Chapter 17.97
WATER-EFFICIENT LANDSCAPING

Sections:

17.97.010    Applicability.

17.97.020    Purpose.

17.97.030    Architectural and site review required.

17.97.040    Landscape design plan.

17.97.050    Irrigation design plan.

17.97.060    Plant selection.

17.97.070    Use of turf.

17.97.080    Soil conditioning and mulching.

17.97.090    Watering times.

17.97.100    Water consumption.

17.97.110    Decorative use of water.

17.97.120    Provisions for existing landscapes.

17.97.010 Applicability.

The regulations set forth in this chapter apply to all new construction and remodels for the following:

A. Commercial development;

B. Industrial development;

C. Multifamily development, excluding mobile home parks;

D. Planned development. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.020 Purpose.

The purpose of the water-efficient landscaping ordinance is to promote the conservation and efficient use of water while respecting the economic, environmental, aesthetic and lifestyle choices of individuals and property owners in Capitola. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.030 Architectural and site review required.

Architectural and site approval shall be secured for the establishment of any new landscaping for commercial, industrial, multifamily and planned developments. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.040 Landscape design plan.

All landscape design plans shall include the following:

A. Existing and proposed walks;

B. Driveways;

C. Fences and retaining walls

D. Pools, ponds and other water bodies;

E. Location of existing and proposed planting zones. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.050 Irrigation design plan.

A. All irrigation systems shall be designed to avoid runoff, low head drainage, overspray or other similar conditions where water flows onto adjacent property, nonirrigated areas, walks, roadways or structures.

B. The following proper irrigation equipment shall be utilized where appropriate:

1. Separate landscape water meters for landscape areas exceeding five thousand square feet;

2. Irrigation controllers which are capable of percent adjustment, multiple programming and rain sensor;

3. Valves and circuits shall be separated based on water use and sun exposure. Separate valves for turf and nonturf and berm areas shall be installed;

4. Sprinkler heads and emitters shall be selected for proper area coverage, application rate, operation pres sure, adjustment capability and ease of maintenance;

5. Rain-sensing override devices shall be required for all irrigation systems;

6. Drip or bubble irrigation shall be required for all trees;

7. State of California approved back flow prevention devices shall be installed on all irrigation systems. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.060 Plant selection.

A. Plants shall be selected from the community development director’s approved planting list on file in the office of the community development director. Other plant materials may be used, subject to approval by planning staff.

B. Ninety percent of the introduced plants shall be drought resistant.

C. Ten percent of the introduced plants need not be drought resistant.

D. Plants which are not drought resistant must be grouped together and irrigated separately from the drought resistant plants.

E. Plants shall require minimal water once established. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.070 Use of turf.

A. Turf areas shall be limited to twenty-five percent of the landscaped area.

B. The planning commission may approve larger areas if the lawn area provides functional open space.

C. Drought-resistant grass species shall be used exclusively.

D. Turf shall not be used on berms or slopes where runoff is a problem.

E. Turf shall not be used for median islands where runoff is a problem. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.080 Soil conditioning and mulching.

Mulch shall be added to the soil surface in all landscape areas periodically. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.090 Watering times.

Watering shall start after six p.m. and end before ten a.m. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.100 Water consumption.

A five-year plan for estimated total water use shall be submitted. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.110 Decorative use of water.

The planning commission may approve fountains and other types of decorative water bodies which use recirculated water and demonstrate to be a reasonably efficient water user. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)

17.97.120 Provisions for existing landscapes.

All existing landscaped areas to which the city provides water that are one acre or more, including green belts, common areas, multifamily housing other than mobile home parks, schools, businesses, parks and publicly owned landscapes shall have a landscape irrigation audit at least every five years. (Ord. 744 § 1, 1992)