Town Residents Debate Synthetic Turf

Highland Park residents and town staff gather to discuss use of artificial turf in front yards. (Photo by William Taylor)

Highland Park officials want to hear from more residents about the possibility of allowing greater use of synthetic turf in the town.

The town only allows synthetic turf in rear and side yards where it would be out of the view of neighbors, but staff and Town Council members have discussed changing that rule for residents who want more lawn alternatives, especially for shaded areas where growing grass can prove difficult.

Before deciding whether to call a vote on the matter, town leaders are gathering more public input. An online survey will remain open through Feb. 15.

Development services manager Kirk Smith said the online survey, which opened Jan. 2, had gotten 64 responses as of Monday evening with opponents of allowing artificial turf only slightly outnumbering those who favored it.

Also, at a public meeting that night at Bradfield Elementary School, 16 residents, by a show of hands, indicated they would like to allow use of the fake turf in front yards, while 21 indicated they would not.

Of those who favored allowing it, 14 indicated they would still want restrictions such as rules governing what products and colors could be used.

Opponents of the turf objected to its look and the potential to increase storm runoff in the town.

William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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