Artificial Turf Products:

No Mow Turf:

Marquee – multicolor Royal Turf
Premier Turf
Elite Turf

Putting Green Turfs: Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Nylon

Tiger Turf

Marquee Pro

Sierra Pro


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