Article 4. Water Efficient Landscaping
A. Promote the values and benefits of landscapes while recognizing the need to invest water and other resources as efficiently as possible;
B. Establish a structure for planning, designing, installing, and maintaining and managing water efficient landscapes in new residential or commercial development projects and when landscaped areas are altered by more than fifty percent (50%) in total area;
C. Promote water management practices and water waste prevention for existing landscapes; and
D. Use water efficiently without waste by setting a maximum applied water allowance as an upper limit for water use and reduce water use to the lowest practical amount.
Accordingly, this article is intended to be as effective in conserving water as is the department of water resources state model landscaping ordinance set forth in Government Code section 65595 and shall be known as the WATER EFFICIENT LANDSCAPING ORDINANCE. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. Projects which involve alterations or additions to, or retrofits of, existing residential, commercial or public structures or facilities, unless the landscaped area is altered as defined in section 9-4-403 of this article.
B. Projects with a landscaped area of less than two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet.
C. Landscaping that is part of a property listed on any applicable local, state or national register of historic places.
D. Plant collections as part of gardens and arboretums open to the public. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. Prior to issuance of a building permit for any project that involves landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article, the project applicant must submit a landscape documentation package for review and approval by the community development department ("department"). The landscape documentation package shall include the following:
1. Project information as required by the landscape regulations;
2. Landscape design plan as described in section 9-4-406 of this article;
3. Irrigation design plan as described in section 9-4-407 of this article;
4. Water efficient landscape worksheet as described in section 9-4-410 of this article;
5. A soils management report as described in section 9-4-409 of this article;
6. Grading design plan as described in section 9-4-408 of this article; and
7. Payment of the fee as prescribed by city council upon submittal of the landscape documentation package.
If the landscaped area or altered landscaped area subject to this article is a stand alone project or does not otherwise require a building permit or formal planning or other commission approval or review, the landscape documentation package shall be submitted to the department for review and approval prior to the commencement of landscape improvements.
B. The documents listed in subsection A of this section shall be prepared and signed by a landscape architect, landscape designer, or irrigation designer, as appropriate, except that the soils report shall be prepared by a qualified soil and plant laboratory. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. Landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article shall be carefully designed and planned to ensure the efficient use of water. The project applicant shall submit to the department a landscape design plan that meets the criteria set forth in this section and the criteria set forth in the landscape regulations.
B. The landscape design plan shall comply with or include the following:
1. A description of the plant material. Any plant may be selected for the landscape provided that the estimated applied water use in the landscaped area or altered landscaped area does not exceed the maximum applied water allowance.
2. Landscape design plans for projects in the city's very high fire hazard severity zones areas shall address fire safety and prevention. The project applicant shall ensure that the defensible space required by this code is maintained and shall avoid fire prone plant materials and mulches.
3. Invasive species of plants shall be prohibited near parks, buffers, greenbelts and open spaces and are generally discouraged for landscape use.
4. The architectural guidelines of a common interest development, which include community apartment projects, condominiums, planned developments, and stock cooperatives, shall not prohibit or include conditions that have the effect of prohibiting the use of low water use plants as a group.
5. Turf is not allowed on slopes greater than twenty five percent (25%) where the toe of the slope is adjacent to an impermeable hardscape and where twenty five percent (25%) means one foot (1') of vertical elevation change for every four feet (4') of horizontal length (rise divided by run x 100 + slope percent).
6. Recirculating water systems shall be used as a source for water features.
7. The surface area of a water feature shall be included in the high water use hydrozone area of the water budget calculation.
8. Pool and spa covers are highly recommended.
9. A minimum two inch (2") layer of mulch shall be applied on all exposed soil surfaces of planting areas except in turf areas, creeping or rooting ground covers or direct seeding applications where mulch is contraindicated.
10. Stabilizing mulching products shall be used on slopes.
11. The mulching portion of the seed/mulch slurry in hydroseeded applications shall meet the mulching requirement.
12. Soil amendments shall be incorporated according to recommendations of the soil report, if any, and what is appropriate for the plants selected. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. An irrigation system and its related components for landscaped areas and altered landscaped areas subject to this article shall be carefully designed and planned to allow for proper installation, management, and maintenance. The project applicant shall submit to the department an irrigation design plan that meets the criteria set forth in this section and the criteria set forth in the landscape regulations.
B. An irrigation design plan shall comply with or include the following:
1. Smart irrigation controllers or other self-adjusting irrigation controllers shall be required for all irrigation systems. The controller must be able to accommodate all aspects of the landscape and irrigation design plans.
2. All irrigation systems shall be designed to avoid excessive pressure. Water pressure regulators are required. Static water pressure, dynamic or operating pressure and flow reading of the water supply shall be measured at the time of day the system will operate. These pressure and flow measurements shall be conducted at the design stage, if available, or prior to installation, if not available at the design phase.
3. If the static pressure is above or below the required dynamic pressure of the irrigation system, pressure regulators, or booster pumps, or other devices shall be installed to meet the required dynamic pressure of the irrigation system.
4. Sensor (rain, freeze, wind, etc.), either integral or auxiliary, that suspends irrigation operation during unfavorable weather conditions shall be required on all irrigation systems, as appropriate for local climatic conditions.
5. High flow check valves, or other technology to interrupt operations in high flow conditions created by irrigation system damage or malfunction, shall be required.
6. The irrigation system shall be designed to prevent runoff, low head drainage, overspray, or other similar conditions where irrigation water flows onto nontargeted areas, such as adjacent property, nonirrigated areas, hardscapes, roadways, or structures.
7. Relevant information from the soil management plan, such as soil type and infiltration rate, shall be utilized when designing irrigation systems.
8. The design of the irrigation system shall conform to the hydrozones of the landscape design plan. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. Grading of a project site that contains a landscaped area or altered landscaped area subject to this article, shall be designed to minimize soil erosion, runoff and water waste. The project applicant shall submit to the department a grading design plan that meets the criteria set forth in this section and the criteria set forth in the landscape regulations.
B. The landscape grading plan shall indicate finished configurations and elevations of the landscaped area including: 1) height of graded slopes; 2) drainage patterns; 3) pad elevations; 4) finish grade; and 5) stormwater retention improvements, if applicable.
C. To prevent excessive erosion and runoff, grading shall avoid disturbing natural drainage patterns and avoid soil compaction in landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article. All irrigation and normal rainfall should remain within the property lines so as not to drain onto nonpermeable hardscapes.
D. A comprehensive grading plan prepared by a civil engineer for a project which includes landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article, can satisfy this requirement. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. The project applicant shall complete and submit to the department a water efficient landscape worksheet that meets the criteria set forth in this section and the criteria set forth in the landscape regulations.
B. The water efficient landscape worksheet shall contain two (2) sections: 1) a hydrozone information table and 2) a water budget calculation for the landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article. The water budget calculation shall include the maximum applied water allowance and the estimated total water use. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. Upon completion of the installation of the landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article, the project applicant shall submit a certificate of completion, in the form provided by the city, for review and approval by the director. The certificate of completion shall be executed by either the licensed landscape architect, licensed landscape contractor or the certified irrigation designer that signed any of the documents submitted as part of the landscape documentation package.
B. The certificate of completion shall certify and/or include the following:
1. The landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article have been installed in conformance with the landscape documentation package, the water efficient landscaping ordinance and the landscape regulations;
2. The automatic controller has been set according to the irrigation schedule described in section 9-4-412 of this article;
3. Documentation that the soil management report recommendations, if any, have been implemented;
4. The irrigation audit report; and
5. The landscape and irrigation maintenance schedule.
C. The director shall approve the certificate of completion if it is determined the project conforms to the provisions of this section. If the director determines that the certificate of completion is incomplete or does not conform to the provisions of this section, the director shall:
1. Notify the project applicant in writing that the certificate of completion has been denied and include a statement of reasons; or
2. Notify the project applicant in writing that the certificate of completion is incomplete with an indication of additional information necessary. The project applicant may resubmit the certificate of completion for review by the director.
D. The project applicant shall provide a copy of the approved certificate of completion to the property owner within seven (7) days of its approval. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. For landscaped areas or altered landscaped areas subject to this article, the project applicant shall prepare an irrigation audit report as set forth in the landscape regulations.
B. For all existing landscaped areas installed prior to January 1, 2010, irrigation audits shall be prepared as set forth in the landscape regulations. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. New irrigation systems installed, whether or not part of a landscaped area or altered landscaped area subject to this article, shall be designed, maintained and managed to meet or exceed the average irrigation efficiency set forth in the landscape regulations.
B. New irrigation systems installed as stand alone projects shall comply with sections 9-4-407, 9-4-410, 9-4-411, 9-4-412, 9-4-413 and 9-4-414 of this article. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)
A. Landscape and grading design plans shall be developed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the stormwater and urban runoff control provisions set forth in article 5 of this chapter.
B. Rain gardens, cisterns, and other landscape features and practices that increase rainwater capture and create opportunities for infiltration and/or on site storage are encouraged. (Ord. 09-O-2574, eff. 1-1-2010)