Abstract

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) exercise power over residential landscape structure and management, which has implications for the sustainability of urban ecosystems and resources. This study focuses on Maricopa County Arizona which encompasses the city of Phoenix. As an arid environment, Phoenix is sensitive to landscape structure requirements that determine resource consumption. This is primarily differentiated by the use of native, drought tolerant landscaping versus the mesic turf grass landscaping that requires more resource inputs. This study identifies the location of HOAs and examines content of landscaping rules and regulations codified in subdivision Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions (CCR) documents to determine how and where HOAs exert influence over residential ecology and resources. We found that, HOAs constituted approximately 40% of the single family residential subdivisions in our sample and most frequently regulated pets and pests, landscape structure, water resources, and albedo. The number of HOAs, CCR length, and number of clauses regulating landscape structure and management practices have generally increased over time. CCR language was generally permissive using words like “may” instead of “required,” suggesting potential to encourage environmental best management practices. This study informs a larger study of residential landscape ecology where high resolution land-cover imagery will be used to determine the extent that HOAs rules are enforced.

Modified Abstract

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) exercise power over residential landscapes, which has implications for the sustainability of urban ecosystems. This study focuses on the area around the city of Phoenix. Phoenix is in an arid environment and is sensitive to landscape structure. This is differentiated by the use of native landscaping versus the turf grass landscaping that requires more resource inputs. This study identifies the location of HOAs and examines content of landscaping regulation documents to determine how HOAs influence residential ecology. We found that, HOAs constituted approximately 40% of the subdivisions in our sample and frequently regulated pets, landscape structure, water resources, and albedo.

Research Category

Geology/Geography

Primary Author's Major

Geography

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. V. Kelly Turner

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

21-3-2017 1:00 PM

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Research Area

Nature and Society Relations

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Mar 21st, 1:00 PM

Homeowner's Associations Increasingly Regulate Residential Landscape Ecology in Phoenix, Arizona

Homeowners Associations (HOAs) exercise power over residential landscape structure and management, which has implications for the sustainability of urban ecosystems and resources. This study focuses on Maricopa County Arizona which encompasses the city of Phoenix. As an arid environment, Phoenix is sensitive to landscape structure requirements that determine resource consumption. This is primarily differentiated by the use of native, drought tolerant landscaping versus the mesic turf grass landscaping that requires more resource inputs. This study identifies the location of HOAs and examines content of landscaping rules and regulations codified in subdivision Covenants, Codes, and Restrictions (CCR) documents to determine how and where HOAs exert influence over residential ecology and resources. We found that, HOAs constituted approximately 40% of the single family residential subdivisions in our sample and most frequently regulated pets and pests, landscape structure, water resources, and albedo. The number of HOAs, CCR length, and number of clauses regulating landscape structure and management practices have generally increased over time. CCR language was generally permissive using words like “may” instead of “required,” suggesting potential to encourage environmental best management practices. This study informs a larger study of residential landscape ecology where high resolution land-cover imagery will be used to determine the extent that HOAs rules are enforced.