Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions.
It IS a really great way for them to get money. The HOA are really not an approachable bunch, they are older people with time on their hands and a vision of the perfectly unrealistic Norman Rockwell street. Unfortunately the neighborhood is suffering from it as it has about a 60% occupancy (so many homes for sale), the HOA's reputation is known. HOA aside, I love this area, as well as the home I built for my kids and wouldn't move.
The dogs that urinate on my lawn are attached to their owners by a leash - not roaming free. Since we have a frozen winter, the grass already looks dead until spring when things come alive and green up - that's when you really see the spots. Plenty of the sidewalk-grass borders in the neighborhood have the same 'dead spot' issue. Its very annoying, but I know that when I walk my dog she smells other dogs on neighbors grasses and marks it too. Nothing really you can do to stop the dog (they would never allow a fence). Poop is a non-issue because we have a city ordinance that says everyone must carry little baggies and clean up after their dogs. Everyone is really good about that.
Think I might try that bitter orange thing - here's hoping the orange oils don't kill the grass.
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