City of Stirling embroiled in turf war with residents over fake lawn February 10 2015

PERTH’S biggest council is embroiled in a turf war with residents over fake lawn.

Ratepayers in the City of Stirling have complained to the council after they were told to remove artificial turf from their verges, because it breached council policy. The council said residents placing artificial turf on local government property without permission were breaching regulations and could be fined up to $5000, if prosecuted.

Mark Pavisich, who lives on the Churchlands Green estate, has collected 130 signatures against the policy after he was initially given 21 days to remove the turf, which cost $1500.

The council’s verge policy states residents are only allowed artificial grass when it doesn’t exceed one-third of the total verge area.

Mr Pavisich has less than one-third of turf, but because he also has pavement, he has been told he is only allowed to keep one of the surfaces. He said many other residents had installed artificial turf.

“I think it’s unfair that I’ve been penalised for attempting to beautify my verge when there are examples of verges dying off in the area that the council aren’t doing anything about,” he said.

City of Stirling manager Ron Spragg said Mr Pavisich had been informed of the policy in February last year, when he submitted his plans to lay the “turf”.

Mr Pavisich said the council only imposed the policy after it was notified by another resident.

Mr Spragg said the council hoped to reach a positive outcome with residents over the matter, but could forcibly remove the “offending materials” or prosecute owners who refused to comply with the policy.

The council issued 221 caution notices for all non-permeable coverings and obstructions on verges last year and fined six individuals a modified penalty of $250.