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Residential PACE in California: Supervisor touts program to replace lawns

As the drought persists, County Supervisor Dave Roberts began on Monday having his home’s natural grass yards replaced by artificial turf, utilizing a financing program he’s championed since becoming a supervisor and efficiency incentives from water distributors.

Roberts’ decision to replace his lawn with artificial turf came after watching several neighbors in his Solana beach neighborhood either switch to artificial turf or remove their lawns altogether in favor of drought-tolerant landscaping.

He’s pictured himself doing something for a while, he said, but wasn’t sure drought-tolerant landscaping would complement the American colonial-style brick architecture of the front of his home.

He also hadn’t noticed until recently the improvements made to make a turf comparable to real grass, he said.

“Up until now, I’ve been doing my part by following the recommended watering schedules,” Roberts said. “But I realized that I could, and should, do more to permanently reduce my home’s water footprint.”

That realization brought turf replacement crews with sod cutters to Roberts’ home on Monday. They’ll be working through the week to remove more than 6,000 square feet of grass, along with a few inches of soil beneath it, and lay in its place an aggregate base underneath a permeable artificial turf.

Roberts said the project will cost roughly $45,000 — all of which is being covered upfront by the Hero Program, one of four financiers to deliver home-energy and water-efficiency improvements through the county’s property assessed clean energy program. Read more.