The Utah general legislative session for 2022 was January – March 2022, and the general effective date for legislation from the session was May 4, 2022.
Under Senate Bill 152 (2022), all associations (even condominiums) are required to adopt rules supporting water-efficient landscaping, including allowance for low water use on lawns during drought conditions. See Utah Code Sections 57-8a-218(16) and 57-8-8.1(9).
Under House Bill 282 (2022), an association may not prohibit an owner of a lot with a detached dwelling (aka single family home) from incorporating water wise landscaping on the owner’s lot. “Water wise landscaping” means any of the following: (1) installation of plant materials suited to the microclimate and soil conditions that can remain healthy with minimal irrigation once established or be maintained without the use of sprinklers, (2) use of water for outdoor irrigation through proper and efficient irrigation design and water application, or (3) the use of other landscape design features that either minimize the need of the landscape for supplemental water from irrigation or reduce the landscape area dedicated to lawn.
However, an association can require a lot owner to comply with a site plan review process, to maintain plants in a healthy condition, and to follow specific water wise landscaping design requirements adopted by the association, and can restrict the use of mulches considered detrimental to the association’s operations, impose minimum or maximum vegetative coverage, and restrict the use of specific plant materials.
The bill enacts a new section of the Community Association Act, Utah Code Section 57-8a-231.
Finally, an association may not require a lot owner to have lawn in an area that’s less than eight feet wide and may not restrict the conversion of a “grass park strip” to water-efficient landscaping. See Senate Bill 152 and House Bill 282, now codified in Utah Code Sections 57-8a-218(16), 57-8-8.1(9) and 57-8a-231(3)(b).
Senate Bill 152 (2022) limits the records that owners are entitled to see to just the main records, such as minutes, governing documents, financials, etc. This is a change from prior law where owners were entitled to view and copy virtually all records of their HOA. Specifically, an association is required to keep and make available to owners a copy of the governing documents, most recent approved minutes, most recent budget and financial statement, most recent reserve analysis, and certificate of insurance for each insurance policy the association holds, plus the records listed in Utah Code Subsections 16-6a-1601(1) through (5).
Additionally, an association must now have all of its governing documents on its website, including the CC&Rs (declaration), articles of incorporation, bylaws, the plat of the development, and the rules, as well as the most recent approved minutes and most recent budget and financial statement. Previously, just the declaration and bylaws (and most recent approved minutes and most recent budget and financial statement) were required to be on the website. If the association doesn’t have a website, then it must make the documents available to lot owners free of charge during regular business hours at the association’s address listed with the Utah HOA Registry. See Utah Code Section 57-8a-227(2) and Section 57-8-17(2).
Electric Vehicle Charging Systems
Senate Bill 152 (2022) added new statutes to both the Condo Act and Community Association Act that provide:
- an association may not prohibit an owner from installing or using an electric vehicle charging system in a parking space on the owner’s lot or in a limited common area parking space designated for the owner’s exclusive use;
- an association may (1) require the owner to obtain approval before installing a charging system; (2) require that an electrical contractor install the charger, or if installed on common area, require the owner to reimburse the association for any increase in the insurance premium caused by the installation of the charger; (3) require the system to comply with the association’s design criteria and other restrictions if they do not significantly increase the cost of or decrease the efficiency or performance of the charging station; and (4) require the owner to pay the costs of installation, metering, and use of the system, including the costs of electricity and damage to common area.
Religious and Holiday Displays. A rule may not abridge the rights of an owner to display a religious or holiday sign, symbol, or decoration inside a dwelling or outside a dwelling on: (1) a lot, (2) the exterior of the dwelling, unless the association owns or maintains the exterior, or (3) the front yard of the dwelling, unless the association owns or maintains the yard. But, the association may adopt a reasonable time, place, and manner restriction with respect to a display that is outside a dwelling and visible from outside the lot.
Political Signs. The new law says a rule may not prohibit an owner from displaying a political sign inside a dwelling or outside a dwelling on: (1) a lot, (2) the exterior of the dwelling, regardless of whether the association owns the exterior, or (3) the front yard of the dwelling, regardless of whether the association owns the yard. A rule may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of posting a political sign, but may not regulate the content of a political sign. A “design provision” may not establish design criteria for a political sign.
For-Sale Signs. Finally, a rule may not prohibit an owner from displaying a for-sale sign inside a dwelling or outside a dwelling on: (1) a lot, (2) the exterior of the dwelling, regardless of whether the association owns the exterior, or (3) the front yard of the dwelling, regardless of whether the association owns the yard. A rule may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of posting a for-sale sign.
Continue reading for how the new laws affect your community and what you need to do to comply with the new laws.