Turf is allowed; however, the City is working to reduce the amount of non-functional turf to conserve water, a vital resource. The city does not currently limit and/or prohibit turf on new single-family (attached or detached) lots. The City does not allow more than 30 percent of a site to be planted with non-functional turf on multi-family sites and non-residential sites.
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The City’s turf conversion rebate pays a portion of the cost; however, will not cover the entire conversion to a water-wise landscape. This is meant to be an incentive, and over time the savings on water bills will add up with the conversion of at least 40 percent of water use by installing low-water plant materials. The City is also offering Smart irrigation rebates that can help offset costs, which include Smart Controllers, rain sensors, moisture meters, efficient rotor nozzles, and tree ring drip systems. Applications can be made to both programs in addition to applying for graywater conversion, beginning on March 1.
Many residents are already choosing to convert their lawns, however, many are using weed fabric and rocks and eliminating irrigation. By choosing to only use rock the ground stays hotter, and trees can die if landscaping doesn’t include greater plant diversity not just rock. The grant that supports this program requires a minimum of 50 percent plant coverage to offset heat and prevent our community from becoming more arid.
The City has a free pile of wood mulch, first come first served, that can help reduce costs while helping plants naturally retain water. This is located on Riverside Parkway behind the Parks Operation office. There are rebates for irrigation systems and components that can assist with effective, efficient watering while reducing costs and water use.
This program is offered to water customers who pay their utility bills to the City of Grand Junction. A portion of the funds for the conversion program came from a grant and another portion from the City’s Utilities budget which means more residents can benefit from the new program.
DRIP- the Drought Response Information Project will be offering an HOA Water Wise class on March 21, 2024, at 5:30 p.m., City of Grand Junction Auditorium, 250 N. 5th Street.
Existing trees in an area of proposed turf conversion will count for a maximum of 25 percent coverage, so half of the 50 percent required.
City staff will use professional judgment to determine the specific percentage based on the tree species, size and health of the tree, and how much area the canopy is covering. Trees benefit from under canopy plants which provide another source of moisture and shade the ground. Dry, shade-loving plants are a good choice in this situation.