A Xeriscape landscaping and screening ordinance became effective in February 1991. This comprehensive landscape code applies to new multifamily, commercial, and industrial development. One of the goals of this ordinance is to conserve water by using established xeriscape principals in landscape design.
The regulations require the use of drought-tolerant plants from a published list and limits non-drought tolerant vegetation to small "oasis" areas. Multifamily facilities may develop 5% of a site as an oasis area; commercial facilities are restricted to 2.5% of a site. Any water features or turf must be confined to the oasis areas. Canopy trees are required within all buffer yards, along street frontages, and within parking lots with one tree for every 15 spaces. All exposed ground areas of a site must be landscaped with ground cover to control dust. Landscaped area must be designed to take advantage of storm water runoff and the use of water-conserving irrigation systems is required.
For more information, visit the web page for the Tucson City Code.