Synthetic Turf in Residential Front Yards

Synthetic Turf in Residential Front Yards

On October 6, 2015, the City of Beverly Hills City Council adopted an ordinance to allow synthetic turf (also known as artificial turf) in residential front yards.  

Beginning on November 5, 2015, property owners may apply to install synthetic turf in front yards beginning November 5.  All front yard synthetic turf installations will require a permit. Please do not install synthetic turf in your residential front yard prior to obtaining a permit. 

Applicants may only apply for the use of synthetic/artificial turf in residential front yards during a Stage D drought event.  In order to apply for a building permit for synthetic turf an applicant must provide: 

  • a landscape plan that includes dimensions and details of the landscaped area including the synthetic turf and other landscaping materials
  • drawings that include scaled cross sections of the proposed landscaping materials and details showing the methods of installation and attachment of the synthetic turf, as well as drainage information
  • a sample of the synthetic turf
  • warranty information for the synthetic turf
  • information on the synthetic turf materials, installation instructions, and installer

Under the proposed ordinance, synthetic turf installations must meet the following standards: 


Location and Coverage

Synthetic turf in residential front yards must comply with the following:

  • synthetic turf is limited to 70% of the required landscaped area in a front yard (and no more than 40% of the entire front yard)
  • an eighteen inch landscaped buffer must be provided between the front property line and synthetic turf
  • a three foot buffer must be provided between synthetic turf and a single- or multi-family building
  • synthetic turf is not allowed in the public right of way
  • synthetic turf may not be installed within the dripline of any native or heritage tree



City regulations set forth specifications for synthetic turf that is allowed for front yard installations.  Synthetic turf must: 

  • be of a type known as cut-pile infill
  • consist of parallel-long slit blades that are manufactured from polyethylene or polypropylene (minimum two blade colors)
  • have a blade length between 1 3/4 and 2 1/2 inches
  • contain a thatch layer that is beige or tan
  • comply with all federal and state standards related to lead and heavy metal content
  • be resistant to staining, weather, insects, rot, mildew and fungus growth
  • contain an infill material of clean silica sand or zeolite (no rubber infill allowed)
  • be affixed to a permeable backing with a tuft bind strength of at least 8 pounds
  • have a drain rate of at least 30 inches per hour
  • have a manufacturer's warranty lasting at least 8 years
  • have a spacing between tufting rows of no more than 3/8 inch
  • have a face weight of at least 60 as defined by the manufacturer
  • have a tear grab strength of at least 200 pounds
  • pass the pill burn test for flammability 



Synthetic turf must be installed pursuant to the manufacturers requirements by a licensed professional who is trained in the installation of the turf.  In addition: 

  • the turf shall be installed over 3 inches of a compacted aggregate base that provides adequate drainage
  • seams shall be sewn and shall not be visible
  • the synthetic turf shall be anchored over the entire coverage area and shall be installed with a nailer board or any such substitute recommended by the manufacturer
  • all existing irrigation infrastructure in the area must be removed or capped and shall not be visible



  • synthetic turf shall be maintained in an attractive and clean condition and shall not contain holes, tears, stains, discoloration, seam separations, uplifted surfaces, heat degradation, or excessive wear


Please click here to download the City Synthetic Turf Worksheet.  This will assist applicants in the preparation of a complete application packet.

If there are any questions regarding synthetic/artificial turf, please contact Timothea Tway, Associate Planner in the Beverly Hills Community Development Department, at 310.285.1122.

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