City Council Approves New Landscape Ordinance

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The City of Long Beach is implementing new permitting requirements for certain new landscape and re-landscaping projects, as mandated by Governor Brown’s Executive Order B-29. The Long Beach City Council approved the updated Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) in conjunction with the adoption of the triennial Building Code update in November 2016, and implementation will begin immediately.

“California’s drought is ongoing, but Long Beach continues to lead the State in water conservation,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Diligent stewardship of our natural resources is vital to becoming a truly sustainable and livable city.”

To meet local water conservation goals, the updated MWELO, referred to in Long Beach as, Smartscape, provides a streamlined permitting process for new landscape projects more than 500 square feet, and re-landscaping projects less than 2,500 square feet.

Smartscape will affect residential, nonresidential, and public construction projects in the City, and will regulate the budgeting and allocation of water through updated water-efficient design standards, in order to reduce usage.

The updated water-efficient design standards regulate irrigation system requirements, plant selection, and soil amendment. For water-efficient design tips and additional landscaping resources visit the Long Beach Water Department Lawn-to-Garden Program website at:

Knowledgeable and friendly staff are available to help navigate the application process and understand the plan requirements to ensure both residents and businesses comply to help make Long Beach a more water-wise city. For more information on the City’s new landscaping regulations, call (562) 570-6194 or visit:

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