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Lawns vs. Saving Water

November 25, 1990

It is time to clear up a few misperceptions regarding West Covina's landscape maintenance policies and the city's very real concern about wasting water. Several recent news articles (Times, Nov. 4) have made it seem that the city is forcing one local homeowner to waste water on an already dead lawn. This is simply not true.

West Covina does have a landscape maintenance ordinance, which requires homeowners to maintain minimum levels of landscaping around their homes. The city also has a strong water conservation policy and an active public education program urging residents to conserve this precious resource.

West Covina is not alone in requiring that residents maintain appearances around their homes. A check of other Southland cities in the area shows that a majority of them have similar landscape maintenance programs.

In one recent West Covina case, a code enforcement officer did send a notice to a resident whose entire front lawn was brown and dry. The officer sent a standard notice which asked the homeowner to "please water dry areas of lawn and maintain."

The homeowner in question then contacted the city and explained that a fungus had killed his lawn, but that he planned to replant his grass next spring. The officer explained to the gentleman that the city landscape maintenance program requires him to keep his yard up, and he was given an additional month to replant his lawn or provide alternative landscaping.

As part of the city's drought response, code enforcement officers have been directed to enforce landscape violations in only the most extreme cases. (They) have avoided citing numerous homes where lawns have been minimally watered, leaving patches of brown. More to the point, most conscientious West Covina residents have successfully maintained water conservation programs while also maintaining minimum levels of landscaping.

The city's landscape maintenance policy has been on the books since 1985, when it was passed in response to numerous citizen complaints. The city continues to respond to that concern in its effort to maintain the quality of our neighborhoods. West Covina also continues to encourage all residents to use water responsibly.

TOM MANHEIM

Community information coordinator

City of West Covina

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