Beautiful, bustling Bakersfield is the largest city and county seat of Kern County, making it an attractive spot for new and veteran residents looking to create the home of their dreams. When landscaping in Bakersfield, there are some important regulations to keep in mind.
Homeowners can incorporate sustainability into their landscape design to comply with local regulations. Working with a landscape contractor who understands these local regulations and limitations can help you avoid running into problems. Still, it helps to have some idea of what to expect when creating a landscaping plan that works for you.
Every project that requires the approval of a site plan (a plan used by architects and designers to show how space will be used) must install and maintain landscaping based on Bakersfield regulations. That means that most new buildings and renovations of existing ones are subject to landscaping requirements.
According to Bakersfield Municipal Code, general requirements for any landscaping project include:
So, when it comes to landscaping in Bakersfield, there’s a lot more than simple lawn care to keep up with. Landscaping needs to be environmentally-conscious, safe, and well-kept.
Bakersfield relies on the Model Water Efficient Landscaping Ordinance (MWELO) from the California Code of Regulations to outline most water management rules. These statewide regulations dictate how water can be used in landscaping and must be followed at all times.
In general, though, water conservations are mandatory for residential and commercial properties alike.
There are many specific details that might apply to your needs, so it’s always best to work with experienced professionals when landscaping your property. However, some overarching regulations related to landscape work include the following:
This is just a glimpse at some of the many requirements your landscaping plan will need to meet. Some specific additional requirements may apply based on your region of Bakersfield. That’s why it helps to have a landscaping company’s insight on your side — navigating the ups and downs of legal regulations can be a headache.
Bakersfield has less explicitly outlined standards for things that are prohibited in landscaping; many involve simply doing the opposite of what regulations ask for. But some known prohibitions to pay attention include the following:
All landscape irrigation systems need to comply with California and Bakersfield regulations. Specifics can depend on the plant life involved as well as the size and nature of the property, but as mentioned, the main goal is to control yard drainage and limit runoff.
Failing to keep up with watering and caring for landscaping is against these regulations. It’s expected that homeowners will perform the necessary maintenance to keep water management systems up-to-date and functional even after a landscape plan has been approved.
The primary exception to Bakersfield landscaping requirements applies to properties that are actively expanding or have established a separate agreement with Bakersfield officials. For instance, some properties might not be required to handle planting trees along their perimeter if existing landscaping already divides the area.
You’ll need to talk to a planning director to determine whether your plan is exempt from any regulations.
Bakersfield has adopted the California Fire Code with some amendments, mostly regarding minute details. Special permits are required for fire prevention and fire alarm systems installed on properties. Permits are also needed to store, use, or transport certain materials and chemicals.
According to the California Fire Code, landscape plans need to include developmental and maintenance regulations for areas near roadways. Ensuring that emergency fire services can quickly and easily reach the right part of a building is key. Landscaping plans should also provide significant fire hazard reduction benefits to the local community and include:
As outlined by Bakersfield Municipal Code, mulching must be used to reduce plant waste and help support water irrigation systems. A minimum two-inch layer of mulch needs to be applied to planting areas (except turf). Fortunately, the mulch can be made of any organic material, including things like:
Other options include landscape fabric, recycled rubber, and rocks. Homeowners can use what’s available to them to comply with this rule and cut down on the waste they have on their properties.
It’s also mandatory that areas throughout the state of California have and maintain organic waste collection centers.
Overall, complying with Bakersfield landscaping requirements is necessary to achieve your desired results, no matter what they may be. You can count on a professional landscaping company to help you navigate these regulations and create a plan you love without sacrificing safety.