Paso Robles to adopt a ban on front lawns
November 20, 2015
Builders will soon find it more difficult to construct homes with front lawns in Paso Robles. [Tribune]
On Tuesday, the Paso Robles City Council voted 4-1 to ban front lawns at new residential developments. Builders can work around the ban, though, if they hire landscape architects and submit soil and water-use studies that meet the demands of city planners.
City staff crafted the ordinance in response to a new California mandate that states new homes may have grass on no more than 25 percent of their total landscape. City officials say it is simpler for developers to do away with front lawns altogether than go through the process of conducting studies and submitting paperwork to justify anticipated water usage.
Paso Robles water manager Christopher Alakel said the city wants residents to get rid of decorative turf. But, city officials also understand grass serves multiple purposes, such as for sports, kids and pets, Alakel said.
Three of the five members of the Paso Robles council supported banning new front lawns. Councilman John Hamon requested that some front-yard turf options be allowed for property owners who are willing to submit the required studies. The council majority agreed to Hamon’s request.
Councilman Jim Reed cast the lone dissenting vote. Reed said the regulations are too invasive.
A second majority vote in favor of the ordinance is required for the regulation to take effect. The ordinance will return to the council for final approval at an upcoming meeting.