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Jail for an eco-friendly frontyard? Couple in Orange defend themselves for ripping out their lawn

February 25, 2010 | 12:28 pm

Ha
If you missed the KTLA link from The Times' home page, here's the story: While some cities in Southern California are calling for mandatory water conservation, officials in Orange are taking a family to court because their drought-tolerant lawn alternative is not up to code.

In what sounds eerily similar to the “yard cop” stories Steve Lopez has reported in the past, Quan and Angelina Ha have been going back and forth with the city for more than a year about their lack of lawn. Prompted by one neighbor’s anonymous complaint, the Has were cited for not having 40% of their yard landscaped, per city law.

The couple were contacted after they tore out their lawn and left the yard bare. They have since planted drought-tolerant landscaping, including some lavender, rosemary and native wildflower seeds, which they say are germinating under wood chips. You can see the current landscape on KTLA video here.

The Has have been summoned to court on Tuesday. The maximum penalty: six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

March 2: For a court update, click here.

-- Lisa Boone

Photo credit: Angelina Ha

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