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Construction & Land Use Single Family Residences Water Efficient Landscaping
Water Efficient Landscaping

Efficient Landscaping Ordinance - Smart Irrigation Controller

On November 17, 2009 the City Council adopted the Water Conservation Plumbing Fixture Standards Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance. The ordinance is effective beginning January 1, 2010. All projects applying for a Building Permit after January 1, 2010 or remodeling landscape projects beginning January 1, 2010 will be required to comply with the Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.



REQUIRED ON ALL PROPERTIES WITH:

  • New residential development projects.
  • New commercial development projects.
  • New Landscaped Areas over 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Altered Landscaped Areas over 2,500 sq. ft.
  • 50% or larger modifications of existing landscaped areas over 2,500 sq. ft.
  • New landscape irrigation systems installations.
  • Stand-alone projects or projects that do not otherwise require a building permit, formal planning, or other commission approval for review.
  • City projects.

EXCEPTIONS – EXCLUDED PROJECTS

  • Projects which involve alterations or additions to, or retrofits of, existing residential, commercial, or public structures or facilities, unless the Landscape Area is altered by more than 50% in total area.
  • Projects with landscaped areas of less than 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Landscaping that is part of a property listed on an applicable local, state or national register of historic places.
  • Plant collections as part of gardens and arboretums open to the public.

Landscape Design Plan

  1. Include description of plant material.
  2. Address fire safety and prevention if landscape is located in Very High Fire Hazard Security Zone.
  3. Invasive species are prohibited near parks, buffers, greenbelts, and open spaces.
  4. Architectural guidelines of common interest developments can’t prohibit use of low water-use plants.
  5. Turf not allowed on slopes greater than 25% where the toe of the slope is adjacent to an impermeable hardscape (25% slope is equal to 1 ft. of vertical elevation change for every 4 ft. of horizontal length).
  6. Recirculating water systems must be used as a source for water features.
  7. Surface area of a water feature must be included in the high water use hydrozone area of the water budget calculation.
  8. Pool and spa covers are highly recommended.
  9. Minimum of 2 inches of mulch must be applied on all exposed soil surfaces of planting areas except in turf areas, creeping or rooting groundcovers, or direct seeding applications where mulch is not advisable.
  10. Stabilizing mulch products must be used on slopes.
  11. Mulching portion of the seed/mulch slurry in hydro-seeded applications must meet the mulching requirement of soil report specifications or 2 inch minimum, whichever is greater.
  12. Soil amendments must be incorporated according to recommendations of the soil report, if any, and what is appropriate for the plants selected.

Irrigation Design Plan

  1. SMART IRRIGATION CONTROLLERS OR OTHER APPROVED SELF ADJUSTING DEVICES ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL IRRIGATION SYSTEMS.
  2. Irrigation systems must be designed to avoid excessive pressure.
  3. Water pressure regulators are required.
  4. If water pressure does not meet the required pressure of the irrigation system, pressure regulators, booster pumps, or other devices must be installed to meet the required water pressure.
  5. A sensor (rain, freeze, wind, etc.) that suspends irrigation operation during bad weather conditions is required on all irrigation systems.
  6. High-flow check valves or other similar technology are required.
  7. Irrigation system must be designed to prevent runoff, low head drainage, overspray, etc.
  8. Soil management plan must be utilized when designing irrigation systems.
  9. Design of irrigation system must conform to the hydrozones of the landscape design plan.

Grading Design Plan

  1. Must be designed to minimize soil erosion, runoff, and water waste
  2. Indicate finished configurations and elevations of the landscape area including:
    • Height of graded slopes
    • Drainage patterns
    • Pad elevations
    • Finish grade
    • Storm water retention improvements
  3. All irrigation and normal rainfall should remain within the property line so as not to drain onto non-permeable hardscapes
  4. A comprehensive grading plan prepared by a civil engineer for a project which includes landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas can satisfy this requirement.
  5. Compaction of landscape area shall be avoided.

Soil Management Report

Must submit a Soil Management Plan that meets the criteria of the Landscape Regulations