Proposed changes to Amarillo's landscape ordinance

Proposed changes to Amarillo's landscape ordinance
To help conserve water during the drought, the city of Amarillo is considering making changes starting from the ground up.

City officials are looking over the current landscape ordinance with the goal of making possible changes to help better preserve water and make it more flexible property owners.

The ordinance impacts businesses, and apartment complexes but not single family homes.

One of the potential changes focuses on ground cover.

Right now, it's required that 100 % of the land has some sort of landscaping. In most cases people choose grass. But the new ordinance want's to change that, by encouraging different ground covers like stones or mulch.  

"What we are proposing is up to 50 % of non-living ground cover so it gives the property owner a lot more flexibility with what they provide and it also goes towards our goal of being more water efficient," City Planning Director Kelley Shaw explained.

The proposed ordinance is also looking at adding more trees to parking lots. 
For every 20 spaces, the city is proposing one tree, to help break up large concrete blocks which they say can be unsightly and generate too much heat during the summer.  

Any changes made to the ordinance would only impact new construction.  

There will be several public meetings held in the future for comments and opinions from residents. 

For a look at the current landscape ordinance:

For the proposed changes: