Landscape Crossroads  

This mailer has been provided as an avenue to disperse information pertinent to public agencies and the landscape architecture profession, in hopes of fostering greater understanding and collaboration. Topics address issues that affect the built environment within which we live.



"Water is the lifeblood of our bodies, our economy, our nation and our well-being." Stephen Johnson, EPA Administrator

If you recall, the September issue of Land Connections introduced you to the proposed State of California Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, which has been drafted with the intent to guide local agencies in their efforts to use water efficiently, develop mechanisms to enforce the ordinance, educate users and promote economic incentives for water use efficiency. Since that issue a new edition of revisions has been posted by the Department of Water Resources. The aim of this Land Connections issue (part II) is to highlight crucial dates you may be interested in and ordinance requirements of particular interest.

The most recent edition of the ordinance was released for comment on November 26th of this year and reflects changes and comments from previous comment periods. Many of the water conservation principles are the same, however, some have changed significantly. Written comments for this last round of revisions are due by December 30th at 5:00 p.m. Ordinance requirements/revisions that may be of most significance include the following:

O'Dell Engineering

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Services include:

  • Park and Playground Design
  • Recreational Facility Design
  • Site Planning
  • Streetscape Design
  • Urban Design
  • Commercial Design
  • Model / Production Homes
  • 3-D Visualizations
  • Graphic Design
  • Arboriculture Consulting
  • All local agencies, cities and counties will be required to adopt an ordinance at least as effective as the state ordinance or adopt the state ordinance by January 1, 2010.
  • Some regulations will apply to home owner installed landscapes over 5,000 s.f.
  • Some existing sites will be required to meet water efficient criteria.
  • Project drawings including planting plans, irrigation plans, and grading plans will require a statement of compliance to the ordinance signed by the design professional.
  • Each project will be required to have a soil management plan.
  • Self adjusting irrigation equipment will be required on all projects.
  • Low volume irrigation methods will be required for shrub beds.
  • No overhead irrigation will be allowed within 2' of ANY non-permeable surface.
  • Et adjustment factors for water use calculations will be increased to .71.
  • Irrigation audits will be required.
  • Public education efforts will be required

The above requirements are a few of the many changes that will be required with the new ordinances that may be adopted as soon as January 2009. As each municipality will need to adopt these ordinances a thorough review of the current and future adopted version of the ordinance is highly suggested. For more information on the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance click Here.

Author: Chad Kennedy, Landscape Architect

This informational article provided by O'Dell Engineering - 1165 Scenic Drive, Suite A, Modesto CA 95350