Chapter 15.48


15.48.010    Purpose and intent.

15.48.020    Applicability.

15.48.030    Definitions.

15.48.040    Standards of landscape design/implementation for new construction and development.

15.48.050    Planting plan specifications.

15.48.060    Irrigation plan specifications.

15.48.070    Inspection.

15.48.080    Maintenance.

15.48.090    Fees.

15.48.100    Model homes.

15.48.010 Purpose and intent.

Water is an increasingly limited and costly resource. It is the intent of this chapter to establish a water conservation plan to reduce water consumption in the landscape environment using conservation principles. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.020 Applicability.

Whenever landscaping or a landscape plan is required by this title, the following standards of planting and irrigation system design and landscape and irrigation specifications shall apply. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.030 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

“Backflow prevention device” means a safety device used to prevent pollution or contamination of the water supply due to the reverse flow of water from the irrigation system.

“Friable condition” means returning the soil to an easily crumbled or loosely compacted condition down to a minimum depth per planting material requirement, whereby the root structure of newly planted water-conserving plants will be allowed to spread unimpeded.

“Irrigation controllers” means a mechanical or solid-state timer, capable of operating valve stations to set the days and length of time of a water application.

“Landscape area” means the total area of the site not covered by buildings, parking areas, driveways or streets, and shall include patios, plazas, sidewalks, hard-courts, swimming pools, spas and parkway areas.

“Turf” means a single-bladed grass or sod.

“Water-conserving plant” means any plant which exhibits drought-tolerant characteristics or will, in designed locations, survive with limited supplemental water. Hybrid dwarf-type fescues and warm season grasses shall be considered water conserving. A suggested listing of these plants shall be made available by the city. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.040 Standards of landscape design/implementation for new construction and development.

A.    Plan Preparation. It is required that a licensed landscape architect, landscape contractor, architect, engineer or certified irrigation designer be employed in preparing the landscape and irrigation plans. In addition to plants, the use of structural elements like pools, fountains, raised planters, benches and sun-shades are encouraged in the landscape plan.

B.    Plant Materials. The selection of plant materials should include both evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and attractive erosion-preventing ground cover. It is required that at least ninety percent of the plants selected in nonturf areas be well suited to the climate of the region and require minimal water once established in the landscape. Up to ten percent of the plants may be of a nondrought-tolerant variety as long as they are grouped together and can be irrigated separately. Attention shall be given to appearance, height, spread, growth rate, moisture requirements, potential root damage, disease, pest susceptibility, climate adaptability, soil type, function and degree to maintenance required.

C.    Plant Coverage. Plants shall be so spaced and sized that when mature they will fill the planter area. Although a reasonable number of growing seasons will be allowed for full plant coverage to develop, interim ground cover shall be provided during this period. Interim cover of surfacing materials shall consist of wood mulch or chips, or any other approved material. Mulches must be a minimum of three inches thick when used as an interim measure.

D.    Plant Maintenance. Underground, automated irrigation systems shall be provided to assure efficient water use with a minimum of labor and water waste. Irrigation controllers must have multiple cycle capabilities. Plant materials must be maintained in a healthy condition. Unhealthy plants shall be replaced. Planters shall be kept free of all weeds, debris and trash.

E.    Planter Construction. All planter areas should have a permanent border to prevent cars and pedestrians from damaging plant materials. All planters constructed adjacent to buildings or structures shall be so designed to avoid irrigation water intrusion into or on that adjacent building or structure. The minimum width of a planter bed shall be forty inches measured from the inside of curbing or acceptable permanent border.

F.    Commercial Landscaping. Landscaping within commercial zoning districts should provide a total planted area of not less than three percent of the parcel area for new projects with existing building and not less than five percent for new construction.

G.    Compacted Soils. Prior to the planting of any materials, the compacted soils within the planting area shall be returned to a friable condition. Friable condition shall mean returning the soil to an easily crumbled or loosely compacted condition down to a minimum depth per planting material requirement, whereby the root structure of newly planted material will be allowed to spread unimpeded. (Ord. 485 § 1, 1993; Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.050 Planting plan specifications.

The following shall be required:

A.    Three copies of the planting plan shall be submitted for review and approval by the planning director and the director of public utilities in accordance with the standards of landscape design set forth in this chapter. An eight and one-half inch by eleven inch copy shall also be submitted.

B.    One copy of all building elevations and site grading plans, or one copy of all building plans, shall be submitted together with the landscaping plan. The building elevation and site grading plans shall be in sufficient detail to permit determination of the location, width and height of all doors, windows and roof overhangs on all proposed buildings within or adjacent to proposed landscape areas.

C.    The landscape plans shall be legible and drawn to a scale no smaller than one inch equals twenty feet.

D.    The landscape plans shall indicate property lines, dimension lines, setback lines, walls and fences, driveways, adjacent streets, outline of all structures and adjacent land uses.

E.    The landscape plans shall indicate planting details, pre-emergent soil treatment rates and materials, and soil preparation.

F.    The results of soil tests for horticultural suitability, if any, shall be submitted with the landscape plan.

G.    A minimum of three inches of mulch shall be added in nonturf areas to the soil surface after planting. Plant types that are intolerant of mulch shall be excluded from this requirement. Sheet plastic and other nonporous materials shall not be placed under mulch.

H.    The use of turf as a plant material will not be permitted in narrow planter areas (less than ten feet in width), in traffic median strips, parking strips, between curbs and sidewalks, or in nonactivity areas.

I.    The landscape plans shall include a plant list giving the common and botanical names of plants to be utilized. This plant list shall be arranged in legend form with a key number assigned to each plant. On the plan, each plant shall be identified by a key number or other reference. The size of the plant, its spacing and the quantity to be used shall follow in the legend. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.060 Irrigation plan specifications.

The following shall be required:

A.    Three copies of the irrigation plans shall be submitted for review and approval by the director of public utilities for backflow prevention and minimum depth of soil coverage. The irrigation system shall be designed with water conservation in mind. Wind direction, surface drainage, soil type and application method shall be considered.

B.    The irrigation plan shall indicate potable water system point of connection and size, water pressure available, and maximum demand of the system in gallons per minute or gallons per hour if appropriate.

C.    Irrigation equipment specified must be identified by manufacturer’s name and equipment identification number.

D.    Performance data for irrigation heads and emitters including discharge rates, effective diameter, and operating pressure shall be listed in the irrigation legend.

E.    All locations of irrigation valves, controllers, hose bibs, quick coupler valves, sprinkler heads and backflow prevention devices, valves, filters, pressure regulators, emitters, rain switches and moisture sensors must be indicated.

F.    Irrigation details must be used to clarify particular situations. Typical details should include backflow prevention devices, valves, irrigation heads, emitters, filters, pressure regulators, moisture sensors, rain switches, check valves and irrigation controllers.

G.    All irrigation lines must be sized.

H.    Schedule 40 P.V.C. pipe is required under all paved areas. Piping must be installed a minimum of twelve inches underground for nonpressure irrigation lines and eighteen inches underground for constant pressure irrigation lines. Emitter distribution tubing may be located at grade.

I.    Irrigation watering schedules for the entire year must be provided on irrigation drawings. These schedules shall include an establishment (first twelve months) and post-establishment period. Post-establishment schedules shall be divided into four seasonal quarters.

J.    Pop-up sprinklers in turf areas shall have a minimum four inch pop-up height. Sprinkler coverage shall be one hundred percent. Heads shall be placed at a maximum of fifty percent of the diameter of throw (head-to-head) unless specific justification is provided for greater spacing. Sprinkler heads must have matched precipitation rates within each control valve circuit.

K.    Sprinklers and sprays shall not be used in areas less than five feet wide. Drip and bubblers shall be used that do not exceed 1.5 gallons per minute per device.

L.    Serviceable check valves are required where elevation differential may cause low-head drainage.

M.    Irrigation controllers shall be capable of multiple programming. Controllers shall have multiple cycle state capacity and a flexible calendar program.

N.    Copies of pressure/flow calculations for the valve circuit with the highest demand shall accompany the irrigation plans. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.070 Inspection.

Upon installation of landscaping and irrigation systems, the installer shall contact the public works department and request an inspection. The planting and irrigation installation shall conform to the approved plans before a certificate of occupancy will be issued by the chief building official. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.080 Maintenance.

Whenever landscaping or a planting and irrigation plan is required by this title, or as a condition of an action authorized by this title, the planting and irrigation system shall be maintained in accordance with the approved planting and irrigation plan. Maintenance includes removal of weeds, litter or other debris, and replacement of dead plant materials. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.090 Fees.

A landscaping and irrigation plan review fee shall be paid to the city. The amount of the fee shall be set by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).

15.48.100 Model homes.

To promote landscape water conservation through education, all single-family residential developments with two or more model homes to be constructed by a developer, shall provide for landscaping of at least fifty percent of the models consistent with the requirements of this chapter.

A.    Each development with water-saving model homes may provide information to potential buyers regarding the water-saving design by means of a front-yard sign, up to four square feet in area. The sign should indicate that the model features a water-saving planting and irrigation design and may list the designer and supplier of the plants.

B.    If the optional sign is not utilized or it does not provide details on the design, an interior display including a drawing, or combination of drawings, shall be displayed inside each water-saving model which provides a schematic of the landscape. These drawings shall include a key identifying the common name of the plants used in the water-saving model yards. A brochure with the same information may be distributed with the sales information to potential buyers to satisfy this requirement. (Ord. 481 (part), 1992).