13 July 2008

Fine for not watering

A California couple decided to conserve water during the latest drought emergency by stopping watering their lawn. They were fined. The Sac Bee reports:
Their small brick home was declared a "public nuisance" in violation of city code section 17.68.010, which states that front yards "shall be irrigated, landscaped and maintained."

A $746 fine will be next unless they correct the violation.

Aside from the general lack of such ordinances here on the east coast, I note this because this is a simple example of how high visibility efforts (like Gov. Schwarzenegger's water conservation programs) can be completely undermined when local policies aren't quickly changed to conform, reinforce, or enhance them. The NJ version of this is how the state has worked so hard to develop coordinated planning (State Plan), open space preservation (Garden State Trust), and watershed protection while the local governments have clung to home rule and used it to focus on ratables. (h/t PlaNetizen)

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