Southern Calif. desert communities enforce landscaping laws

Joan Hacker had to cut corners when business was bad last year. She figured she could save $100 a month by not watering the lawn at her desert home in Cathedral City.

That's when she got a citation for lack of yard maintenance, which comes with a $100 fine.

She cleared the debris and dead branches but the grass was dead and the Fire Department said it wasn't good enough. So even though she says she felt bullied, she planted new seed and started watering again.

Cathedral City Fire Chief Bill Soqui says there are 751 open landscaping cases.

He says the laws help prevent fire hazards and maintain property values.

Most desert communities in the Coachella Valley have lawn laws. A spokesman for Palm Desert says abandoned properties are the most serious problems.

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Information from: The Desert Sun, http://www.mydesert.com/

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