PART A1 - Depending on what city you live in (and sometimes what part of your city), the rules vary that govern how much greenery you have . Best to check before ripping out the grass and pouring concrete.
By Diane Wedner, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 6, 2008
2 - KEEPING that thick, verdant blanket of grass watered in these dog days of summer is about as economical and conservation-minded an enterprise as gassing up the family SUV for the weekly commute or a long-distance vacation. It costs a bundle, and pretty soon you have to do it all over again.
3 - But before yanking out the Marathon and replacing it with concrete or AstroTurf, it's best to check out the myriad landscaping rules, regulations and ordinances individual municipalities enforce. Just because Los Angeles homeowners can put, pour or plant nearly anything in their frontyards doesn't mean Long Beach residents can too.
4 - Equally confounding is that some cities are promoting water conservation, while still requiring that yards be at least half grass. Officials are scrambling to catch up with a conservation movement that many of its residents already have embraced.
5 - "It's hard, because changing the zoning ordinances is a long process," said Jesse Brown, assistant planner for Burbank. "It can take a year and needs City Council approval."
6 - Add to that the different philosophies among city planning departments, and headaches are born.
7 - "We have almost no regulations whatsoever," said Michael O'Brien, a planning associate for Los Angeles.
8 - "If you want to plant a drought-tolerant garden, you can," said Glendale's Neighborhood Services Administrator Sam Engle. "As long as you follow the guidelines."
9 - And therein lies the rub, or shrub, if you will: If you're going Sahara, check in first with local government.
10 - Longtime Burbank homeowners Margie and Louis Dell had Laramee Haynes do the checking for them. The Pasadena landscaper told the couple that they could implement their drought-tolerant design, which included pebbles and recycled concrete, as long as they met the city's requirement that no more than 45% of their front- and street-facing yards be hard-scaped.
The full article "'Landscape rules on how much lawn is enough differ by city" can be found with the link below:
Source: Los Angeles Times