Chapter 17.87
WATER-EFFICIENT LANDSCAPE STANDARDS

Sections:

17.87.010    Definitions.

17.87.020    Applicability.

17.87.030    Submittal requirements.

17.87.040    Implementation procedures.

Prior legislation: Ord. 1209.

17.87.010 Definitions.

The following definitions are applicable within this chapter:

A. “Certificate of completion” means the document required under Section 17.87.040(C)(1).

B. “Common interest developments” means community apartment projects, condominium projects, planned developments, and stock cooperatives per Civil Code Section 1351.

C. “Ecological restoration project” means a project where the site is intentionally altered to establish a defined, indigenous, historic ecosystem.

D. “Estimated total water use” (ETWU) means the total water used for the landscape.

E. “Homeowner-provided landscaping” means any landscaping either installed by a private individual for a single-family residence or installed by a licensed contractor hired by a homeowner. A homeowner, for purposes of this chapter, is a person who occupies the dwelling he or she owns. This excludes speculative homes, which are not owner-occupied dwellings.

F. “Hydrozone” means a portion of the landscaped area having plants with similar water needs that are served by a valve or set of valves with the same irrigation schedule.

G. “Irrigation efficiency” means the measurement of the amount of water beneficially used, which is the amount of water stored in the root zone, divided by the amount of water applied. Irrigation efficiency is derived from measurements and estimates of irrigation system characteristics and management practices.

H. “Maximum applied water allowance” (MAWA) means the upper limit of annual applied water for the established landscaped area in Section 17.87.020. It is based upon the area’s reference evapotranspiration, the ET adjustment factor, and the size of the landscaped area. The estimated total water use shall not exceed the maximum applied water allowance. Special landscape areas, including recreation areas, areas permanently and solely dedicated to edible plants such as orchards and vegetable gardens, and areas irrigated with recycled water are subject to the MAWA with an ETAF not to exceed 1.0.

I. “Project applicant” means the individual or entity submitting a landscape and irrigation plan required under this chapter. A project applicant may be the property owner or his or her designee.

J. “Rehabilitated landscape” means any relandscaping project that requires a building permit or design review where the modified landscape area is equal to or greater than two thousand five hundred square feet. (Ord. 1547 § 2 (part), 2010)

17.87.020 Applicability.

A. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the following landscape projects:

1. New residential, commercial, institutional and multifamily development projects with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than five hundred square feet subject to a building permit, plan check or development review.

2. Rehabilitated landscapes for residential, institutional, commercial and multifamily development projects with a landscape area equal to or greater than two thousand five hundred square feet which are otherwise subject to a building permit or development review.

3. Homeowners associations and common interest developments’ architectural guidelines (i.e., CC&Rs) shall not prohibit or include conditions that have the effect of prohibiting the use of low water-using plants as a group. Further, the guidelines shall not prohibit the removal of turf, nor restrict or prohibit the reduction of turf in lieu of more water-efficient alternatives (California Civil Code Section 1353.8).

B. This chapter does not apply to:

1. Registered local, state or federal historical sites;

2. Ecological restoration projects that do not require a permanent irrigation system; or

3. Plant collections, as part of botanical gardens and arboretums open to the public.

C. Projects that fall under the applicable thresholds cited shall submit the following:

1. Landscape design plan which meets the maximum applied water allowance calculation and design criteria in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

2. Irrigation design plan which meets the design criteria in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1547 § 2 (part), 2010)

17.87.030 Submittal requirements.

A. Landscape Design Plan. For the efficient use of water, a landscape shall be designed and planned for the intended function of the project. For each landscape project subject to this chapter, applicants shall submit a landscape design plan as described in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

B. Irrigation Design Plan. The irrigation system and its related components shall be planned and designed to allow for proper installation, management, and maintenance. For each landscape project subject to this chapter, applicants shall submit an irrigation design plan that is designed and installed to meet irrigation efficiency criteria as described in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

C. Soils Management Report. In order to reduce runoff and encourage healthy plant growth, soil amendment, mulching and soil conditioning recommendations shall be prepared by a licensed landscape architect, licensed landscape contractor, licensed civil engineer or licensed architect as described in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

D. Grading Design Plan. For the efficient use of water, grading of a project site shall be designed to minimize soil erosion, runoff, and water waste as described in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

E. Stormwater Management. Stormwater management practices minimize runoff and increase infiltration which recharges groundwater and improves water quality. Implementing stormwater best management practices into the landscape and grading design plans to minimize runoff and to increase on-site retention and infiltration are required. Project applicants shall refer to Chapter 12.08 and the city engineering standards for stormwater quality requirements. (Ord. 1547 § 2 (part), 2010)

17.87.040 Implementation procedures.

A. Development Review. For projects that require development review (tentative parcel map, tentative tract, development plan or conditional use permit), project applicants shall submit the following documentation:

1. A completed maximum applied water allowance for the conceptual landscape design.

2. A conceptual landscape design plan which demonstrates that the landscape will meet the landscape design specifications of the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

3. A conceptual irrigation design plan which notes the irrigation methods and design actions that will be employed to meet the irrigation specifications of the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

4. A grading plan which demonstrates the landscape will meet the specifications of the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

B. Building Application. Prior to the issuance of a building permit, project applicants shall submit the following:

1. A completed maximum applied water allowance form (appendices, city engineering standards) based on the final landscape design plan.

2. A final landscape design plan that includes all the criteria required in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

3. A final irrigation plan that includes all the criteria required in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

4. A soils management report that includes at a minimum the criteria required in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

5. A final grading plan that includes all the criteria required in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

6. A hydrozone table (appendices, city engineering standards).

C. Project Completion. Upon completion of the installation of the landscape and irrigation system and prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy, the project applicant shall submit the following:

1. A certification of completion (appendices, city engineering standards) signed by the professional of record for the landscape and irrigation design certifying that the project was installed per the city-approved landscape design, irrigation and grading plans and meets or exceeds an average landscape irrigation efficiency of 0.71. The city reserves the right to inspect and audit any irrigation system which has received an approval through the provisions of this chapter.

2. A project applicant shall develop and provide to the owner or owner representative and the city an irrigation schedule that assists in the water management of the project and utilizes the minimum amount of water required to maintain plant health. Irrigation schedules shall meet the criteria in the city engineering standards uniform design criteria for landscaping and irrigation.

3. A regular maintenance schedule shall be submitted by the project applicant with the certificate of completion that includes: routine inspections, adjustment and repairs to the irrigation system, aerating and dethatching turf areas, replenishing mulch, fertilizing, pruning and weeding. The maintenance schedule will be provided to the owner or owner representative. (Ord. 1547 § 2 (part), 2010)