Sacramento residents can let lawns die without being cited

Residents in the city of Sacramento can turn off their sprinklers without breaking the law after City Council members passed an emergency measure Thursday to suspend the city’s landscaping requirements during the current water restrictions.

“We didn’t want anyone to think we were going to cite people if their lawns died at this time,” said Joy Patterson, principal planner with the city’s Community Development Department.

Various sections of the city’s Planning and Development Code require homeowners to plant and irrigate trees, shrubs and ground cover that are part of their visible landscaping. But the city is now requiring residents to reduce water usage by 20 percent, and is limiting the use of sprinklers to two days a week because of the drought.

Those provisions could conflict and required council members to suspend the provisions of the planning code, Patterson said.