City of Palm Beach May Tighten Rules on Use of Artificial Yard Turf

Palm Beach, FL, May 21, 2021-The city of Palm Beach, Florida may tighten rules governing the use of artificial turf in yards, a practice town officials say may be environmentally harmful.

“The artificial or synthetic turf is becoming more popular with homeowners who install it to cover shady or bare spots on their lawns, or who may like it because it doesn’t require irrigation, officials say. 

“But many of them may be unaware of environmental concerns associated with the product, or that they may have installed it in violation of town law, Councilwoman Julie Araskog said Thursday.

“The turf isn’t illegal in town. But it does require a permit from the Architectural Commission, and it does not count toward town stipulations for landscaped green space.

“The issue was raised early last year by Councilwoman Bobbie Lindsay, who said her research found that the turf-she called it a ‘plastic rug’-can heat up to 200 degrees during summer and that, over time, it releases harmful compounds into the water table. She said she even spotted synthetic turf installed in one resident’s front yard.”