California Couple Faces $500 Fine for Having Brown Lawn; Faces Fine if They Water It

California’s drought has lead to water restrictions being imposed on residents. You’d think that if you’re in the middle of a drought, and people are trying to conserve water, things like an aesthetically pleasing lawn would be last on the list of things to worry about. You’d be most concerned with having water to drink. And you’d do bigger loads of laundry and take shorter, perhaps less frequent showers.

That’s exactly what one California couple was doing in trying to conserve water. Not surprisingly, their lawn dried up. Since the only real purpose of a lawn is to make a piece of property look nice, it wasn’t a priority of this couple’s to upkeep.

But thanks to local bureaucrats who aren’t as concerned with water conservation, and who are more concerned with property values (higher property values means more tax revenue for them), this economizing couple received letters from the city threatening fines if they didn’t restore their lawn in 60 days. The Associated Press reported:

On the same day the state approved mandatory outdoor watering restrictions with the threat of $500 fines, the Southern California couple received a letter from their city threatening a $500 penalty for not watering their brown lawn.

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.

Taxed if you do; taxed if you don’t.