Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Anti-Wildflower Man (and Woman)

A couple in California is being harrassed by the lawn police. No, it's not the scenario I wrote about in "Wildflower Man," where a fellow let the flowers take over his yard; just the opposite. Read the news here.
Some Southern California cities fine residents for watering their lawns too much during droughts.

But in Orange, officials are locked in a legal battle with a couple accused of violating city ordinances for removing their lawn in an attempt to save water.

The dispute began two years ago, when Quan and Angelina Ha tore out the grass in their frontyard. In drought-plagued Southern California, the couple said, the lush grass had been soaking up tens of thousands of gallons of water -- and hundreds of dollars -- each year.
And so the family has been charged with a misdemeanor by the city for failure to have at least 40% land cover on their property. Oh wait, did we say "their" property? If it's a crime to keep the land in the condition you think is best, who really owns it?
"It's their yard, it's not overgrown with weeds, it's not an eyesore," said (neighbor Dennis) Cleek, whose own yard boasts fruit trees. "We should be able to have our yards look the way we want them to."
Something in human nature just seems to make certain people force their ideas about The Way Things Ought To Be on the rest of us. Or, to put it another way:
"Compliance, that's all we've ever wanted," said Senior Assistant City
Atty. Wayne Winthers.

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