Erie City Council heard from landscaping and gardening experts today on a proposed ordinance on allowing alternative lawns in the city. If you live in the city of Erie, the property maintenance code ordinance says your lawn must be a turf lawn, pretty much just grass, but a new proposed ordinance would allow property owners to plant some alternatives.
Homeowners would have more options, like wildflowers, plants, and non-invasive species. Or, a rain garden, like the one outside of Erie City Hall. Environmental advocates say something like that would help save the bee population since it does not need harmful chemicals or lawn treatments and it would help with stormwater management.
But, to other people, this could look like unkempt weeds. The resolution asking the City Planning Commission to review the proposed alternative lawn ordinance and to make recommendations to City Council amending the property code was passed this morning.
Sustainability Coordinator of the City of Erie, Sarah Galloway, says, “there have been lots of groups that have reviewed it and we felt it was time for council to review it and see if they had any further questions…”
And, council did have questions and concerns about how this applies to the Refocused plan and the effort to reduce blight. To which, Erie City Council President, Casimir Kwitowski says, “it looks nice when it’s done right and nobody is debating that, but what I don’t want to see is people having fields of high grass and calling it natural growth and people have unsightly yards because they don’t want to mow their lawns”.
The City Planning Commission will now review the ordinance and make recommendations to City Council to any appropriate amendments that should be made to the current property maintenance code ordinance.