New real estate developments will be required to use water-saving landscaping and irrigation techniques under an ordinance approved by the City Council this week.
The ordinance, approved unanimously Tuesday, requires xeriscaping, the use of water-conserving plants and a minimum amount of turf, plus more efficient irrigation.
In addition, the ordinance requires that plants be grouped according to their watering needs.
Developers will be given landscape and irrigation permits based on how well their plans meet drought guidelines.
The landscaping guidelines include using water-saving plants in 75% of the plant area and limiting turf to 30% of the total landscape in residential projects and 20% in all other projects.
In addition, the guidelines require that wood chips, bark, manure and sawdust be used in some parts of the landscape.
City officials will develop a list of water-conserving plants and keep it on file in the Planning Department.
Irrigation guidelines include installing low-volume water systems and adjusting irrigation schedules seasonally.
Watering is only allowed from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m.