Support for fake grass grows with greenlight from Glendale Planning Commission


A new set of policies governing the installation of artificial turf on residential properties won support from the city’s Planning Commission on Wednesday, and it will now head to the City Council for consideration at a future meeting.

Artificial turf is currently banned on local front lawns but permitted in backyards. However, recent state legislation — AB 1164 — mandated that cities no longer have the authority to ban fake grass as a means to promote alternative methods of water conservation.

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Commissioners voted 4-1 to allow up to 50% of front lawns be made up of artificial turf, while the other half must have live-plant material.

Restrictions include a minimum 3-foot-wide live-plant-material landscape along a yard’s border with the street

Artificial turf can also be a blend of three colors, predominantly green, and must be installed by a qualified, state-licensed contractor, among other requirements.

Painting dirt or grass as a means to keep a lawn looking green is also restricted by the proposed ordinance.

Commissioner Stephanie Landregan said she supported the code amendments to allow artificial turf, saying it’s a good compromise and what’s outlined shows artificial turf can be used “in a very responsible manner.”

The only dissenting vote came from Commissioner Greg Astorian, who said he thinks artificial turf can get very hot on warmer days, creating a “heat island.”

“When you look at the soil, biodiversity, greenhouse emission, these are heat-island effects … I have an issue with that,” he said.

The ordinance was based on direction from the City Council over the past year.

Installing artificial turf on a single front lawn can cost anywhere from $6,347 to $10,751, according to an analysis by Rescape, a consulting company hired by the city.

Mayor Paula Devine has said in the past that the high cost itself would likely mean Glendale neighborhoods won’t be covered with artificial-turf lawns.


Arin Mikailian,

Twitter: @ArinMikailian



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