Effective today, the City of San Diego has implemented a Stage 2 Water Alert. This will have a major impact upon owners of San Diego luxury homes. Water conservation methods which had been voluntary are now mandatory. The new rules include restrictions on when to water and how much to water house lawns, restrictions on car washing, and prohibition of certain types of decorative water features. The restrictions apply to owners of San Diego homes, condos, apartment buildings, and commercial properties. Violators are subject to fines between $100 and $1,000 and neighborhood snoops are being encouraged to report violations.
To summarize the new San Diego water rules:
1) Lawns and landscape may only be watered between 6pm and 10am… so no more watering during the day!
2) Watering cycles must be reduced to only three times each week from June through October.
3) Watering days are determined by house address: Even numbers may only water Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. Odd Numbers may only water Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. So note that all owners of houses in San Diego CA are prohibited from watering on Fridays! The grounds of Condos, Apartments and Businesses may water only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
4) Watering cycles longer than 10 minutes are prohibited. That’s 10 minutes maximum! But also note that this restriction does not apply to drip irrigation systems or steam rotor systems.
5) Car washes at home can only be done between 6pm and 10am, and only with a hose that has a shut-off nozzle.
6) The City of San Diego will issue notices to anyone found to have a leaky watering systems. Leaks must be repaired within 72 hours after receipt of such a notice.
7) Decorative fountains and water features are still allowed under the new rules EXCEPT for any water feature that sprays water into the air. So if your luxury home has some small version of the Bellagio water show, you’ll either need to shut it off or else call the remodeler!
Home owners may submit an application for a hardship variance. The application fee is between $25 and $100, determined by the size of the water meter on the property. These variances will be doled out sparingly. Property owners must provide maps, photographs, or drawings describing the nature of the hardship. No “Special Privileges” will be granted to luxury home owners or to anyone else. There must be specific facts and circumstances to show that the restrictions would create undue hardship upon the home or property owner, and that the hardship is disproportionate to what will be experienced by the average person who owns the same class of property.
Details of the new rules and policies are posted at length at the City of San Diego Website. Contact your San Diego real estate professionals for specific advice regarding your San Diego homes or investment properties.