The Legislature is Considering Letting Cities Sue Homeowners For Overwatering Their Lawns
As it stands, anyone caught watering their lawns more than twice a week and/or during daytime hours and/or outside the official watering days ordained by City Hall faces a fine of between $250 and $2,000. As of last summer, the city had handed down slightly more than a handful.
The Lawn Whisperer may soon have a new job: process server.
But this is Texas, where a verdant lawn is a God-given right, up there with driving on roads uncluttered by bicycles. In other words, it's inevitable that some green-lawn fetishists will simply ignore the municipal restrictions (not to mention the fact that Texas is in a historic drought and facing a long-term water crisis) and keep flooding their thirsty St. Augustine, absorbing whatever penalty they have to pay on the off chance that code inspectors show up.
State Representative Rafael Anchia, Democrat from Dallas, wants to make the consequences a bit more painful. He filed a bill yesterday allowing cities to sue residents who ignore municipal watering restrictions.
Under state law, Texas cities already have the right to sue to enforce ordinances affecting public health and safety (e.g. dilapidated structures or the accumulation of trash and vegetation) and concerning sexually oriented businesses. Anchia's bill would add "water conservation measures" and animal care and control ordinances to that list.
So, if you don't want to get sued, it's best to turn off those sprinklers.