Layton’s new landscaping ordinance aims to conserve water long-term
LAYTON, Utah (ABC4) – During the drought, water is more precious than ever. Cities across the state have put restrictions in place to conserve water. Other cities like Layton are making efforts to conserve water in the long term.
“We want to enable people to make good choices,” Chad Wilkinson, Layton’s director of commercial and economic development, told ABC4. “We want to give them the opportunity to use less water.”
Wilkinson says the city worked with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District to enact a new landscaping ordinance in June.
“Some of our landscaping needs were to encourage water use, and we’re trying to give people alternatives that use less water,” says Wilkinson.
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He explains that in the past, commercial and industrial settlements required at least 35% of the land to be covered with turf grass. This is no longer the case. For new developments, the city limits grass to 15% of the property.
Facilities such as apartment complexes are allowed to grass up to 35% of the property to allow for recreational areas.
The city will not induce any pre-existing facilities to change their landscaping unless they are undergoing major renovation projects.
The Water Conservation District says that passing these types of ordinances is a big step towards saving water in cities.
“We’re seeing 80,000 acres of foot savings a year,” John Parry, associate general manager of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, told ABC4. He continues, “So we have to save significant amounts of water when we introduce these more efficient water applications.”
For homeowners in Layton, the city now allows more freedom in landscaping.
“They don’t need to be landscaping in the water, but we’ve removed all kinds of restrictions for them,” adds Wilkinson.
While there are no requirements for homeowners to implement landscaping in the water, the city encourages people to participate in the water protection district’s Flip Your Strip discount program by replacing their parking lane lawn.
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“You will likely save between 7,000 and 10,000 gallons (annually),” says Parry.
Parry says flipping the strip is one of the easiest ways homeowners can save water. He tells ABC4 that this is the first change the district is telling homeowners about because parking lanes are difficult to water efficiently. From there, there are a lot of changes that homeowners can make if they want.
He adds, “If you have lawns that are only used for mowing and watering, maybe we can do something else there with drip irrigation and bushes, plants and trees and things that are more sustainable.” Landscapes. “
Parry says the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District is currently working with a handful of other cities in northern Utah that are keen to make similar changes to their landscape ordinances in the near future.