Colorado enacts Senate Bill 24-005

The bill allows for the use of native grasses and sods that are better suited for arid conditions.
The bill prohibits the installation, planting, or placement of nonfunctional turf, artificial turf and invasive plant species in specific types of properties.

The State of Colorado has enacted Senate Bill 24-005, a measure that seeks to regulate certain landscaping practices across the state.  

The bill prohibits the installation, planting or placement of nonfunctional turf, artificial turf and invasive plant species in specific types of properties. The action is part of a broader initiative to encourage water-wise landscaping principles, acknowledging the increasing pressure on the state’s water resources due to climate change and rising demand, according to the bill’s text. 

The legislation provides definitions to guide compliance, including terms such as “Applicable Property,” which covers commercial, institutional or industrial properties, among others, but explicitly excludes residential properties. “Functional Turf,” as defined in the bill, refers to turf used for recreational purposes. 

Starting January 1, 2026, local entities within Colorado are required to adhere to the new guidelines, ensuring that any new development or redevelopment project on applicable properties excludes nonfunctional turf, artificial turf or invasive plant species. Additionally, the Department of Personnel will follow similar restrictions for state facility projects beginning January 1, 2025. 

While the bill sets forth these new standards, it also provides exemptions for the maintenance of existing installations prior to the specified dates. It also allows for the use of native grasses and sods that are better suited for arid conditions and grants local entities the flexibility to impose stricter regulations if desired. 

Senate Bill 24-005 will take effect the day following the 90-day period post-final adjournment of the general assembly, with provisions in place for a referendum challenge. If such a challenge occurs, the bill’s implementation will be determined by the outcome of the general election in November 2024. 

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