Goal ES-5

Goal ES-5:

Landscape design standards for new development enhance habitat quality, reduce water use, and support a diverse ecosystem.


To discourage the use of invasive, non-native plantings in landscape areas across the city, encourage waterwise planting, and encourage innovation and ecosystem resilience in landscape design.

Policy ES-5.1: Remove invasive species.

Prohibit invasive species identified on the California Invasive Plant Council list in new construction and landscape renovations.

Policy ES-5.2: Control and manage invasive plants found on site.

Use best management practices during construction and subsequent site maintenance to manage and control invasive species found on site, including clearing infested areas prior to construction, planting native seed from a local source, and avoiding seed dispersal through construction equipment use.

Policy ES-5.3: Use a waterwise planting palette during new construction

During new construction and landscape renovations, prioritize xeriscaping, low-water-use plants, and native plants, minimizing the total area of high-water-use plants (e.g., turf and water features). 

  • Action ES-5.3.1: Update the planting guidelines.

    Evaluate and update existing guidelines for landscape design and planting to support native species and non-native species that provide valuable resources for native wildlife and reduce water use. 

Policy ES-5.4: Preserve native plants during construction.

During new construction or landscape renovations, preserve portions of a lot largely occupied by native species. Replace non-native vegetation with natives except when the non-native vegetation support habitat particularly useful to native wildlife.

Policy ES-5.5: Plant using a multi-layered cluster to support wildlife.

Design plantings in multi-layered clusters, placing groundcover, shrub, and tree canopy layers in the same area to support wildlife.

Policy ES-5.6: Create pollinator habitats in medians and landscapes.

Continue to create pollinator habitats in medians and landscapes to act as pollinator islands to give respite to wildlife going from the coastal range to San Bruno Mountain.

Policy ES-5.7: Discourage herbicide and pesticide use.

Discourage the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Policy ES-5.8: Design irrigation systems for water conservation.

Install weather- or soil moisture-based irrigation controllers in all new development. Cluster plants together with similar water requirements to conserve water. Use the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS) ratings to establish watering needs. 

Policy ES-5.9: Encourage alternative irrigation water sources.

Encourage on-site rainwater harvesting and graywater systems for irrigation. Periodically study feasibility for delivering non-potable, recycled water from the South San Francisco – San Bruno Water Quality Control Plant, Orange Memorial Park Stormwater Capture Project, or similar.