New rebate to encourage Xeriscape landscape instead of grass
Mesa water customers that replace their water-thirsty grass with low-water using plants will now be rewarded with cash back. The new Grass-to-Xeriscape Landscape Rebate, approved by the Mesa City Council on June 25, will encourage the use of landscape plants appropriate to our Sonoran Desert climate. The current owner of a single-family home can apply for a rebate of $500 for removing at least 500 square feet of grass. The new program takes effect July 25, and customers must qualify, which includes receiving prior approval from the City before removing the grass. A yearly budget of $50,000 has been set aside for the program, to be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Since more than half of the water used by homeowners can often be spent on outdoor watering, converting from grass to an attractive low-water using landscape is one of the best ways to conserve water and energy, save money on your water bill, and create a landscape that is much easier to maintain. Local studies show that a Xeriscape landscape can use 50 to 60 percent less water than turf-style landscapes.
Xeriscape (zeer-a-scape) is a term that defines a creative approach to landscaping that includes the use of well-adapted plants, efficient irrigation, careful design and proper maintenance. Xeriscape also creates or replaces habitat needed by wildlife, and helps to create shade for people, our homes and our communities.
The new Grass-to-Xeriscape Rebate program replaces City Ordinance 5-17-8 (E), which provided a rebate of 10 to 25 percent of the water impact fee (paid at the time of construction), when specific low-water using landscapes were installed. The impact fee rebate was only available to customers whose homes were built in 1984 or later, so it did not offer any incentive to residents with older homes. Performing a landscape renovation, especially when it involves grass removal, is typically more costly, complex and difficult to accomplish than simply constructing a new landscape or replacing existing plants.
The City offers a number of publications to assist customers in their conversion from grass to Xeriscape, including Converting to Xeriscape, Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert and Xeriscape: Landscaping with Style in the Arizona Desert. For a complete listing of available publications or to find out how to qualify for the Grass-to-Xeriscape Rebate, visit http://www.cityofmesa.org/utilities/conservation/ or call (480) 644-3306.
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment