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Synthetic turf shall be allowed as landscaping for the purposes of this article provided that the following provisions are satisfied for synthetic turf in front yards:
A. Stage D Required: Applications for the use of synthetic turf may only be approved, and permits for installation may only be issued when the city council has declared and implemented stage D water conservation measures. Synthetic turf that is legally installed during stage D declared periods may be retained thereafter, even if the city council withdraws the stage D declaration, provided the synthetic turf is maintained in accordance with all applicable standards.
B. Permit Required: A building permit must be obtained prior to the installation of any synthetic turf in the front yard of a residentially zoned property. Upon application for a building permit the following shall be submitted to the community development department:
1. A landscape plan that includes:
a. Dimensions and details of the landscaped area including the synthetic turf and other landscaping materials.
b. Drawings that include scaled cross sections of the proposed landscaping materials and details showing the methods of installation and attachment of the synthetic turf as well as drainage information.
2. Material description including manufacturer's product data, specifications and installation instructions, installer information and qualifications, and warranty information.
3. A sample of the proposed synthetic turf material that is at least twelve inches by twelve inches (12" x 12").
4. Maintenance information for the synthetic turf.
C. Coverage: Synthetic turf located in the front yard may be used for up to seventy percent (70%) of the landscaped area but no more than forty percent (40%) of the entire front yard area. Synthetic turf shall not be located:
1. Within the public right of way/parkway.
2. Within the dripline of any native or "heritage tree" as defined in section 10-3-2900 of this chapter. Further, the installation of turf shall not disturb the area within the dripline of any native or heritage tree.
3. Within eighteen inches (18") of a front lot line. The eighteen inch (18") buffer between the front lot line and synthetic turf shall be landscaped with living plant material.
4. Within three feet (3') of a single-family residence.
5. In any area that is used for the parking or driving of motor vehicles.
D. Material: Synthetic turf in a front yard must simulate the appearance of natural live grass and shall:
1. Be of a type known as cut-pile infill with parallel long slit blades. The long slit blades shall be manufactured from polyethylene or polypropylene. The minimum pile length shall be one and three-fourths inches (13/4") and the maximum pile length shall be two and one-half inches (21/2"). The turf shall contain a beige or tan thatch layer. The synthetic turf blades (not including the thatch layer) shall be required to contain at least two (2) colors. The synthetic turf shall comply with all federal and state standards related to lead and heavy metal content. Turf that is made from recycled materials is encouraged. The use of indoor or outdoor plastic or nylon carpeting is prohibited.
2. Be constructed to maximize dimensional stability, resist damage during normal use and to minimize UV degradation. Further, the synthetic turf shall be resistant to staining, weather, insects, rot, mildew and fungus growth, and shall be nonallergenic and nontoxic.
3. Contain an infill material of clean silica sand or zeolite material that is brushed into the synthetic turf to keep the blades upright and achieve a natural grass look. Any replacement infill shall be silica sand or zeolite material. Rubber infill is prohibited.
4. Be affixed to a permeable triple layer primary backing with a tuft bind strength of at least eight (8) pounds. The backing shall allow water to percolate through the synthetic turf at a drain rate of at least thirty inches (30") per hour. The synthetic turf system shall allow for the free movement and drainage of water through the system to prevent runoff, pooling, and flooding.
5. Have a manufacturer's warranty lasting at least eight (8) years.
6. Have spacing between tufting rows (gauge) of no more than three-eighths inch (3/8") as defined by the manufacturer.
7. Have a face weight of at least sixty (60). The "face weight" is defined as the weight in ounces of the synthetic turf fibers found in one square yard of synthetic turf as defined by the manufacturer.
8. Have tear grab strength of at least two hundred (200) pounds.
9. Pass the pill burn test for flammability (ASTM D2859).
E. Installation: Synthetic turf shall be installed pursuant to manufacturer's requirements by licensed professionals who are experienced and trained by the manufacturer in the installation of the synthetic turf. In addition:
1. The synthetic turf shall be installed over at least three inches (3") of a compacted aggregate base that provides adequate drainage. The base material shall be installed over subgrade that is compacted to a firm condition to ensure stability and maintain adequate drainage.
2. Seams shall not be visible and shall be fastened in a manner that ensures they are firm, tight and permanent. Seams shall be sewn and fibers shall be brushed to provide full coverage of the fibers over the seams.
3. The synthetic turf shall be anchored over the entire coverage area and shall be installed with a nailer board or any such substitute recommended by the manufacturer intended to conceal edges and ensure proper anchoring of turf.
4. All existing irrigation infrastructure in the synthetic turf area including piping and sprinkler heads that are no longer used must be capped or removed and shall not be visible.
5. All reasonable efforts shall be made to protect existing trees and tree roots from damage during installation.
F. Maintenance: Synthetic turf shall be maintained in an attractive and clean condition pursuant to title 5, chapter 7 of this code and shall not contain holes, tears, stains, discoloration, seam separations, uplifted surfaces, heat degradation, or excessive wear. (Ord. 15-O-2691, eff. 11-6-2015)