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Councilman Pushes For Limits To Artificial Turf Installations

  

A California law, which was passed to respond to the drought- allows artificial turf on all residential property. But a Sacramento city councilman says the law should allow cities to restrict its use.

The new law says a city may not prohibit or impede installation of artificial turf for any reason.
 
Sacramento Councilman Jeff Harris says he agrees with the water conservation and possible air quality benefits that could come from installing  fake grass.
 
But, there are possible negatives too -- like the chunks of rubber that create fumes, the  damage to tree roots and others.
 
"Introducing petroleum products to streams, heat-island effect, a lack of percolation of rain water into the soil and  recharging of the ground water," says Harris.
 
He would like to see artificial turf classified like stone or cement.
 
"There are places where turf can be used appropriately like in the side yard where you have a little patch where you can't easily get irrigation to get to but you want some greenery there, that would be an appropriate place," says Harris. "So, in small bits, and away from trees, it does have a place  in our hardscape."   
 
The state law was written as an urgency statute and was signed by Governor Jerry Brown six weeks ago.
A proposed city ordinance would have limited some installations in the city, but the state law would have made that ordinance illegal. Harris asked for the proposed city ordinance to be removed from city council consideration last week.
 
He hopes to meet with the law's author, Democrat Mike Gatto of Glendale, next month and negotiate an amendment to the law by the end of January.