Being conscious of our water usage is something that is both our social responsibility to the community and our commitment toward a healthier, longer-sustaining environment.
With that said, the significant investment we have all made to beautify our landscaping and our homes, parks, businesses, etc. should continue to be maintained. In order to clarify what is expected of Oakley residents and to also present some options, the following is an edited excerpt of the City’s Code relating to landscaping:
“It is hereby declared a public nuisance for any person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge or possession of any property (residential) to maintain such property on which the unimproved surfaces are not maintained in good condition or repair, including without limitation any property which contains excessive weeds, rubbish or debris.”
“Landscaping shall be installed and maintained in any unimproved portion of the front and side yards that is visible from any public right of way. If only decorative (rock or bark) landscaping is used to meet the requirements of this section, ’weed block ‘shall also be used.”
“Landscaping shall mean the planting of trees, shrubs, or grass, or other live plants, or the use of decorative landscaping (rock or bark) to improve the appearance of the land.” Note that “grass” was just one of the landscaping options presented. Many property owners are investing in drought-tolerant landscaping and/or decorative landscaping in place of grass. This is a great alternative water-wise and reduces your long term maintenance costs –a win-win alternative!
The City wants to ensure that neighborhoods maintain attractive landscape areas within residential neighborhoods. Trees, shrubs, and ground covers provide shade, absorb carbon dioxide, supply oxygen, reduce soil erosion, decrease energy use, reduce storm water runoff, reduce fugitive dust, and ultimately save water.
If you receive a Correction Notice, understand it is because Oakley is committed toward ensuring we remain a highly desirable place to live and work. If you receive a Notice because of your lawn’s neglected condition or a lack of landscaping, be aware that there are alternatives to traditional landscaping that will increase your property’s value while reducing your water usage AND will comply with the City Code.
Contra Costa Water District currently has a rebate program to assist in replacing your lawn with water wise landscaping, up to $1,000.00 at www.ccwater.com/157/Rebates. The State of California is also offering a similar rebate at www.saveourwaterrebates.com that you can combine with the CC Water District rebate.
Ironhouse Sanitary District is offering a program as a way for residents to water their lawns, trees and plants for free. Ironhouse Sanitary District operates a Residential Recycled Water Fill Station at its headquarters in Oakley to allow residents of Oakley and Bethel Island FREE access to available recycled water. For more information and hours of operation, visit www.isdp2.org/fill.html or call 925-625-2279.
Diablo Water is offering free devices to help you save water and also has a water efficient Demonstration Garden that you can visit to see how plants grow using 50 percent less water than a comparable lawn. www.diablowater.org/conservation.
Thank you for doing your part to keep Oakley beautiful!