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Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn

pickens (49171) writes | more than 3 years ago

Earth 6

Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that Orange County officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for replacing the grass on their lawn with wood chips and drought-tolerant plants reducing their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009. The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their frontyard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water — and hundreds of dollars — each year. "We've got a newborn, so we want to start worrying about her future," said Quan Ha, an information technology manager for Kelley Blue Book. But city officials told the Has they were violating several city laws that require that 40% of residential yards be landscaped predominantly with live plants. Last summer, the couple tried to appease the city by building a fence around the yard and planting drought-tolerant greenery — lavender, rosemary, horsetail and pittosporum, among others but according to the city, their landscaping still did not comply with city standards. At the end of January, the Has received a letter saying they had been charged with a misdemeanor violation and must appear in court. The couple could face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for their grass-free, eco-friendly landscaping scheme. "It's just funny that we pay our taxes to the city and the city is now prosecuting us with our own money," says Quan Ha."

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Welcome to LA (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#31335728)

I had a friend who used to live in LA who used to quote an old saying from there: "LA is an entire city of people desperately trying to convince themselves that they don't live in a desert."

Poster-children... (1)

mi (197448) | more than 3 years ago | (#31335774)

These people are poster-children for the abolishment of any and all right by any government (from town to Federal) to regulate, what is happening on private property. The whole idea, that somebody else can tell me, whether or not I can divide my house into multiple apartments, whether I can build a fence (and how big) or not, that I must keep my grass cut, whether or not I can an office, is revolting and against the very principle of of private property.

Yes, some lots will become "a nuisance" — so be it... It would suck, if my neighbor chose to turn his garage into a small pig farm, but it is his garage, after all, not mine...

Re:Poster-children... (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 3 years ago | (#31337068)

A coworker of mine was fined $300 for having a stick on her lawn. City officials are just greedy bullies.

Has to be done.. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#31336112)

In Soviet California, offing the lawn for your kids gets you!

Doublespeak (1)

TeethWhitener (1625259) | more than 3 years ago | (#31338136)

Winthers said he hopes the city can work out a compromise. "We know times are tough, but we're willing to work with them, we'd be more than happy to," he said.

Maybe, oh I don't know, not suing them would be a good first step.

Thanks for publishing this story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31341080)

This can be an interesting topic that can get discussion going.

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