by Rhonda Massad
Artificial grass for residential lawn coverage in Beaconsfield has been an issue in front yards in recent years. Those who have put down the synthetic fiber on their front lawns without consulting the city have found themselves forced to remove it and replace it with the natural version.
The latest zoning by-law modification offers a definition of grass should anyone need clarification: “Slab of earth covered with natural herbs from a seedling which requires maintenance so that it remains short and dense. A synthetic or artificial herb is not grass.”
At a recent public consultation to alter backyard and sideyard setbacks to two meters, an additional stipulation has been proposed that would forbid residents from having artificial grass within two meters of their property lines. In fact, it would also forbid any non-draining materials to be placed in that same zone.
According to Stéphane Quesnel, Division Head Urban Planning for the City of Beaconsfield, the two-meter buffer will ensure better water drainage for neighbors.
“When there is a material that does not allow for penetrability reaching right up to the property line it does not leave place for water to run off except to the neighboring property,” he stated. “Border to border cement or patio blocks can also cause heat islands. As far as artificial grass goes, it is just not the Beaconsfield way of doing things and will not be permitted.”
Should the modification be accepted by council at a future meeting, residents will be required to keep two meters between them and their neighbors as natural as possible which include grass, shrubs or any other plants that allow for natural drainage. Small stones or river rock were confirmed acceptable when one resident posed the question.
The proposed zoning modification also includes a modification that will allow pressurized gas tanks to be buried underground in certain cases.