The images have been stark and depressing. Block after block of California homes with brown, parched lawns. With an historic drought wreaking havoc on every facet of life in the Golden State, homeowners are increasingly considering their options when it comes to landscaping.

Now, at least one Central Valley homebuilder has decided to bring back glorious green yards by making artificial lawns standard in one neighborhood. According to the Fresno Bee newspaper, local homeowners will no longer need to consider breaking local laws in order to give their lawn a sip of water. Officials with the state building association say the neighborhood is the first of its kind in the state.

Brown Lawns Convincing Buyers

The homebuilder says, “Brown lawns are convincing buyers that this is a good way to go. Our goal is to have completed neighborhoods that are timeless, that look attractive now and in the years and decades to come.”

The decision to move to artificial lawns is not simply based on the beauty of the lawns in front of a collection of new homes. In fact, builders have been trying to find alternatives to grass yards throughout the state, as new lawns and laid sod are not growing roots.

Rather than filling yard after yard with other possibly unsightly options, artificial lawns are an attractive and eco-friendly solution to the problem. The question for other Californians is: Will this become a larger trend if the drought continues?

A Rising Trend

The use of artificial lawns is growing steadily throughout the United States, and that trend can only grow as weather conditions lead homeowners to consider both the quality and the ease of use artificial lawns can bring.

Another reason for the growth of artificial lawns throughout the state is the high cost of water. While initial expense has been previously cited as a hinderance to the expansion of artificial lawns, the data shows that, as water consumption in many parts of California continues to grow despite the drought, water costs will continue to rise at a rapid rate.

Artificial lawns already are known to pay for themselves in 3 to 5 years, but that timeframe could decrease as the cost of water skyrockets.

Eliminating Extra Expenses

Water isn’t the only cost savings associated with artificial lawns in today’s climate. Among the expenses that can be drastically reduced or eliminated are pesticides, fertilizer, lawn tools and mowers. None of this takes into account the time savings for artificial lawn owners.

Besides the stability, savings, and all the other benefits that artificial lawns can provide, there is just something to be said for the inviting look of a beautiful front lawn. A father and son playing catch; a toddler chasing her first butterfly; a couple in love, looking up to the stars on a clear summer night: Each of these scenes plays out not on a parched, dead lawn but on a vision in wondrous green.

In a state where having a beautiful green front yard in a sea of barren brown can make a homeowner the envy of neighbors, at least one development is sure to look green everywhere.