What to Include in Your Design

As mentioned, the drawing can be done by a non-professional and by hand. Although the drawing does not have to be at a high level of detail, it should show enough detail to illustrate the overall project design.

Your drawing must comply with the following:

* Synthetic turf is allowed on qualified sports fields only and must be installed per industry standards. Description of installation must be submitted prior to approval of synthetic turf application, and proper installation will be verified at final inspection.

  1. The top-right corner of each page you submit MUST include the street address of the project, so we are able to match your drawing with your application.
  2. Your drawing MUST show exactly where the new landscape will be in relation to large, existing fixtures such as the street, sidewalk, driveway, home, etc.

    In addition to showing these large existing features, the drawing must provide the measurements (or size) of the area to be re-landscaped, in square feet. Final incentive payment will be made based on the square feet of the final project as determined by LBWD.

  3. Although the maximum square footage within the Lawn to Garden Program is 1,500 square feet, any landscaping project that is to exceed 2,500 square feet throughout the entire property must obtain a permit issued by the Development Services Department. Any project smaller than 2,500 square feet does not require a supplemental permit. For more information on the City’s new re-landscaping regulations, call (562) 570-6194 or visit www.lbds.info/lbsmartscape.
  4. Your drawing MUST label the plants that you will put in the new landscape, AND you must state if the plants are from the two websites listed below.

    If the full names of the plants will not fit on the drawing, feel free to use a code for the plants on the drawing, adding the associated plant names on a separate piece of paper.

    Only California-friendly plants may be installed as part of this landscape project. Two fantastic sites for selecting beautiful California-friendly plants are LA Coastal Gardens and www.bewaterwise.com. Visit our "Plant" page for help selecting the right plants.

    These sites provide details on more than 1,500 different kinds of beautiful plants as well as virtual tours of beautiful landscapes and gardens.

    All plants on these two websites are acceptable plants, with the exception of turf-looking grasses. If you choose to install plants that are NOT on either of these two sites, the plants you choose MUST be pre-approved by the LBWD.

    Your Drawing MUST state: which option you will commit to:

    Option 1: That all the plants shown on your drawing are among the over 1,500 beautiful California-Friendly plants showcased on LA Coastal Gardens and www.bewaterwise.com; or

    Option 2: NOT all the plants on your drawing are showcased on these two website. If you choose Option #2, you MUST submit with the drawing printouts from the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) website showing that the plants are rated as “Low” or “Very Low” when grown in the South Coastal region.

  5. Your drawing MUST show that plant material will cover at least 65% of the newly landscaped area

    Your new landscape MUST be designed such that it can reasonably be assumed that at least 65-percent of the site will be covered with plant material by the time the plants are mature, or within two years, which ever is sooner. This “reasonable” assumption will be made at the sole discretion of LBWD. An example of what is NOT acceptable: a new landscape that is almost entirely graveled, containing few if any living plants.  Plants in pots or vases are only allowed if it is open to the ground.  Plants in enclosed pots or vases will not count towards the coverage requirement.

  6. 100% of the new landscape MUST be covered with materials such as plants, compost and mulch, and permeable “hardscape”

    Your new landscape MUST be installed such that 100% of the area will be covered with materials such as plants, mulch or permeable hardscape.
    Examples of permeable hardscape include pavers and brick set on a bed of sand, where no mortar or grout has been used.

    If not covered by permeable hardscape or plant material, your new landscape must be completely covered by at least a 2-inch layer of mulch. Acceptable mulch includes rock, compost, bark and other organic material.

    In other words, there can be no bare soil or installation of non-permeable (material water cannot easily penetrate) hardscape such as a concrete patio or walkway.

  7. If you are re-landscaping your parkway, it must meet all of the requirements of the City of Long Beach Municipal Code (Chapter 21.42.050)

    Designing a landscape for your parkway can be especially challenging. We have provided a few tips here to help you meet the requirements, and at the same time make your parkway the most beautiful one in the neighborhood. Compliance with the City of Long Beach Municipal Code Chapter 21.42.050 is one of the criteria for final approval and is your responsibility. You should read the applicable section of the code in its entirety by clicking here.

  8. Your drawing must NOT include any turf grass, artificial or synthetic* turf, or turf-looking grass
    No turf grass, artificial or synthetic* turf, or turf-looking grass (such as Buffalo Grass) is allowed in the newly landscaped site. Mexican Feather Grass is also not allowed in the program due to its invasive nature.

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