Get Some Green for Your Green

Editor’s note- The following message was given by Draper Mayor Troy Walker  in the July/August issue of the Draper Forward city newsletter regarding recent changes to landscaping requirements for water-wise landscaping rebates.

 

Draper City recently took an additional step in long-term planning for water conservation as the city council adopted changes to our landscaping requirements to make them more water-wise, including the adoption of Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District’s (JVWCD) standards for efficiency. The City’s application of these new requirements and standards will be mainly focused on new development but with these changes come additional benefits for current residents and businesses who want to make the change to more water-efficient landscaping.

 

Some of the changes for landscaping of new single-family and two-family development include:

 

  • Turf will be limited to 35% of the landscaped area.
  • No turf on slopes over 25% grade.
  • No turf area may be less than eight feet wide.
  • Homeowners can design their yards using Localscapes® principles.

 

Among the changes for new commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family development are:

 

  • Turf limited to a maximum of 20% of the total landscaped area.
  • All plantings except turf require drip irrigation
  • Enhanced water efficiency requirements for irrigation systems

 

Because of the adoption of the JVWCD standards, Draper residents and businesses will now be eligible for a higher rebate for replacing turf with drought-tolerant landscaping. For a full-yard conversion, the incentive increases from $0.75/sq. ft. of lawn converted to water-efficient landscaping to $3.00/sq. ft. A partial yard conversion increases from $0.50/sq. ft. to $2.00/sq. ft. The commercial rate will increase to $2.00/sq. ft. Those interested must create an account at utahwatersavers.com and submit an application to confirm eligibility. Be sure to wait to begin work on a landscape conversion project until after it is approved by Utah Water Savers to maintain eligibility for the rebates.

Going through the process of “flipping your strip” or doing a full-yard conversion on your residential property may seem daunting. Where does one begin? How long is the process? Is it worth it? WaterPro spoke with several customers who had undergone the process. Here are their tips for those considering a water-wise landscape conversion.

Suggestions:

  • Before removing any sod, go to utahwatersavers.com and set up an account. You will find the needed requirements for eligibility.
  • An employee will come inspect and take pictures of your project area BEFORE YOU REMOVE ANY SOD. They will also answer questions you might have.
  • A design class is required as part of the landscape changes. Sign up for classes at conservationgardenpark.org or attend in person at 8215 South 1300 West in West Jordan. Preregistration is required.
  • In-person classes fill up fast in the spring and summer, think about taking a class the winter before your project begins.
  • Visit the Conservation Garden Park for plant, landscaping, and irrigation ideas. It ’s free!
  • Go to conservationgardenpark.org/plants/ to find their plant database. You can search by various filters to find just the right plants for your water-wise landscape conversion.
  • Undertake the process in sections or parts. You have one year to complete the project.
  • Whether you decide to do the work yourself or hire a professional, the employees at the Conservation Garden can provide numerous resources.
  • Once you have completed your landscaping changes, schedule another visit for a final inspection.
  • Rebate reimbursement typically takes 6-8 weeks.

Converting to a water-wise park strip will provide  a beautiful  landscape with less upkeep and water usage. These residents felt the effort and rebates were worth it.

Rebates for HOA common spaces, industrial or commercial properties are also available. Go to utahwatersavers.com and get some green for replacing your green!