My previous letter on the topic of artificial turf provoked a vocal awakening of the taxpayers of Ocean Ridge — which in most instances should have been an awakening for the Town Commission.
In the case of Steve Coz and Phil Besler, they listened to the concerns of nearly 100 vocal citizens and tried to understand the rationale for banning turf.
In the case of Susan Hurlburt, Don MaGruder and Kristine de Haseth, it provoked defiance of the will of those who elected them in favor of their own personal taste.
The basis for banning turf was determined not to be an environmental concern. (In fact, turf is a benefit to the environment over natural grass.) No, according to Susan Hurlburt, Don MaGruder, Kristine de Haseth and the PNZ Board, it was purely aesthetic. They claimed to want to preserve the “unique look” of Ocean Ridge.
When I appraise the beauty of our town, it is the diversity of home architecture and landscaping that adds to the aesthetic rather than detracts. But of course that is just my opinion, and should only count as that — like the council members’, one opinion.
In taking this bill to a second and final reading on March 3, this self-righteous faction has to start with the premise that all natural grass is good, no matter the weeds or barrenness of the turf or the chemicals required to keep it to their standard.
Aesthetic judgment is the beginning of a slippery slope that allows these three council members and the Planning and Zoning Board to interject their personal taste into the law.
What’s next that is aesthetically displeasing to this group?
The architecture of your house, or its color?
The strain of grass you can install?
The types of trees you can plant?
Ocean Ridge is not an HOA, it is a town with freethinking people who will not tolerate the overreach of “their” elected town officials. The taxpayers hired the commissioners and can remove them as well.
The commission was well within its rights and protocol to make this decision. I applaud them for listening carefully to the people of Ocean Ridge (OR) and not being cowed by a few highly vocal individuals. Most people in OR fear G-d, mind their own business, and are always willing to help their neighbors. They pay their taxes and love their families. They just don’t like fake grass. Can’t this small group of individuals let go of their own special interest and think about their neighbors for once? So sad.