Mayor Curtis blogged on Friday about the city council’s approval of a “water wise” modification to Provo’s landscaping ordinance. The change applies to “parkstrips,” which are those spaces between the sidewalk and the street. The strips are technically city property, but are maintained by individual property owners.
This is what the mayor had to say about the recent changes.
Under the new revised ordinance, parkstrips that are less than four feet in width may be finished with bark, decorative stone, brick pavers, concrete pavers or turf grass. Parkstrips that are four feet in width or more may have up to 60% of the parkstrip area landscaped with non-vegetative materials, such as brick pavers or decorative stone.
Curious for more information, I also found this report (PDF) on the proposed changes from a planning commission meeting in June. The report mentions that the purpose of the ordinance is to “foster aesthetically pleasing development” as well as reduce the impact of noise, dust, light, and other street hazards or annoyances.
There’s some interesting information in that document about unchanged parts of the ordinance — for example, developers are supposed to try to incorporate existing large trees into landscaping plans — but the changes related to parkstrips are near the bottom. And as the mayor points out, the changes are designed to save water. For example, this section was added:
Wasting water in parkways, by significantly over-spraying landscaped areas, or by creating superfluous excess runoff, is prohibited. If after notice from the City and a reasonable opportunity to correct this violation, a property owner fails to cease this practice, it shall be deemed a nuisance, which nuisance may be abated as provided by law.
There is still work to be done when it comes to stewardship in Provo, but it’s refreshing to see city leaders updating city code to reflect a better understanding of the environment.