Needles, CA: Needles City Council approved Water Efficient Landscaping Requirements.

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Needles, CA: Needles City Council approved Water Efficient Landscaping Requirements.

Members of the Needles City Council voted 5 to 1 to approved Ordinance 570-AC amending the Needles Municipal Code with the Addition of Section 99.11 “Water Efficient Landscaping” to Article IX “Development Standards”.

The vote to approve happened during the Needles City Council Meeting held on Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 inside the Needles City Council Chambers in Needles, California.

** Information regarding Agenda Item #3 from the City of Needles: **

California Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order EO B-29-15, dated Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 requires implementation of new landscaping, irrigation and water conservation requirements in order to more effectively combat the ongoing drought, and requires each City to adopt an Ordinance by Thursday, December 31st, 2015.

The Department of Water Resources’ State Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, updated per the Executive Order is directed at any project that includes a landscape area larger than 500 square feet and that requires a building permit, plan check, or design review, or a rehabilitated landscape project 2500 square feet or greater and that requires a building permit, plan check, or design review. The Order also includes language directing each City to implement educational programs that evaluate water use to prevent water waste. The Order requires each City to report to the State on an annual basis, the water savings achieved for a 12 month period.

The attached draft Ordinance provides two methods to accomplish the water conservation requirements: 1) a streamlined approach that provides a minimal list of low-water plants to be used in the proposed landscape, as well as the prohibition of any turf installation; the building official can act as the “approving professional”, and fees will be significantly reduced; 2) the Water Budget method that requires landscape plans to be developed and signed off by a professional landscaper, that studies each plant’s water usage requirements as well as evaporation rates and allows the installation of any plant material and turf as long as the plan stays within the thresholds identified by the State for acceptable landscape water usage.

This matter went before the Needles Planning Commission at a special meeting held on Monday, November 23rd, 2015, including a public hearing. No public comments were received.

The Needles Planning Commission approved the item with one change, which was to allow the local nursery owner to review the pre-selected plant list and possibly amend it.

Mr. McDaniel instead provided 2 additional reference materials directed at low-water plants, which are included in the Ordinance. One plant, salt cedar, is being removed from the list.

As for fiscal impact, “N/A”; not applicable, not available, or no answer.

As for environmental impact, “N/A”; not applicable, not available, or no answer.

The recommended action, to approve Ordinance No. 570-AC Amending the Needles Municipal Code with the Addition of Section 99.11 “Water Efficient Landscaping” to Article IX “Development Standards”.

(Action Needed Agenda Item)

Members of the Needles City Council voted 5 to 1 to approved the agenda item with City of Needles Vice Mayor Jeff Williams voting “No” on this agenda item.

** You can watch the video at the following ZachNews on YouTube website address: **

**** You can view this agenda at the following City of Needles website address: ****

Click to access cc_120815-3.pdf

For more information regarding the Needles City Council Meetings, please contact Dale Jones in the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Needles at: 1 (760) 326-2113 Ext. 345.

 

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