Water Efficient Landscaping

Landscaping With Efficiency

Landscapes are essential to the quality of life in La Mesa. They provide areas for recreation, enhance the environment, clean the air and water, prevent erosion, offer protection, and replace ecosystems lost to development. La Mesa’s economic prosperity and environmental quality are dependent on an adequate supply of water for beneficial uses.

In California, about half of the urban water used is for landscape irrigation. Ensuring efficient landscapes in new developments and reducing water waste in existing landscapes are the most cost-effective ways to stretch our limited water supplies and ensure that we continue to have sufficient water to prosper.

Adopted Regulations

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 1881 (Water Conservation in Landscaping Act of 2006), the City of La Mesa has adopted regulations to conserve water used for landscaping. These regulations are based upon the statewide and county model ordinances. The State Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance provides an overview of the program, defines the terminology, and defines under what conditions these regulations apply. Per this Ordinance, these regulations apply to the following projects, which require a building permit or a discretionary permit:

  1. New construction projects with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than 500 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check or design review. Alternatively, an applicant may choose to file the "Water Efficient Landscape - Prescriptive Compliance Form".
  2. Rehabilitated landscape projects with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check, or design review.

Note: Any project with an aggregate landscape area of 2,500 square feet or less may comply with the performance requirements of the WELO or conform to the Water Efficient Landscape Prescriptive Compliance Option (separate form).

For projects using treated or untreated gray water or rain water captured on site, any lot or parcel within the project that has less that 2,500 square feel of landscape and meets the lot or parcel’s landscape water requirement (Estimated Total Water Use) entirely with treated or untreated gray water or through stored rain water captured on site is subject only to the irrigation requirements of the Prescriptive Compliance Option.

Additional Information

Some common information handouts and forms are Landscape Standards, Water Efficient Landscape Worksheet, Landscape Plan Review Application, and Certificate of Completion.