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Front Lawn Ban in California

Grass Clippings - Front Lawn BanGrass is continuing to go out of style in arid Paso Robles, a trend that may be part of the city’s overall look for years to come.

The Paso Robles City Council of California, USA on Tuesday discussed updates to its landscape ordinance, voting 4-1 to ban grass from front yards on all new residential construction to comply with state turf reduction requirements in Gov. Jerry Brown’s push to save water. The ban would come with some exceptions, though, including the option to add turf to the front of new homes if property owners submit the required documentation.

“We want to see people get rid of decorative turf and get away from the concept that the only idea of pretty is this mat of green,” city water manager Christopher Alakel said. “But we understand that grass serves multiple purposes, such as for sports and kids and pets and that sort of thing. So we’re not expecting people to put rocks in their backyard.”

New state requirements look to limit grass to 25 percent of the total landscape area on new residential construction, and the city is pushing to take that a step further by only allowing turf in backyards, community development director Warren Frace said.

With the new state update, which starts Jan. 1, some turf is allowed in front yards if applicants submit more paperwork and water-use studies to justify it. But city officials say doing away with front-yard grass altogether would simplify the homebuilding process for property owners as well as showcase the city’s commitment to conservation.

“A developer would need to get landscape architects and soil studies to meet the state regulations, and it’s a lot of documentation that’s required,” Alakel said. “So we were trying to make it easy for the developer community and try to develop a new way of thinking for Paso.”

Read more on The Tribune

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