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San Diego Resident Says Turf Rebate Program Was A Breeze

Photo caption:

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

The lawn of Allied Gardens resident Joey Davis, who replaced his grass this summer, August 13, 2015.

When we last left Allied Gardens resident Joey Davis, he was mourning the loss of his green grass.

When we last left Allied Gardens resident Joey Davis, he was mourning the loss of his green grass.

"After a long day at work, coming home to a nice green lawn looks good, coming into my driveway it looks nice," he said in May. "I don’t want to lose it, I don’t want to give it up."

Four months later, his tune has changed.

"I like the idea of coming home after work and all I have to do is take a quick walk through the yard and maybe pull one or two pieces of weed or whatever, and that’s the extent of my yard work," he said.

Davis was one of the lucky 350 residents who was able to sign up for the city of San Diego's turf rebate program in late April. At the time, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer had added an extra $200,000 into the program. All of that money dried up in less than a week.

Then the city put $1.2 million into the program for fiscal 2016, which began July 1. All of that money was gone in one day, after 600 people applied.

Davis did all the work replacing his lawn himself. He said it took five to six weeks and cost $1,700. He expects to get about $1,000 back from the city.

Not usually a fan of government bureaucracies, Davis said he was surprised by how easy the city was to work with and how quickly his questions were answered.

"Within 24 hours I’d get a detailed response, with a message to call if I had any questions. And one time I did," he said. "The (water department) really had it together."

A Metropolitan Water District rebate program for homeowners across Southern California also ran out of money in July. It gave $288,000, including grants as large as $70,000, to homeowners in Rancho Santa Fe, according to data obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

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