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State of California's -Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinace

From: domainremoved <Scott>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2015 16:22:48 -0700

Dear Council,

As a member of the City of Menlo Park's Environmental Quality Commission, I have been able to review many different policy proposals that affect our city's environment. Most recently I reviewed the State's new Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.
 
This new legislation will require restricted water use for landscaping of new construction projects that are over 500 square feet and that require a building permit or landscaping permit, plan check, or design review. This applies to residential as well as commercial building projects. Also included in these new water restrictions are rehabilitated landscape projects with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet that require a building or landscape permit, plan check, or design review.

Speaking from the perspective of a resident of Menlo Park, I would like commend the State Legislators and the Governor for taking a much overdue stance on the State's water consumption.

To achieve the most saving with these new policies, I feel that the City should strengthen these ordinances by also including remodeling projects that encompass 75% or more of the original building's footprint. This would be similar to the Menlo Park Fire District ordinance that requires fire sprinklers if a house has had over 75% of its original footprint rebuilt. Menlo Park is the city of grand remodels and it would be great to achieve as much compliance to the this new state ordinance as possible to help cut the city's water consumption.

The current drought in California has been devastating to much of California's introduced exotic plants as well as many California's native, yet relocated plants and trees like the Redwood, Coast Live Oak and Monterey Pine. All three of these trees have origins in California but many of them have been planted where irrigated water has promoted healthy established growth. It is not until mandated water restrictions are implemented, that California's true semi-arid climate takes hold. Many beautiful trees have died due to limited or no irrigated water. It is a shocking revelation to learn that what we viewed as normal and native landscaping, exists due to imported water.

As our state's and country's population increases, the need for clean potable water become more finite. It is time for the California and the City of Menlo Park to adopt water conserving landscape practices and start acknowledging that when living in a semi-arid environment.

Thank you,

Scott Marshall

 
Received on Tue Sep 15 2015 - 16:21:59 PDT

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