CALIFORNIA – Drought prompts some to rethink landscaping norm

REP-AM.COM:  Drought prompts some to rethink landscaping norm
By Hudson Sangree – The Sacramento Bee
April 13, 2014
Sacramento, Calif., gets about as much annual rainfall as arid Flagstaff, Ariz., but its lush lawns are modeled on those of rain-soaked England.
The capital’s turf tradition is deeply rooted and is even enshrined in the bylaws of various homeowners associations. That may be starting to change, however. Nudged by local governments worried about water shortages, home builders and homeowners associations are showing increased willingness to embrace the drought-tolerant landscapes that more naturally suit California.A growing number of cities are paying homeowners to tear out their lawns. A few home builders are starting to plan development in a way that they say makes more sense for the region’s Mediterranean climate and regular droughts. “We’re on the cusp of change. It’s definitely here,” said Kevin Carson, northern California president for The New Home Company. The developer is building the first major subdivision in decades in the slow-growth university town of Davis, Calif. The Cannery project will feature drought-tolerant landscaping along its bike paths, and most of the front yards will be landscaped with low-water plants in place of grass.  Read more:

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