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California Moves To Limit New Lawns

susan catherine, flickr
 

susan catherine, flickr

New California homes and businesses may have less grass in the future.

The state Water Commission passed a model ordinance Wednesday restricting the amount of turf that can be used in new developments with at least 500 square feet of landscaping. Grass can only make up 25 percent of residential yards. It will essentially be prohibited at non-residential buildings.

There have been previous versions of the model ordinance. But Commissioner Paula Daniels says this version better reflects California’s needs in the drought.

"There are really some significant changes that I think address the needs of our state right now in terms of water conservation and managing our landscapes better," she says.

Local governments can adopt the model ordinance or create their own. But any local measure would have to be at least as effective at conserving water as the state measure.

Existing landscapes will not be affected unless they’re significantly changed. There are exemptions for landscapes irrigated with recycled water. The rules take effect Dec. 1.