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Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023
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The Green Green Grass Of Home

Home foreclosures and the drought wouldn’t appear to be the underpinnings of a good business, but don’t tell that to Kerri McCoy. She founded Lawn Paint Pros four years ago to keep the lawns of foreclosed houses green and has witnessed business skyrocket the past six months as homeowners cut back on water use. This time last year she was only painting one lawn a week; now she is juggling two to three appointments a day. “I even had the cities of Glendale and Palmdale call to get a price check on how much it would cost to spray the median areas,” she said. McCoy, 51, started the Thousand Oaks lawn spray company as a side business. A full-time pool contractor for the past 25 years, McCoy decided to invest $10,000 of her savings to purchase spray paint, a truck-mounted sprayer, sidewalk shields and a few other necessities in 2013. At first, the majority of her business stemmed from real estate agents looking to maintain the appearance of abandoned properties up for sale. “At a lot of these properties the water had been turned off and the grass looked horrible,” she remembered. “I would go in there and a lot of times the lawns were overblown with leaves and stuff. I would mow it down short then spray it with the dye. It would look great for three to five months, which was long enough for them to sell the house.” McCoy charges $275 for 1,000 square feet of turf for a job that takes about 45 minutes to complete. The vegetable-based green dye that she mixes in her garage is said to be non-toxic and will not harm animals. The dye can weather monthly waterings to keep the grass from dying. McCoy does not have any employees, but she plans to hire independent contractors to expand her business, which currently serves residences in L.A. and Ventura counties. Tom Gabor hired Lawn Paint Pros in May to spot paint yellowing sections of his 3,000-square-foot lawn in Topanga. “This accomplishes two things for me. One is beautification. I’ve got three dogs and the urine spots turn the green grass yellow. The second thing is obviously we have the drought situation going on, so I’d like to cut down 30 percent of my water bill,” he said. McCoy admits it has been difficult to handle all the business, as well as media attention drawn by her company. On a recent weekday she was surrounded by a cameraman from the “Today” show and a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. “Everything is happening so fast,” she said. “It’s getting busier and busier and people are feeling the crunch, feeling it in their pocketbooks, so they want to take action.” – Champaign Williams

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