Artificial Turf war in North End comes to an end for now September 23 2014

BOISE, Idaho -- A heated debate over artificial grass in the North End has come to an end, at least for now.

Ed and and Jenn Vining live on 16th Street in the North End Historic District. During an extensive renovation on the home four months ago, they installed the turf, at a cost around $20,000, without knowing it was against a city ordinance.

"I understand people's concerns wanting to maintain the character of the neighborhood," said Matthew Bullard, who lives next door to the Vining family.

Bullard adds that in this case, most neighbors don't have a problem with the artificial turf because it looks like real grass.

"Especially with the leaf litter it's really hard to tell," said Bullard. "Even when you walk by it's hard to tell and I think it looks good."

At Boise City Hall members of the Historic Preservation Commission voiced some concerns Monday night, including possible unknown environmental impacts of the turf and the length of a proposed trial period of 10 years.

After hearing from supporters and no one coming to the podium against the turf, commission members voted unanimously on a three year trial period.

"It's a limited victory," said Ed Vining.

The city will monitor the yard to make sure it fares well through the seasons and doesn't take away any of the character of the historic North End.

"We weren't trying to put down blue turf," said Vining. "We chose it because it looks normal. Having the support of the neighbors was critical for our peace of mind and the board."

Vining says he's already noticed a difference in the severity of his daughter's allergies, which was the main reason they wanted the artificial grass. He's glad the fight has been put to rest for at least a few years.