November 29, 2023
The Edgewater City Council unanimously passed a new waterwise landscaping ordinance earlier this month, which was developed with support from policy experts at Western Resource Advocates.
“Edgewater is committed to a sustainable future, and the passage of our new landscaping ordinance reflects our dedication to responsible water use and a healthy tree canopy,” Edgewater Mayor John Beltrone noted.
The new ordinance establishes waterwise landscaping standards for new development and certain redevelopment projects. The standards include:
- Prohibiting non-functional cool season turf grass on commercial, civic, and institutional properties as well as in parking lots and on streetscapes.
- Limiting the use of cool season turf grass to 25% of the landscaped area on residential properties.
- Prohibiting the use of cool season turf grass in landscaped areas less than eight feet wide or with slopes greater than 25%.
- Establishing a minimum number of trees that must be planted in landscaped areas and along streets to provide shading and cooling.
- Requiring that multi-family, commercial, civic, and institutional properties use technologies to maximize irrigation efficiency, including installing smart irrigation controllers to ensure that plants are not overwatered.
- Prohibiting the use of artificial turf in landscaped areas, which can leach harmful chemicals into the environment.
“WRA applauds the City of Edgewater for passing a waterwise landscaping ordinance that will build resilience to drought and alleviate the strain on our rivers,” said Lindsay Rogers, policy advisor at WRA. “A growing number of Colorado communities are doing their part to limit the installation of high-water turf grass. In addition to limiting new turf grass, we also need to accelerate efforts to replace existing turf. The Colorado General Assembly has an important opportunity this legislative session to allocate additional funding to do just that.”
The new ordinance will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
Western Resource Advocates: Caitlin Weber, 505-372-4937, email@example.com
City of Edgewater: Paige Johnson, 720-763-3052, PJohnson@EdgewaterCO.com