L.A. City Parkway Guidelines

Want to tear up that turf in front of your house? Well, thanks to a great collaboration between the City of Los Angeles, TreePeople, and LADWP, new parkway landscaping guidelines give you an option of 20 low water-use turf substitutes and groundcovers to plant in your parkway without needing a permit.

What is your parkway, you might ask? It’s that strip of grass between the roadside curb and the sidewalk. Maintaining and watering the grass in these narrow strips has been the cause of much consternation (ex. over-spraying sprinklers, unruly weeds and loud lawn mowers at 7 a.m.), but now you can save water and money by replacing your turf with one of 20 approved plant species.

The City of Los Angeles contacted TreePeople in February 2010 to help create the new parkway plant list. We excitedly took on this project in the interest of helping residents of Los Angeles make their landscapes more sustainable without having to pay expensive permitting fees. Before this list was created, only turf was allowed without a permit; other plants would have to be approved after residents paid upwards of $500.

Other guidelines on the list include the use of permeable materials and stormwater capture elements, as well as replacing popup sprinklers with drip irrigation. However, these kinds of improvements in the parkway still need to be permitted.

In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Read these guidelines.