City takes smart landscaping approach

The City of Kelowna is about to pass a smart landscaping bylaw.

The City of Kelowna is implementing smart landscaping practices—news standards aimed at reducing the city’s own water consumption as well as reduce residential landscaping water consumption by 15 per cent.

City Council introduced and proposed bylaw on March 28. Council will consider its final adoption at their next regular meeting with the target roll-out date being mid-April.

“These landscaping and design regulations are consistent with industry best practices, making Kelowna the first city in B.C. to set this level of landscape water usage standards,” says Don Degen, manager of Utility Services. “The process will help property owners learn how to attractively landscape their yards while conserving water.”

Under the new bylaw, property owners building new homes or renovating existing outdoor landscape irrigation systems will be required to apply for a city permit before installing or renovating their irrigation system. Property owners with irrigation systems less than 100 sq. metres would be exempt from this requirement.

“We recognize that the permit process may be new for some and property owners may need assistance with designing their spaces,” says Neal Klassen, Water Smart coordinator. “A great place to start is the landscape guide,” which provides information on smart irrigation.

Property owners will be required to submit a landscape water conservation report. The landscape guide and worksheets have been developed to assist property owners and will be available on the city’s webs ite at kelowna.ca/watersmart.