Man paints backyard to comply with city’s code to ‘look green’

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OGDEN, Utah -- A Utah man fed up with a city code that mandates green lawns found his own way to "comply" with the rules.

Resident Michael Goldman has lived in Ogden for five years now, but this year he said the city is coming down hard about the way his yard looks.

“They’re citing a lot of people for not keeping it green, not keeping it mowed," Goldman said. "They told me I had a certain amount of time to make it green.”

Goldman told code enforcement officers he couldn't have a green yard in ten days, but could complete a new backyard over the next few years.

Ogden Director of Community and Economic Development Tom Christophulos said over the phone that he didn't know the details of Goldman's specific case, but that if there is a code compliance issue, code enforcement officers should grant a "hardship request."

"I doubt if a two-year plan would’ve been accepted on a water plan,” Christophulos said. “We would expect a plan that would address the issue immediately.”

Christophulos also added that this was the "normal code enforcement for commercial or residential places.

"It's been in code for over twenty years," Christophulos said.

Goldman was given ten days to make his yard look green, "so I just got the idea of painting it.”

Using environmentally safe paint used on golf courses and football fields, Goldman paid $70 to make his yard green in one day – and his wallet is greener for it as well.

"My back lawn is going to take a little bit longer, it’s almost $1,700 just in sod for 4,000 square feet,” Goldman said. "For what I would’ve spent in one month of watering, I could do this two or three times.”

Goldman said the city will drop by on Monday to see if it meets their qualifications.

“If they find another reason for me to do something else, I’ll fix it," Goldman said. "I’m not one to get on the city’s case.”

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