California couple may be charged $500 for not watering lawn, or $500 for watering it

posted at 9:21 pm on July 24, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Ahh, government:

In this week’s “Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t” file: A Southern California couple received a letter from Glendora city officials threatening to fine them $500 if they don’t get their sun-scorched brown lawn green again, reports AP. Which Laura Whitney and Michael Korte would gladly do, except for one thing: They could also be fined $500 if they water their lawn too much; they’re currently only watering twice a week. With more than 80% of California in an extreme drought, according to the Los Angeles Times, the state water board voted this week to implement emergency conservation plans and gave the OK to fine water wasters up to $500 a day. As the board’s chairwoman noted, “A brown lawn should be a badge of honor because it shows you care about your community.”

The AP reports:

It’s brown because of their conservation, which, besides a twice-a-week lawn watering regimen, includes shorter showers and larger loads of laundry.

They’re encouraged by the state’s new drought-busting, public service slogan: Brown is the new green.

The city of Glendora sees it differently.

“Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green,” says the letter, which gives Korte and Whitney 60 days to restore their lawn.

They’re among residents caught in the middle of conflicting government messages as the need for conservation clashes with the need to preserve attractive neighborhoods.

And, of course, homeowners associations are prohibited from fining citizens for landscaping shortfalls, but local governments face no such prohibition.

Homeowners associations can’t punish residents for scaling back on landscaping under an executive order signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in April and a bill awaiting his signature. While both measures are silent on fines imposed by local governments, the governor’s office condemned moves that punish drought-conscious Californians.

We’re in the best of hands.

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OK what’s with that picture? Where are their legs?!

IrishEi on July 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM

California couple may be charged $500 for not watering lawn, or $500 for watering it

Or, more likely, both.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Query: Would they be fined $500 if they beat a Glendora city official senseless with a brass hose fitting?
With the water turned off, of course…

Worth a try to find out, I say.

orangemtl on July 24, 2014 at 9:27 PM

This is what Leftists call a win-win!

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 9:28 PM

California sucks.

jaime on July 24, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Obviously, what this situation calls for is more government. Someone must come up with another law to help these people. It’s the only way.

IrishEi on July 24, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Is this supposed to be a dilemma? Water it.

DarkCurrent on July 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM

3 words -green spray paint.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM

3 words -green spray paint.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM

$500 fine for plant abuse. Plus $500 fine for using more than 3 aerosol cans within a 5 year period – an artifact from the old O-zone hole idiocy, even though Southern California has tons of O-zone at shoulder level.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 24, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Green astroturf or xeriscape would work but they probably can’t get a permit for either one.

bettycooper on July 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

3 words -green spray paint.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Heh.

… or astro-turf (/that really looks good, but probably would be grounds for execution by the Homeowners Association)

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

$500 fine for plant abuse.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 24, 2014 at 9:37 PM

LOL.

… or worse, incarceration for plant murder!

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 9:40 PM

They have artificial grass now that looks for all the world like the real thing. Probably expensive though and we’re talking about California. They probably don’t approve of plastic anything.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Reason #12,698 to leave this dump of a state.Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse here they do.

jeffinsjvca on July 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

… or worse, incarceration for plant murder!

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 9:40 PM

And then they’ll get fined $500 for leaving their house unattended while in jail, providing an attractive nuisance for crime.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 24, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Just put up an “I’m a democrat” sign and apply for a waiver.

Flange on July 24, 2014 at 9:44 PM

IrishEi on July 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Looks like a piece of wood in front of them. Perhaps their mailbox?

Barred on July 24, 2014 at 9:45 PM

For our new Honduran / Mexican / Guatemalan economic slaves we’re importing into the U.S.

El objetivo de cada Organización / Gobierno es …….. PARA CRECER.

Una vez que te das cuenta de eso, todo tiene sentido.

El gobierno nos quiere decir la cantidad de agua a utilizar, la cantidad de presión de agua que podemos tener en nuestras duchas, que debemos usar cinturones de seguridad, que tenemos que pagar impuestos sobre la propiedad o tener nuestra propiedad tomada, regulan qué tipo de inodoros que podamos tienen, cuáles son nuestras latas de gas parecen, lo que hacemos con nuestros recortes del jardín, cómo ordenamos nuestra basura, y sigue y sigue y sigue.

Y la gente que piensa que todavía vivimos en un país libre?

PappyD61 on July 24, 2014 at 9:51 PM

And for all the other Yankee imperialist pigs that live in a land you stole from the Hispanic people…..

The goal of every single Organization / Government is……..TO GROW.

Once you realize that, it all makes sense.

The government wants to tell us how much water to use, how much water pressure we can have in our showers, that we must wear seat belts, that we must pay property taxes or have our property taken, they regulate what kinds of toilets we can have, what our gas cans look like, what we do with our yard clippings, how we sort our trash, and on and on and on.

And folks you think we still live in a free country?

PappyD61 on July 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM

Spray weed killer on it and then agree with the fanatics that Global Warming is the culprit.

What to do ? What to do? Al Bore is right!!

Cody1991 on July 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM

California – get out while you can..unless you’re a lefty, then stay put.

AUINSC on July 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM

… or astro-turf (/that really looks good, but probably would be grounds for execution by the Homeowners Association)

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Sorry, SOL there, too. Astro-turf is a hydrocarbon byproduct, contributing to man-made GLOBAL WARMING!!! No telling what fine they’d receive for that, not to mention the sanctions from the HA.

TXUS on July 24, 2014 at 9:57 PM

OK what’s with that picture? Where are their legs?!
IrishEi on July 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Just below their waists?

anuts on July 24, 2014 at 9:58 PM

As President Obama says ‘government does it right‘!

‘It’ in this case is official oppression and tyranny.

And Obama is absolutely correct, that government does this extremely well.

s1im on July 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM

They probably don’t approve of plastic anything.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Nancy Pelosi and 98% of Hollywood “actors” beg to differ COL.

can_con on July 24, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Would the city of Glendora be in fiscal trouble, by chance?

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Twice a week in a drought??? In my Texas suburb we’re in Stage 3 water restrictions and can only water with sprinklers once every two weeks. All the lawns are still green, maybe because we haven’t hit 100 degrees yet. We can water by hand or by soaker hoses any time. In stage one we can water once a week. Why do Californians think twice a week is restrictive?

juliesa on July 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

Not watering your lawn – $500.

Watering your lawn – $500.

Moving to Texas – Priceless.

trigon on July 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

They have artificial grass now that looks for all the world like the real thing. Probably expensive though and we’re talking about California. They probably don’t approve of plastic anything.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

With the exception of surgery, I think you’re right.

;-)

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Just put up an “I’m a democrat” sign and apply for a waiver.

Flange on July 24, 2014 at 9:44 PM

.

Not watering your lawn – $500.

Watering your lawn – $500.

Moving to Texas – Priceless.

trigon on July 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

.
Tied for “winner”.

listens2glenn on July 24, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Just put up an “I’m a democrat” sign and apply for a waiver.

Flange on July 24, 2014 at 9:44 PM

Heh.

Or an “I’m an illegal alien” sign and apply for government assistance.

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Looks like a piece of wood in front of them. Perhaps their mailbox?

Barred on July 24, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Thanks Barred–that’s probably it. I seriously couldn’t figure it out. lol

IrishEi on July 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

They probably don’t approve of plastic anything.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM

I bet they accept plastic at all of obozo’s fundraisers.

Flange on July 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Takes a lot of water to wash off all those Obama 2012 bumper stickers I guess.

can_con on July 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

My neighbor and I were talking today and we are planning to water at about midnight so the busybodies and the water cops don’t see us.

Yes, this is America.

PattyJ on July 24, 2014 at 10:07 PM

I bet they accept plastic at all of obozo’s fundraisers.

Flange on July 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Especially from the foreign attendees.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 10:08 PM

California couple may be charged $500 for not watering lawn, or $500 for watering it


There’s
your problem.

The choose to live in California?

They deserve EVERY piece of misery life can dump on them.

What are the other Biblical plagues, again?

PolAgnostic on July 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

My neighbor and I were talking today and we are planning to water at about midnight so the busybodies and the water cops don’t see us.

Yes, this is America.

PattyJ on July 24, 2014 at 10:07 PM

About a hour after bar time would be better – the cops will have finished their nightly search for drunk drivers by then.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

They’re among residents caught in the middle of conflicting government messages as the need for conservation clashes with the need to preserve attractive neighborhoods.

Christopher Weber, Associated Press
Updated: July 17, 2014 at 8:26 PM

So why aren’t any of the other neighbors being interviewed over the brown grass trouble?

listens2glenn on July 24, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Especially from the foreign attendees.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 10:08 PM


AND
they conveniently TURN OFF all those pesky security controls too!

PolAgnostic on July 24, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Great idea, Steve.

Of course, you can water any time you want to wash off human excrement. Yes, we are allowed–compelled even–to clean up after our Homeless Americans. It would be racist or something to ask them to pee in a toilet.

If they would only poop on the lawns, we could water! Win-win.

PattyJ on July 24, 2014 at 10:13 PM

They can have some of my water, the lake is so high I had to strap the dock-plates down to keep even mild waves from knocking them askew.

Bishop on July 24, 2014 at 10:15 PM

Moving to Texas – Priceless.

trigon on July 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM

People stuck there seem to like it. What’s the attraction?

DarkCurrent on July 24, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Exit question:

Why in the hell would anyone want to live in a socialist communist state?

Diluculo on July 24, 2014 at 10:21 PM

They can have some of my water, the lake is so high I had to strap the dock-plates down to keep even mild waves from knocking them askew.

Bishop on July 24, 2014 at 10:15 PM

So how’s the fishing been? All that water just means I’ll find new rocks to hit.

Steve Eggleston on July 24, 2014 at 10:22 PM

They can have some of my water, the lake is so high I had to strap the dock-plates down to keep even mild waves from knocking them askew.

Bishop on July 24, 2014 at 10:15 PM

The groundwater here has gotten so high I can’t mow down the weeds on the north 20 acres. I’ll have to wait until the fall drought…if it even happens this year. On the bright side, the fish in the pond are happy. It’s a 1.5 acre pond normally, this year it’s over 2 acres.

Diluculo on July 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Green houses. I’m crazy… I know this… but I’d love to just build my house inside a green house. Or build a green house around my house. Either one. Just a big glass/plastic box around house. You could engineer the whole thing so that you could keep the inside like a jungle and use very little water on an on going basis.

Seriously. I’ve seen some very interesting houses built along this concept. You can build them in deserts and supply them with RAIN water. Those sorts of places might get 2 inches of rain a year. And that’s enough to keep some of these systems going if they don’t leak water anywhere.

Again… I know I’m crazy. But that would be my ideal answer to the incompetence of government on this issue. I just want to separate myself from these institutions and their mismanaged services… and either subsist on what can be taken directly from the sky or set it up so that the meager rations they dole out are no hardship.

Karmashock on July 24, 2014 at 10:26 PM

New commenter here. Spent most of my life in LA. I cried one year when Griffith Park turned from customary brown to green. Bought a home with a xeriscaped yard in San Diego. Neighbor came over and asked when I was putting a lawn in, I said I like it this way. Never heard from them again.

nuclearoptional on July 24, 2014 at 10:34 PM

The MASTER commands, we must but obey!

GarandFan on July 24, 2014 at 10:35 PM

and either subsist on what can be taken directly from the sky or set it up so that the meager rations they dole out are no hardship.

Karmashock on July 24, 2014 at 10:26 PM

The government would never allow you to be ‘off the grid’. Ever.

Diluculo on July 24, 2014 at 10:39 PM

The fishing has been supreme, especially the tasty bluegill Sunnys, I’m thinking because the water is so high it’s cooler and the fish aren’t moving deeper to find the cold areas. I can cast off the dock and find them using just little bread nuggets.

Bishop on July 24, 2014 at 10:40 PM

Seriously. I’ve seen some very interesting houses built along this concept. You can build them in deserts and supply them with RAIN water.

Karmashock on July 24, 2014 at 10:26 PM

You start saving the rain water for your own use and you’ll have the EPA to deal with – SWAT teams and all. No joke.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 24, 2014 at 10:44 PM

People stuck there seem to like it. What’s the attraction?

DarkCurrent on July 24, 2014 at 10:20 PM

Really nice people. A state government that wouldn’t even think of trying to do the things to you that California would just love to do to you. Lower cost of living, real estate prices, etc. Enjoyment of the outdoors (California is prettier, but in Texas they actually let you hunt and fish).

Did I mention the people? They are friendlier and nicer. Back in California, people would look away when they passed you on the street. Beggars were everywhere, not to mention some types that were just plain creepy. I have seen exactly one beggar out here in three years, and he was gone in less than 5 minutes. People that are creepy… well, if they get too weird, we just shoot them.

trigon on July 24, 2014 at 10:46 PM

This is where the libertarian argument rings truest, Everything is arguably against the law.

V7_Sport on July 24, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Exit question:

Why in the hell would anyone want to live in a socialist communist state?

Diluculo on July 24, 2014 at 10:21 PM

.
Some people just don’t want any responsibility, or recognition of God.

listens2glenn on July 24, 2014 at 10:51 PM

OK what’s with that picture? Where are their legs?!

IrishEi on July 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM

The penalty for breaking the water-laws was very severe.

whatcat on July 24, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Really nice people. A state government that wouldn’t even think of trying to do the things to you that California would just love to do to you. Lower cost of living, real estate prices, etc. Enjoyment of the outdoors (California is prettier, but in Texas they actually let you hunt and fish).

Did I mention the people? They are friendlier and nicer. Back in California, people would look away when they passed you on the street. Beggars were everywhere, not to mention some types that were just plain creepy. I have seen exactly one beggar out here in three years, and he was gone in less than 5 minutes. People that are creepy… well, if they get too weird, we just shoot them.

trigon on July 24, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Doesn’t sound so bad. Kind of a long way to go though. Are the girls pretty?

DarkCurrent on July 24, 2014 at 10:54 PM

There’s your problem.
The choose to live in California?
They deserve EVERY piece of misery life can dump on them.

To be fair a lot of them are likely 3rd-4th gen Californians – when their people first moved there it wasn’t a commie hellhole.

What are the other Biblical plagues, again?
PolAgnostic on July 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Anita Bryant, one of the first victims of the gaystapo, has been vindicated.

whatcat on July 24, 2014 at 11:02 PM

You start saving the rain water for your own use and you’ll have the EPA to deal with – SWAT teams and all. No joke.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on July 24, 2014 at 10:44 PM

It’s very common in Texas to harvest rainwater and the state promotes it. We have very strict water use restrictions in some towns, much stricter than this CA couple is dealing with, so the rainwater tanks are highly encouraged.

juliesa on July 24, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Are the girls pretty?

DarkCurrent on July 24, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Oh, yeah.

trigon on July 24, 2014 at 11:08 PM

Hey, when you’re as hard up as California is to get money, you have to be creative.

bflat879 on July 24, 2014 at 11:14 PM

It’s very common in Texas to harvest rainwater and the state promotes it. We have very strict water use restrictions in some towns, much stricter than this CA couple is dealing with, so the rainwater tanks are highly encouraged.
juliesa on July 24, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Nothing to do with shortages, bans or going green but our Mom would have buckets out when we gonna get a gullywhumper. Rain water- good for washing hair, clothes, whatever.

whatcat on July 24, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Or an “I’m an illegal alien” sign and apply for government assistance.

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Would the sign make them documented then? And applying for government assitance is clearly a job enough Americans are willing to do.

Flange on July 24, 2014 at 11:35 PM

This is what Leftists call a win-win!

ShainS on July 24, 2014 at 9:28 PM

I am going to remember that…priceless…

right2bright on July 24, 2014 at 11:58 PM

California doesn’t produce anything of its own. Water comes from my state where we’ve had water restrictions for years so that they can water their lawns and fill their pools. They won’t have coal or nuclear generation of electricity in their state but they send it into the state via transmission lines. The very least they could do is shovel the snow from my driveway since I’m not allowed to collect my own water. I think it’s high time they had water restrictions. They live in a damn desert for heaven’s sake.

COgirl on July 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM

MHK: Don’t forget about the fine if they collect rainwater and use that to water their lawn and plants.

You can’t make this stuff up.

nazo311 on July 25, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Green astroturf or xeriscape would work but they probably can’t get a permit for either one.

bettycooper on July 24, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Phoenix metro area folks use little rocks as ground cover.

itsnotaboutme on July 25, 2014 at 12:42 AM

…And Little Rock folks use grass.

*nyuk nyuk nyuk*

itsnotaboutme on July 25, 2014 at 12:43 AM

Either way the State’s up $500, and I think that’s the point, innit?

Montjoie on July 25, 2014 at 1:10 AM

Apparatchiks, rope, lamp-posts….Some Assembly Required!

Another Drew on July 25, 2014 at 1:30 AM

COgirl on July 25, 2014 at 12:00 AM

You’ve never heard of the Feather River Dam, and the California Water Project, have you.
And you do realize that we in CA have to share that water coming down from CO with UT, AZ, NV, and Mexico. But then, it wouldn’t be all about you.

Another Drew on July 25, 2014 at 1:33 AM

Everyone else manages to abide by the water restrictions and have green lawns in the area so why can’t they?

Blake on July 25, 2014 at 6:04 AM

3 words -green spray paint.

crankyoldlady on July 24, 2014 at 9:32 PM

My grandfather did his fair share of ‘Go paint the grass green you ‘orrible little man’ during his national service in the RAF.

“A brown lawn should be a badge of honor because it shows you care about your community.”

Whose lawn is it anyway?

EnglishRogue on July 25, 2014 at 6:14 AM

The more I look at the headline all I can see is

California: “Hey, hey you, yes you, give us $500.”

Gatsu on July 25, 2014 at 7:39 AM

California

That there was their first mistake.

So, pick one already (or both).

Tsar of Earth on July 25, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Tar. Feathers. Rope. Rails. Pitchforks. Torches.

Some local assembly required and remember tar and feathers first, then you allow the bureaucrat to choose one of the last four.

And charge them a $500 fine for this sweet privilege.

ajacksonian on July 25, 2014 at 7:57 AM

1 gallon paint, green – $20
1 2″ paintbrush – $3
1 12″ paint roller – $8

Seeing the look on the Code Enforcement dweeb’s face when he sees the green lawn/sidewalk – Priceless.

NavyspyII on July 25, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Intentional. Keep the masses afraid that they are breaking a law no matter what they do and they are easier to control.

rbj on July 25, 2014 at 8:22 AM

And people wonder whats wrong with the “do something” mentality.

You can’t legislate everything.

OpportunityCost on July 25, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Doesn’t sound so bad. Kind of a long way to go though. Are the girls pretty?

DarkCurrent on July 24, 2014 at 10:54 PM

Ok, just because I can’t resist this set up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbH60wCO-Yw

makattak on July 25, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Classic liberal governance…keep on voting for them. It’s going well isn’t it?

cajunpatriot on July 25, 2014 at 8:56 AM

We’re in the best of hands.

What you mean, “we”, kemosabe? I’m not in CA, and I plan on doing my best to prevent that sort of stupidity from taking hold wherever I am. (And, yes, that means leaving a purple place. Soon.)

GWB on July 25, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Another Drew, I at least will always have water and don’t need much. You in CA can use your water however you see fit, but don’t complain when mother nature doesn’t look after you. I’d NEVER want to be dependent on any other place for the things you take for granted. Learn to live with what you’ve got. I don’t mind sharing, I do mind when you’re wasteful. And obviously I know that the water is shared with other states too. And the little trickle CA leaves for Mexico.

And I complain about water usage in the Front Range of Colorado too. Water is precious and farming should be the first priority everywhere, not lawns and swimming pools.

COgirl on July 25, 2014 at 12:01 PM