Toronto forces homeowner to remove fake grass from front yard
It's difficult to maintain a nice lawn in Toronto. Weeds grow and the extreme heat makes it almost impossible to keep it green sometimes.
Because of this, a natural solution is to turn to synthetic turf. It's less work to maintain and makes the most sense in the long term.
This is what Toronto woman Sangeeta Gounder told CBC news she did when it became increasingly difficult to care for real grass.
She told them her and her husband had artificial grass installed on their property three years ago, but they received a violation notice from the city in May.
Artificial turf, instead of grass, is becoming more common in Hamilton as well. Should it be allowed? The current by-laws state no, should that change? https://t.co/OCot5STRvZ— Joey Coleman (@JoeyColeman) July 29, 2019
According to a Toronto bylaw, at least 75 per cent of a house's yard must be soft landscaping.
"Soft landscaping excludes hard-surfaced areas such as decorative stonework, retaining walls, walkways, or other hard-surfaced landscape-architectural elements," the city says. "Artificial turf is not acceptable or considered to be soft landscaping and is, therefore, not permitted."
In June, Gounder told CTV News she loves her turf and often gets complimented for it.
"Natural surfaces are important features of a city landscape as they help cool the air, absorb rainwater and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere," said city spokesperson Lyne Kyle.
"Artificial turf can be associated with surface water management issues, and it also acts like other paved surfaces and can become hot during summer months."
Kyle also said artificial turf can raise local air temperatures, doesn't absorb water as fast and that overuse of artificial turf would make Toronto less resilient to extreme weather events.
With due respect to @cityoftoronto by-laws, this one governing landscaping: preventing artificial turf is ridiculous. Watering, mowing, weeding of grass lawns make turf an aesthetic and worthwhile alternative. @JohnTory please reconsider!https://t.co/xb1eTTkbIL— Nick (@ICREWTVANDFILM) July 29, 2019
Kyle added that as of yet, the city has received five artificial-turf related complaints.
"The homeowner can either remove and reinstate the natural environment, seek a minor variance through the committee of adjustments, or contest the charges in court," Kyle said.
Although she's extremely disappointed, Gounder told CBC she plans to comply with the bylaw to avoid hefty fines and charges.
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