The water efficient landscaping ordinance applies to all new landscapes exceeding 500 square feet and rehabilitated landscapes exceeding 1,000 square feet associated with projects requiring city review and approval.
How to comply in four steps
Step One: Hire a certified / licensed professional to complete and submit the required documentation
The property owner can hire any one of the following professionals to complete and submit the required documentation:
Certified irrigation designer
Certified landscape irrigation auditor
Licensed landscape architect
Licensed landscape contractor
Licensed professional engineer
Other person authorized by the State of California to design a landscape or an irrigation system
Step Two: Decide which option to comply with - A) Prescriptive compliance (turf limitation and no high water use plants) or B) Water budget method.
The water efficient landscape ordinance provides two options to demonstrate landscape water efficiency: A) Prescriptive compliance (turf area limitation and no high water use plants)
Total turf area must be 25% or less of landscaped area for residential projects, with no high water use plants.
No turf and no high water use plants for commercial projects (including HOA maintained areas)
B) Water budget calculation option
Using this method allows additional flexibility as long as the applicant does not exceed their allowable water budget that is measured in gallons. Calculations must demonstrate that the landscape stays within a maximum applied water allowance.