Sacramento: Back to Desert, or Lifting a Ban on Artificial Grass?

Artificial Grass - Sacramento: Back to Desert, or Lifting a Ban on Artificial Grass?

Sacramento Planning Commission is considering to lift a 1984 ban that prohibited to install artificial grass in the front yards. Due to the new California drought emergency water conservation regulations, state officials must take all necessary action to prepare for water shortages. Artificial grass is the alternative landscape option available to home and business owners today. In California cities, except Sacramento, rebates are offered by local water agencies to those who volunteer to tear off their water-thirsty lawns and turn them into a drought-tolerant landscape. But before the ban is lifted, Sacramento residents who installed synthetic lawns on their front yards can be fined by authorities.

Artificial grass technology in 1984 didn't allow natural, super-realistic look offered today. Synthetic turf back then was primarily used by sports industry. The initial 1984 ordinance was imposed to keep the aesthetics of the city intact. The time has changed. The artificial grass industry has evolved dramatically. Today, we have more than 75 artificial grass products intended for residential and commercial applications. We use more than a dozen unique technologies to replicate the feel and look of the natural grass. Synthetic lawns today look more alive, green and beautiful than regular lawns. Plus, they require no maintenance and reduce water usage by more than fifty percent for an average household.

The Planning and Design Commission of Sacramento is considering to set rules for front lawns fake grass as to require a pile height of grass to be not less than 1.25 inches. Samples of artificial grass and an installation guide will be presented this Thursday to the commission. If the proposal is approved this week, it will be sent to the consideration of City Council.

Most critics of fake lawns argue about fake grass with no factual prove at hand. A multitude of tests is done to every fake grass product sold in the United States. The only concern that were raised lately in the media is the artificial grass infill. Those concerns are aimed towards sports fields application, as rubber crumbs made of old tires are used on athletic fields to meet GMax Shock Attenuation Testing requirements. For landscape lawns, the infill solutions are simple. Zeofill (volcano ash), if you have pets or sand are 100% organic and safe.

For Sacramento residents, the lifting of an old ban means a new way to improve a curb-appeal of their properties while staying on top of 28 percent water cuts obligations. As the California drought continues, there is a serious choice for city authorities to make. Will Sacramento go back to its original desert look, or stay green no matter what forecast says?

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