A Rancho Santa Margarita resident installed a drought-tolerant lawn, and now he could face HOA fines
A Rancho Santa Margarita resident installed a drought-tolerant lawn, and now he could face HOA fines.
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA Jeff Armbruster was just looking to replace his dying lawn and save a little money in the process.
In April, the widowed father of three switched out the scraggly brown turf at his Rancho Santa Margarita home with rocks and succulents in an effort to earn a rebate through the Santa Margarita Water District and save on his monthly water bill.
He spent $2,500 on his front yard, adding pink sandstone rock with one planter of succulent plants in the middle.
In the process of changing the landscaping, Armbruster said he had to tell his neighbors what he had planned to do and submit signatures of approval from neighbors for approval from SAMLARC.
“I thought it looked good; my neighbors thought it looked good.
People came and asked me for the name of my gardener.” Salah Fouad, Armbruster’s next door neighbor who has installed artificial turf, said he thinks the changes give the neighborhood a sense of variety while maintaining the value of the home.
“They never should have set rules for living plants in a desert area,” Armbruster said.
“We want to work with the homeowner and connect with the community.
As long as they’re willing to work with us, we’re going to work with them.” For now, no changes have been made to Armbruster’s front yard and no fines have been handed out by SAMLARC.