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Ogden family told their painted lawn has to go and so do their chickens

Posted at 7:56 PM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 01:15:02-04

OGDEN, Utah -- One Ogden man painted his backyard green to comply with Ogden City’s code, but after a brief visit Wednesday, he has to find other solutions.

Resident Michael Goldman has lived in Ogden for five years now, but this year he said the city is coming down hard about the way his yard looks. Goldman said he knows his backyard isn't ideal for his little daughter to play in and wants it to look better. However, Goldman's financial circumstances require a two-year plan that he presented to the city.

Ogden City said they want faster changes.

“It’s really hard to work with people who want immediate effects,” Goldman said. "They’re nice enough people. Sometimes I wonder where they get the ideas that they do though.”

Using environmentally safe paint, Goldman made his backyard look green in preparation for Wednesday's visit by the Ogden City Code Enforcer.

“They were impressed with the ingenuity but said it didn’t pass because, in their words, it’s not a permanent solution,” Goldman said.

Goldman said Ogden City suggested xeriscaping his yard instead of laying down sod, but also said he needed to get rid of his chickens too.

"I’ll have a $500 a day fine if I don’t get rid of them,” Goldman said. "I don’t know why six months later it’s now a problem, they’ve seen the property several times, they’ve written it up for future things so I don’t know why now that they’ve looked at it different.”

Goldman's property is considered commercial in Ogden City, making the code different for him and his family than for others.

Still, the financial burden for Goldman he said is real.

"I understand that they want Ogden to look good but I don’t think they understand that a lot of folks can’t afford it," Goldman said. "All the money I have goes to my family.”

Fox 13 reached out to the Ogden City Code Enforcer who is working with Goldman, but has not heard back.