Creative homeowner seeks to trick HOA with clever yard upgrade: ‘It could pass as grass’

When landlords give a hard “no” to native plant enthusiasts looking to switch up their traditional grass lawns for something more Earth-friendly, some residents are willing to come up with crafty new ways to fulfill their desires for sustainable living.

A Redditor proposed an interesting question to the r/Moss community: What type of moss resembles grass closely enough to fool their homeowners association?

According to the OP, members living in their community are not allowed to install grass alternatives due to their nontraditional appearance that would differ from other yards in the area.

Since none of the grasses that are typically recommended for groundcover are native plants, the Redditor considered moss as a viable solution after noticing nodding-thread moss in their yard.

“I mean, if you changed the color, squinted, and enlarged by three times, it could pass as grass,” they wrote, seeking other types of moss that could be disguised as a traditional lawn.

Trying to find loopholes in strict regulations in order to add eco-friendly, money-saving additions to homes has been seemingly a constant struggle between residents and HOAs.

Slowing down the process of switching to low-maintenance native plants negatively impacts both homeowners and the environment, as these updates can save people money by lowering utility bills and conserving resources.

However, talking to your HOA about changing established bylaws against additions like solar panels — which reduce reliance on dirty energy — or low-maintenance natural lawns can make a difference. One homeowner was even able to cite a state law to win their case, while another made their yard a certified wildlife refuge.

Many commenters were interested in the OP’s quest to redo their traditional lawn with a “faux grass” that strict HOA members may overlook, providing additional resources and recommendations.

One Redditor suggested they check out other topical subreddits for helpful insights, such as r/nolawns and r/lawncare.

“What if you did clovers? They grow slower, shorter, need less water, and give nutrients to the soil. I think if you keep it short it would look like grass,” another commenter proposed.

“How many people are in your HOA? Go to a meeting and propose a rule change. If that fails, get some neighbors on your side and then run for a position on the board. Be the change you want to see,” a third Reddit user added.

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