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SJ County moving toward water-efficient landscaping
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Tougher new landscaping standards aimed at reducing water waste are being advanced for all of San Joaquin County that is not within a city’s boundaries.

The new rules that range from requiring moisture sensors and separate water meters to monitoring consumption as well as submitting parameters for how much water landscaping will use to developing an ongoing maintenance schedule for approval are being pondered Thursday when the San Joaquin County Planning Commission meets.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health Services, 1601 East Hazleton Ave., Stockton.

The new standards apply to new construction and rehabilitated landscaping for private sector and public agency projects with a landscape area equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check, or design review. It also pertains to new construction projects involving single or multi-family residential projects that have a landscaping area larger than 5,000 square feet.

Those projects must submit a soil management report, a landscape design plan, an irrigation design plan, a grading design plan, and a water efficient landscape worksheet covering a hydro zone information table and water budget calculations.

The requirements are an outgrowth of a state mandate administered by the Department of Water Resources to encourage more efficient landscaping as a means of addressing California’s continuing water shortage.