Utah lawmaker pushes HOA in Cottonwood Heights to cut back on watering

Aug 24, 2021, 10:51 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2023, 3:02 pm

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — A state legislator said she’s tried everything to get the HOA in her area of Cottonwood Heights to cut back on watering, but every attempt has been ignored.

Gay Lynn Bennion walks Hollow Mill Road every morning with her husband. She likes the exercise, but, in early June, she noticed something that really bothered her — the sprinklers along the park strip were on every morning.

She’s very aware of Gov. Spencer Cox’s plea to Utahns to “slow the flow” as she’s a state representative for District 46. So, she tried reaching out to the Home Owners’ Associations, Western Management Associates.

Bennion said she got no response for two months.

“I started with phone calls. They told me to email. I never got a response,” said Bennion.

But the watering continued.

Meanwhile, Bennion and neighbors started making drought-friendly changes to their yards.

“We had this whole section torn out,” said Elain Zhang, who dug out the grass on her park strip and plans to replace it with rocks and a small tree that will have a drip system.

As Bennion has watched people in the neighborhood alter their yards to save money, she has become more upset with the HOA.

“In my neighborhood, people care,” said Bennion. “They are doing their part to cut back on water.”

She said the blatant brush-off has been upsetting and unusual.

As a state representative, she said people are usually more than happy to help.

On Tuesday, KSL TV called Western Management Associates, the HOA.

We heard back within an hour.

Richard Harmon left us a voicemail saying, “Just to report to you, our landscaper waters four times a week, 10-minutes a station, and they are reducing by one day, five minutes a station as of the first of this week.”

It doesn’t go as far as Gov. Cox has asked people to do, with his plea to people to water only twice a week, and Bennion doesn’t know if the HOA will every do that.

Her hope is that people, including the HOA, will change their thinking toward water, living in a desert and ways to conserve.

“Water is life and more and more of us see that,” said Bennion. “It just makes me sad that the HOA doesn’t see that.”

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Utah lawmaker pushes HOA in Cottonwood Heights to cut back on watering