Bay-Friendly Basics Checklist for Private Properties
Bay-Friendly Basics: Nine Simple Steps to Sustainability
- Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch to all soil.
- Amend the soil with 1 inch of compost, or bring soil organic matter content to 3.5%.
- Divert 50% of landscape construction and demolition debris from the waste stream.
- Choose and locate plants to grow to their natural size.
- Don’t plant invasive species.
- Grow climate-adapted plants that require little or no summer water for 75% of all non-turf plants.
- Keep the turf area to no more than 25% of total irrigated area.
- Use weather-based irrigation controllers that include a moisture or rain sensor shutoff.
- Don’t use sprinkler and spray heads for areas less than 8 feet wide.
Most cities in Alameda County require that certain landscaping projects on private properties incorporate the sustainable landscape practices listed in the Bay-Friendly Basics Checklist. The requirements vary by city but typically apply to landscape construction or renovation projects that need a permit and that have an irrigated area of 2,500 square feet or greater. To find out if Bay-Friendly Basics applies to your project, contact your local government's building permit office.
The cities with Bay-Friendly Basics requirements are: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Leandro and Union City.
Benefits of the Bay-Friendly Basics
- Reduces water use on average 50%, and up to 93%
- Reduces runoff 73% to 90%
- Reduces maintenance time up to 70%
- Reduces greenhouse gases up to 53.5 tons CO2E/acre-year (equal to taking about 10 passenger cars off the road)
- Increases soil’s ability to retain water
- Reduces fertilizer and pesticide use, erosion, greenwaste and fuel use