Monday, August 17, 2009

Glendale's New Turf War

In an effort to save water, Montrose resident David Wood spent thousands of dollars to install artificial turf on his front lawn.

The city of Glendale, however, forbids artificial turf. Yet it also has instituted new, strict lawn watering rules. The Glendale News-Press reports:

Wood’s self-described “Catch-22” situation began with an effort to conserve water in light of Crescenta Valley Water District conservation measures and to keep maintenance low by installing artificial turf in front of the house he built on Piedmont Avenue.

But in recent weeks he learned that in order to receive final approval from a Glendale Design Review Board and adhere to required landscaping plan, he would have to replace the artificial turf with live grass, which would have required daily watering to take root. And if the grass died because of the water restrictions, he could be cited by code enforcement for dead landscaping in a frontyard setback.

Wood’s situation is an example of potential conflicts between existing city codes caused by recent mandatory water conservation rules that were approved by the City Council this week.

Glendale residents can now only water their yards on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Meanwhile, after all the attention Wood has received over his dilemma, the City Council has agreed to revisit its artificial turf ban -- and city officials have agreed not to enforce the ordinance until the matter is resolved.

SPEAKING of the Glendale News-Press, the newspaper is currently asking its readers whether its name should be downsized to just the "News-Press." The excuse: Now that the paper has expanded its coverage of the Crescenta Valley, "Glendale" may be too limiting in the masthead.

The problem: The Glendale News-Press had already altered its name to just "News-Press" at the end of the 1990s and early part of the 2000s, before restoring "Glendale" to its title a few years ago, in order to better promote its civic identity. To switch it again seems awfully wishy-washy -- and would diminish its primary mission as Glendale's daily newspaper.

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