Paso Robles to adopt a ban on front lawns

November 20, 2015

PASO ROBLES BRICK SIGNBuilders 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.


“On Tuesday, the Paso Robles City Council voted 4-1 to ban front lawns at new residential developments”

For new construction there should be a drought tolerant landscape regulation. It only makes sense. California is a desert. Phoenix has it and the homes look great with desert landscaping. I don’t have a problem with this.



Good on Jim Reed.


What about using gray water to water lawns? It would be very easy and efficient to install gray water systems in new homes.

This whole thing is getting completely out of control.


This is bogus bullsh!t!

Every municipality is approving new developments at the cost of existing residents and business people.

The more we conserve, the more they will continue to build.

So why conserve?


Instead of banning lawns, they should just keep people from procreating and moving to California!


The homeowner can plant grass, it is just the builder who can’t.

The grass Nazi’s are here in AG trying to do the same thing. I dare anyone from telling me what I can and cannot plant. If I am willing to skip a bath one day in order to water my grass that is my right as long as I keep my water usage down in tier 1.


With price of water going uber high in the next 5 years, not many will be wiling to afford a lawn in Paso. BTW, the average bath uses 25 gal. Hardly enough to water a lawn. Maybe if you showered with a friend it would work, a 5 minute shower is 10 gals

Mr. Holly

This is getting more scary everyday. You can’t do this, you can’t do that. But maybe if you really want to you can pay a fee and we might let you do it. It seems like everyday our property rights are being more regulated by government. I agree that we all should be conservative with our water and other things but not to be dictated by the government to do so where they can legally penalize us. Would a little education work?

With all of the water problems in Paso Robles how are all of the new developments proceeding thru the city?


Remember the days when as children you played for hours in your front yard using that thing called your imagination? Well, I guess this is what it has come to…no more front lawns soon to be followed by no more imagination. Oh, how we are self destructing at an incredible pace.


Imagination has now been replaced by adult-organized kid activities at sports parks irrigated by toilet water. We have ourselves to blame for raising boring uncreative kid minds.

Rich in MB

Free range kids will now get you a visit from Child Protective Services!

Rich in MB

So I can’t have grass….but can I park my Dodge Dart up on blocks in the front yard?


Thought you lived on a boat.

Rich in MB

I do…but you gotta plan ahead for when they make living on a boat illegal!