City Council to Discuss How to Reconcile Developing the City With Conserving Our Water

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City Hall's touting the Urban Reserve as an ideal development given our weather and water needs.
In one way, shape or form we've noted most of what the city council will discuss this afternoon during its briefing. But there's one briefing we've overlooked: Water Conservation and the Land Development Process. This one addresses a familiar subject 'round these parts: the city's attempt to conserve water during a drought -- which is "over" for now, but, you know, probably not forever -- whilst also allowing new developments to pop up like weeds. Asks the doc: "Can additional strategies, incentives and/or regulations contribute to the policies and regulations now in effect?"

Why, yes, yes they can, says the briefing -- everything from the kinds of developments encouraged and allowed ("Walkable, mixed-use development patterns can create less demand on the environment while still accommodating population and employment growth") to "rainwater harvesting" to disallowing the planting of new landscaping should the city ever find itself in Stage 4 watering restrictions to strengthening the city's landscape and tree preservation regulations, otherwise known as Article X. Among the proposed suggestions:
Amend and expand the Purpose Section of Article X to broaden the scope to include water conservation efforts, promote the use of drought tolerant plants and efficient irrigation systems

Amend and expand the Purpose Section of Article X to broaden the scope to include water conservation efforts, promote the use of drought tolerant plants and efficient irrigation systems

Amend and expand the "Acceptable Plant Materials" section to:
  • Require some native or drought tolerant species
  • Limit the use of plants that need a high volume of water, i.e. turf grass
  • Include native plant choices
The doc hails the Urban Reserve as the kind of development that should be replilcated. Or maybe the city should just put Jose Escobedo in charge.
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Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

So I wonder how the water restrictions will effect the Woodall Rogers Arts Park?   Will the city obey the mandatory watering restrictions it imposes on the residences?

shrubstex
shrubstex

Not sure if low flow irrigation systems are worth the money.  Most homeowners are not willing to invest in the seasonal upkeep that these systems require. Being a gardener, I know that a garden is a joy to behold and a job forever, but the sprinkler industry is akin to the swimming pool industry, you get what you pay for. Lets get rid of lawns, and mulch, mulch , mulch.  No blowers please.

Mike
Mike

They could add rainwater cisterns as requirement to any new development, particularly since dewatering landscape is the big issue. These things can exist anywhere, are not obtrusive, and do save money for the owners. We also should eliminate any zoning or HOA rules that prevent existing construction from adding cisterns. The water there is free and the cisterns are not expensive. We have them for our building and have not used city water for landscape in 5 years.

I would rather have that step than some complicated development restrictions that we know City Hall will mismanage. If rich people in Bermuda can store rainwater, then we can also can.

Texasdave60
Texasdave60

There's debate and even legislation in some states that the collection of rainwater in cisterns is "illegaly diverting" water "owned" by the local water conservation district.  Poppycock! The rain falls on my roof, drains (Gravity is not just a good idea, it's a law) and goes into the ground.  The argument is capturing, storing and redistributing this on my property is the same as stealing from the local water authority. Dallas being Dallas will find a way to make this common sense a billable privilege...and further eff it up.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

What some call drought might just be the historic average rain fall for the area. 

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