10 votes

City restricts outdoor water use due to drought , then threatens family with fine for brown lawn eye sore

(Reuters) - A Southern California couple who scaled back watering their lawn amid the state's drought received a warning from the suburb where they live that they might be fined for creating an eyesore - despite emergency statewide orders to conserve.

Michael Korte and Laura Whitney, who live near Los Angeles in Glendora, said on Thursday they received a letter from the city warning they had 60 days to green up their partially brown lawn or pay a fine ranging from $100 to $500.

"I don't think it's right for us to start pouring water into our lawn in the middle of July during a drought," said Whitney. "We're kind of in a quandary about what to do."

The letter, bearing the official symbols of Glendora and its police department, came the same week that statewide water regulators passed emergency drought restrictions for outdoor water use. Those regulations, to take effect this August, require cities to demand cutbacks in water use, and empower them to fine residents up to $500 for overwatering their lawns.

California is in the third year of an extreme drought that is expected to cost the state an estimated $2.2 billion and more than 17,000 agricultural jobs. Democratic Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January.

In Glendora, City Manager Chris Jeffers said the city did encourage conservation, but that Korte's and Whitney's lawn was in such bad shape that it was reported as possibly abandoned.

"We were responding to a complaint that we received of a possible abandoned property," Jeffers said. "Crews visited and determined it was not abandoned, but not kept. The landscape was dead and there were large areas of just dirt."

Instead of citing the couple, he said, officials opted to leave a letter explaining that conserving water did not mean abandoning the landscape.

"Conservation does not mean neighborhoods need to deteriorate because property owners want (the) landscape to die or go unmaintained," he said.

Glendora's action provoked a strong response from state environmental officials, who said such moves undermined conservation efforts.

Read more:


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I've yet to see water restrictions that say you cannot water

your lawn at all. I've only seen restrictions limiting the days and times and amounts of water used, and then such restrictions usually only apply to automated sprinkler systems, not people manually watering with a garden hose.

The OP headline makes this seem like a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation, when that is not the case at all.

Oh really?

They failed to mention those times in the article.

Santa Barbara, Ca. they did......

With huge fines if you did. Some people tried to water with waste water from kitchen sink and bath tub, but would get busted if they were caught doing that.

The end result was a massive wild fire that took out many houses because they were too dry around the area. Thanks gov!

Then S.B. made a multi-million dollar desalination plant. Used it for a year or so, then moth-balled it.

Let's not forget to thank all the false-environmentalist for tearing out so many dams.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Ha-ha. That's the first thing I thought of too.

I'm sure the paint companies would be on board.

central planning run amok. I

central planning run amok. I hope the good people in California will leave the socialist mecca and let the morons enjoy that drought. They should have built water storage. They could have enough water to get them through a severe drought. California needs to tell the EPA to take a hike. How many billions is California losing?