Stockton man claims he is being fined for brown grass

Stockton property owner Martin Padilla said he was trying to conserve water, but that has led to a hefty fine.

Padilla now has to water his lawn, turning it from brown to green after he received a $429 fine from Stockton Code Enforcement officers.

"I don't think its fair," Padilla said.

In May, the city sent him a warning instructing him to clean up garbage on his lawn and cut his high grass and shrubs. On July 7, he received another warning telling him to do the same thing.

Padilla claims he cleaned up his yard and days later he was still fined.

"July 23 they re-inspected the property and they still give me a ticket, saying the grass is not green the way its suppose to be," he said.

The city of Stockton disputes that claim.

"The city is not citing people for brown grass alone," Stockton spokesperson Connie Cochran said. "If you are being cited, there are probably other issues."

Code enforcement would not elaborate on those Padilla's case, but city leaders said they want everyone to conserve water during the drought. However, cutting back on watering doesn't mean neglecting your lawn, they said.

"Keep the weeds down and landscaping neatly trimmed even if your grass is brown," Cochran said.

Padilla said he doesn't know what to do but is considering legal options.


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