With California’s drought in full swing, the City of Glendale is finally ready to reconsider its four-year-old ban on artificial turf.
City officials approved the ban in 2011, which restricted artificial grass to residential backyards. The move came after numerous complaints from city residents who said fake lawns were damaging the character of their neighborhoods.
In addition to the drought concerns, city officials say the artificial turf industry has come a long way in improving the looks of their products.
"I think with the current technology of artificial turf, it is visually indistinguishable to real turf," said Mayor Ara Najarian. "Folks should be able to do what they want to do with their front yards."
Peter Fuad, president of the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Assn., says there are better ways to promote water conservation, including the use of drought-tolerant plants. Alek Bartrosouf, one of the founders of Coalition for a Green Glendale, fears a reversal of the ban would “remove what little natural resources of Glendale we have left."
"Real grass provides oxygen and promotes life in the soil and above it, creating a natural habitat for urban wildlife, birds, insects, etc.," Bartrosouf notes.
The Glendale City Council now has a range of options to consider. According to City Manager Scott Ochoa, the council could leave the ban in place, decide to conduct further research, or lift the ban as early as this summer.
The cities of Los Angeles and Burbank have been encouraging residents to switch to artificial grass in an effort to reduce water usage. State Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has also proposed legislation which would allow residents to bypass synthetic turf bans enacted by homeowners associations.
Read more about the questions surrounding Glendale’s artificial turn ban here.