Water-efficient landscaping ordinance

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.
Water efficient landscaping
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.
    • Water Budget Calculation Worksheets (choose one)
      1. Residential water budget workbook
      2. Nonresidential water budget workbook
Step Three: Submit documentation from certified / licensed professional to obtain development permit. Before construction, submit the following:
A non-refundable processing fee of $300 will be collected at the time of either the planning or building permit application, whichever is applied for first.

Step Four: After construction submit a landscape audit report from a certified licensed professional