If you haven’t done so already, you might want to check out our first ever completed HOA landscape upgrade covered entirely by rebates. This project is at the Paseo Vendaval entrance to the Main Greenbelt and also, next to the Clubhouse parking lot. These areas were classified as non-functional turf (illegal to irrigate according to California conservation mandates). We have several acres of non-functional turf that will need to be upgraded. The intelligent use of rebates accomplishes this without cost to our homeowners.
The turf and sprinklers were removed and replaced with low water use, low maintenance plant material appropriate for the areas and added a small stabilized decomposed granite path and patio next to the parking lot. Drip irrigation was also added. Please be patient and respectful to these areas as the young plants will take about a year to mature properly. Unfortunately, we are already seeing e-bikes destroying some of these plants, so a proposal for protective cable fencing is being considered by the Board of Directors. Adding a picnic table is also proposed.
PROJECT 2: The current plan being presented to the Board of Directors, is to convert Lower Cipres into a small park consisting of a patio area and paths along with benches and a large low-maintenance butterfly garden and a large rock garden. You can follow this project on the Turf Replacement Project 2 webpage.
PROJECT 3: This plan is also being presented to the Board of Directors. You can follow it on the Replacement Project 3 webpage. One of the more significant parts of this project includes a theme for upgrading our parkways and street trees along Paseo Tranquilo and Paseo Sombra.
STREET TREE THEME: Project 2 calls for planting podocarpus trees and Canary Island pines in the large gaps between the pepper trees. This has been a stumbling block the Landscape Committee has been struggling with for years, but a solution was finally found. The podocarpus will add width and shade where needed and the pines will add height. To get an idea of what this will look like, there are groups of these pines planted between Brazilian pepper trees along Trabuco and Lake Forest Drive.
The theme also calls for the turf and sprinklers to be removed between the pepper trees and replaced with various small shrubs and ground covers along with drip irrigation. There will be trample areas of kurapia or other tough ground covers for dogs to use and for sports loading zones.
What’ in our future?
Current State legislation is expected to make the current emergency turf mandates permanent as part of the States Water Conservation policies. Legislation is before the State legislature that would require certified compliance of removal of non-functional turf irrigated by potable water by 2030. This would require that we convert about 14 acres of turf to low water use landscape by then. The Landscape Committee is working hard to make sure we can comply within this time frame if needed.
Allowable outdoor water use will also be more restrictive for all CII properties (HOAs are included in the CII category) with allotments based on LEF (Landscape Efficiency Factor) of 0.80 in 2028, 0.63 in 2030, and 0.43 in 2035. As a reference, the current rates from IRWD are based on an equivalent LEF of 0.75 and we are usually well within that base allotment. By progressing with our plans for replacing turf and upgrading to drip, we should have no problems with staying within our allotment.
Track the conservation mandates here.
Besides complying with State regulations, these proposed projects are designed to improve our community’s appearance, walkability, and general esthetics, as well as enhance property values, all at minimal to no cost to the HOA.