Local Laws – Planning For Lawns

Local Laws – Planning For Lawns


This is one of those “bureaucracy gone mad” stories that you hear about every now and then. Boing Boing recently reported on a couple who replaced their grass lawn with drought-tolerant plants – and got sued by the city! While this takes place in Orange County, California, US (world-famous for invasive government that micromanages your every move!), and the prosecutors look like they’ll drop the case now (as much for the bad publicity as for anything else), it is worth giving some thought.

It seems counter-intuitive that you can buy and own property and not be able to do anything you want with it, but many first-world economies have strict rules as to what you can and can’t do. The fact that many of these laws counter-act water conservation efforts just points up how nonsensical some of these laws are. As well as regional laws of government, you should also check building ordinances and home-owner’s associations – we’ve seen massive legal fights break out over what color to paint a fence or what kind of tree you can plant.

It also does good to be aware of ridiculous laws so citizens can lobby together to get them repealed. In Southern California’s case with the huge water shortage that part of the world has suffered for about a century now, doing anything to save water should be rewarded, not punished.