Synthetic grass installation gets green light in Ogden

Posted at 9:42 PM, May 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-13 09:15:57-04

OGDEN, Utah -- Some Ogden residents and businesses have turned to artificial turf as an option to water conservation.

Although city planners were concerned about such installations, the Ogden City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow the synthetic grass.

The vote resolves an issue that started almost a year ago when a building owner on the city's east side was cited for a code violation when she decided to replace her lawn with synthetic grass.

“Between the amount of water we were consuming and the size of our water bill it just became not very cost efficient for the family support center to continue to water grass,” said Pamela Clark with Family Support Center.

Last summer, Clark decided to replace her building's aging sprinkler system with artificial turf. But half way through installation, she was told it was a code violation.

“I called them and I said, ‘it doesn't say I can’t have artificial turf,’ and the city planners came back and said that 'it doesn't say that you can,'” Clark said.

Clark asked the city to create a new ordinance, to legalize her artificial turf and open the way for others to install as well.

The Ogden Planning Commission expressed concerns, citing studies that show real grass cools the environment, while artificial grass heats it up.

The council voted to allow the synthetic grass.

“It seems like the response I've had has been more positive to allow people to do it,” said City Councilwoman Amy Wicks. “I think the concerns people had were, what happens when this material reaches the end of its expected life.”

Residents wanting artificial turf will be required to notify the city first.

The turf is not allowed to cover more than 50 percent of a yard in Ogden and needs to be an inch and a half long.