Scottsdale City Council passes first-known state code amendment regarding overseeding

HOAs can no longer mandate overseeding

Scottsdale City Council approved a code amendment last night which states Homeowner Associations (HOA) cannot mandate homeowners to overseed their lawn. The new code gives homeowners the ability to now choose to not overseed, which is an effective way to save thousands of gallons of water per property. Overseeding occurs in fall and is the practice of planting seasonal grass over the dormant, warm season grass.

The proposal came as a direct result of the water supply shortages on the Colorado River. Arizona will go into a Tier 2a starting January 1, 2023, with further cuts expected. 

Scottsdale Water and Council listened to homeowners frustrated with their HOAs who mandated them to overseed their Bermuda grass. But dormant grass is normal, and the healthiest option for a summer lawn. Additional benefits to not overseeding include lower water bills, less maintenance, and increased water conservation.

This fall Scottsdale Water executed a campaign asking residents and businesses to not overseed. The moto is “Overseeding uses a lot of water. It is the right thing NOT to do.” Because of this program, City officials felt the need to give homeowners the ability to opt-in to these water savings initiatives.

The result has been an overwhelming positive response from both homeowners and HOAs on the efforts the City is making to reduce its water footprint. Scottsdale Water received this comment from one of their customers regarding the campaign:  I decided last season not to overseed the back yard and it not only looked awesome, but we received all the benefits of low watering, ozone protection, time, money, and much healthier Bermuda this summer which had significantly lower weeds than my front yard Bermuda- requiring less herbicides, less repair and attention.

Montage HOA also saw incredible results when they decided to not overseed their green belt last year. HOA President Paul Traiforos said, “My community HOA voted to not overseed last winter for the first time in our history to help conserve water. We saved over 1,200,000 gallons of water during a 4-month period. That is enough to fill 120 average size residential pools. We plan on doing the same this year and have reduced irrigation use by 40% over the past year.”

Logon to, search “overseed” to learn more about this campaign and the benefits of not overseeding. 


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