Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater code enforcement board upset about fake grass

Sick of pulling weeds, Carol Korotkow paid $3,300 a year ago to install 500 square feet of artificial grass in part of her yard.


Sick of pulling weeds, Carol Korotkow paid $3,300 a year ago to install 500 square feet of artificial grass in part of her yard.

CLEARWATER — Three weeks after city leaders dropped their fight against plastic-grass crusader Carol Korotkow, one group is upset she got away so easily: the city's Code Enforcement Board.

The all-volunteer board had voted this summer to fine Korotkow $100 a day if she didn't rip up the waterless artificial turf in her front lawn.

But after months of meetings, the City Council, which appoints code board members, voted to drop the case. They decided to let Korotkow keep the turf and potentially revisit the city's landscape code next year.

Told of the council's ruling at a meeting Wednesday, code enforcement board members said they were "troubled" and "extremely disappointed" by the decision.

"There's a violation out there, and you're going to ignore it," board member Sheila Cole asked city planning director Michael Delk. "How can you do that?"

Though Clearwater officials have long suggested the city enforce the turf ban, they said Wednesday that the City Council had the right to take no action — and the final say.

"This is a terrible precedent," said member Mike Riordon. "The City Council dropped the ball."

However, the council was never excited about the idea of cracking down on fake grass. In fact, council members asked city staffers in July to brainstorm about an artificial-turf law that would allow anyone in Clearwater to install fake grass, as long as it met certain standards.

But earlier this month, when the council got a look at the proposed ordinance, they called it an "administrative nightmare." They questioned how the turf would drain, what it would be made of, and how homeowners would deal with utility companies digging through the expensive turf. They punted the subject into next year.

Korotkow, a traveling nurse, paid $3,300 last year to install 500 square feet of fake grass in a quarter of her yard off Druid Road, saving her from watering and the rigor of pulling weeds.

Clearwater code enforcement board upset about fake grass 12/21/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 7:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.