The Planning Commission in Cerritos, Calif., rejected a resident's request to install synthetic grass in front of his home because it would violate municipal code, writes Kelly Puente. The request underscores a trend in California where artificial grass has gained popularity as a tool that can help conserve water. A nonprofit trade organization says nearly 1,000 synthetic turf fields were installed last year, which saved about 500 million gallons of water and shaved 1.2 million pounds from the amount of fertilizer used. Opponents of the turf say the fields can contain excessive lead levels.

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