The Latest on Artificial Grass Legislation

law being signedOver the last few months you may have heard about changes in the law in regards to artificial grass. There are actually two bills in California at the state level that have either been signed into law or are awaiting Governor Brown’s signature.

At the local level, many municipalities throughout California have already begun changing existing city ordinances to permit more homeowners to choose artificial grass.

If you’re interested in artificial grass and all the legislative goings-on, we put together this short summary just for you!

STATE LAWS

Assembly Bill 349: This bill bars homeowners associations that oversee common-interest developments from forbidding synthetic grass or turf. Homeowners associations could still make landscaping rules – just not in a way that would ban artificial lawns. AB 349 was signed into law on September 4.

Assembly Bill 1164: This bill would prohibit a city, including a charter city, county, and city and county, from enacting or enforcing any ordinance or regulation that prohibits the installation of drought tolerant landscaping, synthetic grass, or artificial turf on residential property, as specified. AB 1164 is presently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature. Experts expect Brown will sign the bill into law.

Senate Bill 88: In July SB 88 was signed into law. Though not specific to artificial grass, it’s very much related. The new law allows local agencies to impose civil liability of up to $10,000 for violations of water conservation programs or a state emergency regulation.

California Water Commission: This summer the commission updated the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance to limit the amount of live grass that can be included in new construction. Again, while not specific to artificial grass, the new rules may further drive the adoption of it. According to The Desert Sun, the new rules apply to newly built or remodeled landscape areas of 500 square feet or larger and limit turf to about 25 percent of a residential landscape. The rules effectively eliminate turf in median strips, parkways and commercial and industrial landscapes.

LOCAL ORDINANCES

City of Sacramento: The city of Sacramento in August took up the issue of artificial grass. For many years the city has banned the residential use of artificial grass in front lawns. The city’s Planning and Design Commission debated lifting the ban during a late August meeting. The Commission tabled discussion in favor of making a ruling in late September. That meeting was postponed and the matter is tentatively scheduled to be taken up again sometime in October.

City of Westlake Village: The city of Westlake Village recently approved a new ordinance that regulates the type of artificial grass property owners can install, sets minimum standards and provides guidance to property owners as to permissible materials. The ordinance requires that artificial grass must be at least 1.75 inches long and consist of a combination of permeable turf and thatch that has the ability to drain water at a rate of not less than 6 inches of rain per hour, per square yard.

Cities of Norwalk, Downey and Bellflower: The city councils in Norwalk, Downey and Bellflower have approved changes in their landscaping laws allowing the use of artificial turf and drought-resistant plants.

City of Hanford: In June, the Hanford City Council voted to approve an urgency ordinance amending the city’s water use restrictions to cut water use by 28 percent citywide. The revised ordinance now allows residential properties to use artificial turf.

MISCELLANEOUS

Fresno: In Fresno, homebuilder Granville has put a new twist on traditional new home construction. The company is now offering artificial grass standard with natural grass being an option available. Granville is one of – if not the – first to make artificial grass standard in new homes.

That’s all for now. We’ll keep you posted as news develops. If you’d like to learn even more about artificial grass then head over to our Knowledge Base or our eBooks and Videos page. We’ve got tons of information posted there. Or you can always just drop us a line!

 

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Posted on September 28, 2015