General Manager Janice McClintock told the board it would cost about $51,000 to remove all of the fine fescue in the arterial medians and in areas from sound walls to the curb. She said the staff proposed tearing out fescue only in the arterial median areas for $30,000 so they wouldn’t have to water the plants, which would help with water conservation during the drought.
Director Andy Su said he was opposed to spending the money and proposed that they leave the fescue there and just stop watering it. He said they could cut back on the watering and see how it looked after a week.
The board voted 4-1 in favor of Su’s motion to deny the vegetation removal.
Director Celeste Farron, who voted against the plan, said dead plants looked ugly.
“I’m not in favor of letting it die,” she said. “If we’re going to do it, we might as well do it and make it clean.”
Farron said she didn’t think it was fair for the district to let its plants die when its own ordinance doesn’t allow homeowners to do the same thing on their properties. She said the board needed to be consistent throughout the community.
“I don’t think we should have a double standard,” she said.
Director Jim Lamb suggested that they consider just clearing the plantings leading to Mustang Boulevard in front of Mountain House High School at a cost of $15,000.
Staff member Harpal Singh said he agreed that the district should keep the Mustang Boulevard area clean and green with vegetation. He said it would look nicer for people looking to purchase houses in Hanson Village in the southern part of the community.
McClintock reminded the board that there were also 200 homes still for sale in Questa Village and that plan did not include removing the plantings for that village.
Board President Steve Gutierrez agreed with Su on a trial period of not watering.
Lamb said that he, too, agreed with Su and that residents would understand that the district was trying to conserve water.
McClintock said the staff would put up signs explaining that the community had stopped watering to conserve water during the drought.
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