Town Residents Debate Synthetic Turf

Highland Park residents and town staff gather to discuss use of artificial turf in front yards. (Photo by William Taylor)

Highland Park officials want to hear from more residents about the possibility of allowing greater use of synthetic turf in the town.

The town only allows synthetic turf in rear and side yards where it would be out of the view of neighbors, but staff and Town Council members have discussed changing that rule for residents who want more lawn alternatives, especially for shaded areas where growing grass can prove difficult.

Before deciding whether to call a vote on the matter, town leaders are gathering more public input. An online survey will remain open through Feb. 15.

Development services manager Kirk Smith said the online survey, which opened Jan. 2, had gotten 64 responses as of Monday evening with opponents of allowing artificial turf only slightly outnumbering those who favored it.

Also, at a public meeting that night at Bradfield Elementary School, 16 residents, by a show of hands, indicated they would like to allow use of the fake turf in front yards, while 21 indicated they would not.

Of those who favored allowing it, 14 indicated they would still want restrictions such as rules governing what products and colors could be used.

Opponents of the turf objected to its look and the potential to increase storm runoff in the town.

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