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More SCV residents sign up to cash in their lawns

Posted: August 6, 2014 6:42 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2014 6:42 p.m.

Close to 100 Santa Clarita Valley residents are tossing out their lawns and cashing in on a water conservation program that offers them $2 for every square foot of that green expanse that they replace.

“The Lawn Replacement Program is moving along at a fast place,” Dirk Marks, water resources manager for the Castaic Lake Water Agency, said Wednesday.

Although he reported “no uptick” in program registrants since state water regulators announced a crackdown on water-wasters July 15, the numbers show a recent robust response.

“We are in the process of doing site visits for the residents with complete applications and corresponding with customers with incomplete applications to make them complete,” Marks said.

To date, 99 customers have started the program, meaning they’ve filled out a preliminary application and have been validated as a “real” residential customer. At least 73 of them have already completed the required educational class and assessment.

“What we have found most challenging is that people need to provide a plant list in order for us to calculate plant coverage, and their lists are often incomplete, which slows down the process,” he said.

On June 30, through the Lawn Replacement Program, Castaic Lake water officials began offering homeowners $2 for every square foot of lawn they remove from their home, Marks said. Participants stand to receive up to $5,000 per property under the program.

By July 31, after one month, at least 25 homeowners swapped their lawns for cash through the program, he said.

On July 29, Santa Clarita Valley water agencies announced they were poised to adopt strict watering calendars that would allow watering only three times a week during the warm months and twice a week during the cooler months.

And enrolment in the lawn-swap program quadrupled in the last week, from 25 to 99.

“The (Lawn Replacement) Program is designed to encourage those that currently have lawns to reduce their water usage by making other landscaping choices,” Marks said.

For more information on the Lawn Replacement Program, smart sprinklers or other water-saving tips, visit the Castaic Lake Water Agency website at
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




SReilly12: Posted: August 6, 2014 10:47 p.m.

The Lawn Replacement Program is moving along at a fast place,” Dirk Marks, water resources manager for the Castaic Lake Water Agency, said Wednesday.

Santa Clarita Population 179,590 (2013).............think you got a long way to go before anyone claims this is moving along at a fast pace!!!

cms96: Posted: August 7, 2014 12:26 a.m.

Next year after record rain falls I cant wait to see all the HOA complaints and fines they get for having crappy lawns.

devildawg: Posted: August 7, 2014 12:44 a.m.

Well it can only be home owners - not kids or renters or apartments or condos or trailers, so take that number down to about 20,000 (if that). Which is still a lot - but yes still a long way to go.

Sam2222: Posted: August 7, 2014 11:27 a.m.

It would be interesting to see how many home builders are taking advantage of the Lawn Replacement Program for people who are purchasing new homes (before the grass is even put in).

I like the intent of the program but wonder if this is just another City favor for developers.

cms96: Posted: August 7, 2014 12:32 p.m.

Is this a long term solution for a short term problem? The media creates panic and in turn people who follow the media make bonehead choices. Granted I wouldn't mind making a quick 2000 bucks but at what cost to my hard work I have put into my yard already? Why does everyone assume that we can expect no more rain to come? Ive lived in Southern California all my life and not having enough rain is just the way things go out here. To pay residents money to make there homes look awful is a slap in the face for the residents who take pride on their homes and yards. If Santa Clarita wants to be a desirable place to live why are the making it look less appealing to future residents? Throw the billboards in the mix and now you've got Palmdale south.

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