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A. The California State Legislature has found:

1. The waters of the state are of limited supply and are subject to ever increasing demands;

2. The continuation of California’s economic prosperity is dependent on the availability of adequate supplies of water for future users;

3. It is the policy of the state to promote the conservation and efficient use of water and to prevent the waste of this valuable resource;

4. Landscapes are essential to the quality of life in California by providing areas for active and passive recreation and as an enhancement to the environment by cleaning air and water, preventing erosion, offering fire protection, and replacing ecosystems lost to development;

5. Landscape design, installation, maintenance and management can and shall be water efficient; and

6. Cal. Const. art. X, § 2 specifies that the right to use water is limited to the amount reasonably required for the beneficial use to be served and the right does not and shall not extend to waste and unreasonable method of use.

B. Consistent with these legislative findings, the purpose of these criteria is to:

1. Promote the values and benefits of landscaping practices that integrate and go beyond the conservation and efficient use of water;

2. Establish a structure for planning, designing, installing, maintaining and managing water efficient landscapes in new construction and rehabilitated projects by encouraging the use of a watershed approach that requires cross-sector collaboration of industry, government and property owners to achieve the many benefits possible;

3. Establish provisions for water management practices and water waste prevention for existing landscapes;

4. Use water efficiently without waste by setting a maximum applied water allowance (MAWA) as an upper limit for water use and reduce water use to the lowest practical amount; and

5. Promote the benefits of consistent landscape criteria with neighboring local and regional agencies.

C. It is also the purpose of these criteria to implement the requirements of the Cal. Code Regs. tit. 23, Waters, div. 2, Department of Water Resources, ch. 2.7, Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, and State of California Water Conservation in Landscaping Act. Authority cited: Cal. Gov’t Code § 65593, Reference: Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 65591, 65593 and 65596.

D. It is the intent of these criteria to promote water conservation through climate appropriate plant material and efficient irrigation systems, and to create a “lush and efficient” landscape theme through enhancing and improving the physical and natural environment.

E. Applicability.

1. These criteria shall apply to all of the following landscape projects:

a. New construction and rehabilitated landscapes for public agency projects and private development projects requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check or design review;

b. New construction and rehabilitated landscapes which are developer-installed in single-family and multifamily projects requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check or design review;

c. New construction and rehabilitated landscapes which are homeowner-provided and/or homeowner-hired in single-family and multifamily residential projects with a total project landscape area equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check or design review; and

d. Existing landscapes limited to CVWDC 3.15.040(B).

2. These criteria do not apply to:

a. Registered local, state or federal historical sites;

b. Ecological restoration projects that do not require a permanent irrigation system;

c. Mined-land reclamation projects that do not require a permanent irrigation system; or

d. Plant collections, as part of botanical gardens and arboretums open to the public. (Ord. 1302.3 Att. A, 2017; Ord. 1302, 2003)

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