Salt Lake City Orders Couple to Add Vegetation or Face Fines instead of Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is encouraged by the city, but ordinance still requires one-third of yards be covered with plants.

The Salt Lake Tribune
Xeriscaping 59dbaa6eeea45

Salt Lake City may resemble an urban desert, but that doesn’t excuse a lawn without green grass or lush plants.

That’s according to a city ordinance that one couple says encourages water usage in the second driest state in the nation and others say prevents ugly landscapes in the capital city.

City ordinances require at least one-third of front and side yards, as well as the park strips between yards and the street, be covered in grass, trees or plants. Homeowners face daily fines of $25 per violation.

Lucy Parham and her husband Mickey Campbell were unaware of such a requirement. But when they tore up the weed-choked grass in front of their house, and replaced it with rocks, mulch and low-water native plants over the past year, they got a letter from the city informing them they were in violation.

The city has encouraged residents to save water by using drought-resistant plants for decades. For some, like Campbell and Parham, xeriscaping was a chance to save water and money and add beauty.

To read the full original article, please click here.