Xeriscaping Policy

To assist homeowners with our frequent and persistent drought conditions, PPHOA has adopted a new Xeriscaping Policy. This policy will allow homeowners to utilize different xeriscaping techniques that will result in a reduction of water usage for landscaping.  Please take some time to read the policy and understand the guidelines. PPHOA Xeriscaping Policy

Please remember, any changes to your yard, including anything outlined in the Xeriscaping Policy, must first be approved by the Architecture Control Committee (ACC) by filling out and submitting the Homeowner Improvement Request Form

Summary of Enforcement Guidelines

  • The Architectural Control Committee (ACC) will generally allow variances for xeriscaping as long as 40% of publicly visible area is turfed and all other guidelines below are met.
  • Homeowners must submit a request for variance to the ACC. The request must include details of the project and a design plan. Installation of the new xeriscaping cannot begin until the variance has been approved.
  • Non-turf planted areas must be bordered to clearly define the xeriscaped areas from turfed areas. Xeriscaped areas must be kept maintained at all times to ensure an attractive appearance. This includes trimming/thinning plants, keeping the area weed free, and edging along borders.
  • No boulders or large rocks exceeding six inches (6″) may be used on the narrow strips between public sidewalks and the street curb.
  • No plants that will grow higher than twelve inches (12″) in height should be planted in the sidewalk strip area.
  • No plants may encroach onto or over public sidewalks.
  • No plants with thorns, spines, or sharp edges can be used within six feet (6′) of the public sidewalks.
  • No synthetic plants or turf may be used in areas visible from the street. 
  • Sickly and dying plants must be removed and replaced.
  • Perennials and ornamental grasses that die back in winter must be cut back to remove dead material.
  • Urns, pots, and other manmade ornamentation cannot be the focal point of the yard.
  • Consideration of water flow and drainage issues must be addressed as part your submission.

Information and Tips: The following tips and information can be used to help guide your xeriscaping decisions.

Xeriscaping means using native and adapted plants that will grow and sustain themselves with low water requirements and that can tolerate heat and drought conditions. The City of San Antonio is vigorously promoting xeriscaping for resource conservation and environmental protection. The advantages of xeriscaping include: substantial cost savings on water bills, conservation of diminishing water resources, prevention of pollution of surface and ground water from environmentally harmful runoff, reduced yard maintenance requirements, pride in knowing you are doing something to protect our fragile environment.

There are seven principles used in xeriscaping:

  • Plan and Design: Create a plan that will help you get the most out of your landscape. Consider cost, function, aesthetics, maintenance requirements, water use and energy efficiency.
  • Soil Amendment: Proper application and incorporation of compost, inert materials into soil prior to planting.
  • Irrigate efficiently: Plant trees, shrubs, ground covers and turf areas each
    on different valves so you can time their irrigations separately. Adjust your irrigation schedule at least four times a year.
  • Appropriate Plant selection: Plants which are appropriate for the region and community are essential.
  • Incorporate turf areas appropriately: Sometimes only grass will do. Small turf areas can be incorporated successfully with proper planning, installation and maintenance. Use less thirsty grasses.
  • Use mulch: Mulch covers the soil and reduces evaporation. It cools the soil beneath and helps to inhibit weed growth and prevent erosion.
  • Maintaining Landscapes: Proper planning and design reduces maintenance time. Using native plants reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides.

For information and recommendations on appropriate plants, turf grasses, and trees to use in your yard, you can go to: the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) website; the San Antonio Botanical Garden which also provides many resources, including a display of six water saving landscapes for design ideas; or read An Earthwise Guide to South Texas, commonly known as the “Grow Green” book from www.gogreen.org.