Langford council rescinded its requirement to use turf grass on boulevard frontages, five years after a previous council established it as policy.
In 2017, the Langford council at the time decided to require turf instead of sod grass because it was believed the artificial turf would come with a lower cost.
After five years with the artificial turf, “[a] review of the maintenance, installation and replacement costs over this period shows that the anticipated savings have not been met,” a report brought forward by staff says.
Additionally, to install artificial turf, the cost is split between the city and developer 65/35 with the city paying the larger share and the city is responsible for 100 per cent of the costs to replace it once it reaches the end of its life cycle in 10-15 years.
At the top of the discussion on March 20, Mayor Scott Goodmanson noted this motion isn’t to remove any of the existing turf in the city.
“If you look at the wording, it just says remove artificial turf requirements, this is going forward, not ripping up what’s on the road right now,” Goodmanson said. “There was a lot of questions about that and I want to make sure you get that straight.”
This also doesn’t bar the city from using turf grass, it just means it will not be used by default.
Staff also raised concerns about turf including: artifical turf does not support the breakdown of organic materials like bird poo so the areas accumulate waste more than sod; artificial turf does not absorb C02 or give off oxygen; inorganic materials like turf can contribute to heat island effects; and herbicide is frequently needed to be applied in order to control weed growth.
Shortly after Goodmanson was elected in October 2022, CHEK’s Joe Perkins asked him about his thoughts on the artificial turf throughout the city. While the mayor did not commit at the time to removing the turf, he did say it is not his favourite thing.
“I don’t really love it,” Goodmanson said in October. “I have no plans…I’ll say this, I would rather see more shrubs and flowers and all-year-round greenery than astroturf.”
Listen to the full MicCHEK podcast with Scott Goodmanson below:
Listen to “Ep. 158 – Langford’s next Mayor, Scott Goodmanson” on Spreaker.