Guidelines proposed for installing artificial lawns

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At Tuesday’s Regular Session Board Meeting, CLPOA Member Services Manager Susan Webb went over some of the reasons the Board is proposing a policy that provides standards for the installation of artificial turf.

She explained that, because of the drought, one solution for a green yard has been artificial turf. There are many manufacturers to choose from, along with many types of artificial turf. Because there are so many varied choices, guidelines have been written to help aid members in their selection process. This is called an Artificial Turf Policy.

The Planning and Compliance Department explains, “One of the typical problem areas that we have is the homeowner trying to save money by installing it themselves. The selection process of the different types/styles of lawn can become overwhelming at best.”

Because of this, the Planning and Compliance Department has created a sample board of acceptable turf and also is requiring a weed barrier. If the turf does not have a built-in weed barrier, a weed barrier cloth must be used to help deter weeds from coming through.

Planning and Compliance reports that, over the past year, from May 2015 to May 2016, there have been 109 artificial turf requests submitted to the ACC and, in most cases they have been approved. However, there have been a few that the ACC rejected, due to the aesthetic appeal.

Over the last several months, there has been an increase of applications for used turf. Due to the aesthetics, the used turf is not approvable. Because of the over-use of the used product, it does not lay properly, and in the few that have been rejected, seams were visible, and there were bare patches and discoloration. It has been recommended by the ACC and staff that only new turf be allowed in the community.

In order to maintain the aesthetic appeal, artificial turf, like real turf, requires regular maintenance. Organic matters such as leaves, debris and animal waste must be removed regularly. Once the turf becomes frayed or starts to lift in appearance or become worn and tattered, it must be replaced with new turf or other approved ground cover.

Because of these issues, the Board on Tuesday approved a 30-day reading on the following policy for the installation of artificial turf.

Proposed Artificial Turf Policy

The guidelines have been established to help the members select suitable types of synthetic turf as well as installation standards. The Association prepared these guidelines to ensure the aesthetics are consistent throughout the community.

Prior to the installation of the artificial turf, and application and plan to include the location with dimensions of the artificial turf to be installed submitted to the Architectural Control Committee (ACC) for approval.

In order to reduce the visual impact of a large area, it is recommended that syntheticc turf with varied blade colors be used.

Installation Standards:

  1. A porous weed abatement material shall be installed below the sub-base level; this material usually consists of plastic sheeting.
  2. A minimum of 3-inch layer of sub-base material shall be installed over the weed barrier material; i.e. decomposed granite or class 2 road base material.
  3. Sub-material should be a minimum of 80 percent compaction rate.
  4. Installation of turf should ensure that the “grain” of the grass blades be in one direction throughout the proposed area. Turf “rolls” should be laid in the same direction and all seams shall be glued together.
  5. Artificial turf should be nailed down per the manufacturer’s spacing recommendations.
  6. Artificial turf shall not be installed directly against natural turf or lawn areas; for example, lawn areas next to neighboring properties.
  7. A concrete mow-strip shall be installed to prevent natural grass from growing and expanding into the synthetic turf area.
  8. Synthetic turf areas shall be contained, bordered by a mow-strip, synthetic bender board or other edging in order to minimize the exposed edge of the synthetic turf and to the fill material used to support the turf. (Rolled or tucked edges are discouraged in general.)

During the installation process, the property owner is to contact the Planning and Compliance Department to set up an appointment with the Association’s inspector after the weed abatement material has been installed. This is to be done prior to the installation of the sub-base material. A final inspection is to be scheduled with the inspector when the project is complete.

Property owners are required to ensure that the artificial turf is maintained on a regular basis in appearance. Once deterioration starts to show, the turf will need to be removed/replaced with new artificial turf or approved ground cover.

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