A revised Menlo Park ordinance would prevent some homeowners from watering their lawns during the day, and require them to use water-efficient irrigation techniques.
At its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 15, the City Council will offer guidance on drafting the ordinance. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, located between Laurel and Alma streets in Menlo Park's Civic Center complex.
Under revisions to the water-efficient landscaping ordinance, prompted by a new state law that goes into effect in January, irrigation rules designed to save water would apply to one- and two-family units. The city's current rules only apply to multi-family and commercial developments.
The ordinance would apply only to new or remodeled homes that have over 1,000 square feet of irrigated space, and to properties that undergo a landscaping overhaul. Based on recent renovation and construction projects, the city estimates that the revised ordinance would have covered 250 homes over the past two years.
Under the recommendations outlined by city staff, people would not be allowed to use an irrigation system on their lawns between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., though they would be able to water their lawns with a hose. The new ordinance would also require that homeowners take specific measures to conserve water through their irrigation systems.
Homeowners or developers whose properties have under 2,500 square feet of irrigated space would be able to "self-certify," meaning that their watering techniques would not be independently audited, according to Engineering Services Manager Lisa Ekers. Most of the new properties affected by the ordinance would fall under that category, she said.