Notwithstanding any provision in any declaration of covenants, no requirement to irrigate landscaping shall be construed to:
(1) Require the irrigation of landscaping, during any period in which the U.S. Drought Monitor, as defined in G.S. 143-350, or the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources has designated an area in which the association is located as an area of severe, extreme, or exceptional drought and the Governor, a State agency, or unit of local government has imposed water conservation measures applicable to the area unless:
a. For covenants registered prior to October 1, 2008, the covenant specifically requires the irrigation of landscaping notwithstanding water conservation measures imposed by the Governor, a State agency, or unit of local government. The association may not fine or otherwise penalize an owner of land for violation of an irrigation requirement during a period of drought as designated under this subdivision, unless the covenant specifically authorizes fines or other penalties.
b. For covenants registered on or after October 1, 2008, the covenant must specifically state that any requirement to irrigate landscaping is suspended to the extent the requirement would otherwise be prohibited during any period in which the Governor, a State agency, or unit of local government has imposed water conservation measures. The association may not fine or otherwise penalize an owner of land for violation of an irrigation requirement during a drought designated under this subdivision, unless the covenant authorizes the fines or other penalties. This authorization must be written on the first page of the covenant in print that is in boldface type, capital letters, and no smaller than the largest print used elsewhere in the declarations of covenants.
(2) For purposes of this section, the term "landscaping" includes lawns, trees, shrubbery, and other ornamental or decorative plants. (2008-143, s. 19(a).)
Last modified: March 23, 2014