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Couple Faces Jail for Removing Lawn

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KTLA: An Orange County family from could be headed to jail for refusing to landscape their yard.

In 2008, Quan Ha and his wife, Angelina, decided to remove all the grass from their front yard.

The couple says their goal was to help save water, the environment and some money.

About four months later, Orange's code-enforcement department received a complaint about the Ha's yard.

The department ruled that the yard violated a city law requiring residents to have at least 40 percent of their front property landscaped.

The Ha family actually covered their lawn with wood chips after taking out the grass but local officials say that wasn't good enough.

That's when the family decided to build an ornate fence and plant some drought-tolerant plants but because they didn't file proper paperwork before an October deadline, the city still filed court papers.

Angelina Ha says she sent mailed photos of the yard with the fence and drought-resistant plants to the city's code-enforcement department in November.

The couple says they never heard back from Orange officials and thought they were in the clear.

But proceedings are still going forward, with a court date is set for March 2.

The maximum penalty, if the Ha family is found guilty of a misdemeanor, is up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
egene February 25, 2010, 5:18 PM

How on Earth did Law Makers get the power to determine what a home ownner must have in their yard. 40% of proper what? This is definitely a sign of what is wrong with our political system from city to national. I hope others will help the family win in court their God given right to plant what they choose proper in their own yard.

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