Drought forces Sacramento to review artificial turf ban

A Sacramento city ordinance that's been in the books for 30 years could soon be history because of the drought.

The landscaping ordinance passed in 1984 prevents any use of artificial turf on residents' front yards. Homes with artificial grass could face a penalty.

"If we do receive a call about artificial grass, it is our duty to go out and investigate," city spokesperson Maurice Chaney said. "But, we only do it on a reactionary basis."

Other cities like Roseville encourage residents to get artificial grass as a way to save from having to water their lawns. An idea residents think Sacramento should pursue.

"We are looking at artificial grass as an alternative to live vegetation and it's our hope to bring that back for review in the near term," Chaney said.

Companies that specialize in synthetic turf products said they've been kept busy this year as people resort to the artificial turf to save water.

"Now with the drought situation, there are so many people that are turning to our grass," Stay Green Synthetic Turf Products owner Tony Portman said.

The turf stays green without any water or mowing necessary.

"Most of your water goes to watering your lawns in the summertime and with artificial grass, that's going to cut that down tremendously," Chaney said.

The synthetic material is something the city of Sacramento won't allow. For now, anyone caught with the green imitation could be fined.

City officials said there is no timeline in place to repeal the ordinance, but hope to reconsider it as soon as possible.


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