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(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them below:

Active or programmed recreation area means an area with a primary function of sport field but can also accommodate secondary functions including but not limited to nonorganized sporting events, cultural activities and organized social gatherings.

Aesthetic turf means turf areas designed for aesthetic appeal only and are not conducive to active or programmed recreation.

Commercial development means any development that meets the commercial user definition in section 138-221.

Curbside landscape means the landscaped area between a sidewalk and curb.

Landscaped common area means areas within a private community designed for community use in section 138-151.

Median means the landscaped area between opposing directions street traffic lanes.

Multi-family residential development means developments that meet the multi-family user development definition in section 138-221.

Ornamental water feature means any exterior decorative fountains, waterfalls, basins, ponds, lakes, waterways or other similar aesthetic structures unless required under Article VIII, Stormwater, of this chapter.

Residential development perimeter or common landscape means any landscaped area within a residential development not irrigated by a residential water meter and not dedicated as a park per the City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation and Open Space Dedication and Development Criteria Manual.

Turf means any cool-season turf species, variety or blend, including but not limited to Kentucky bluegrass and fescue.

Water-wise landscape means landscapes designed with shrubs, perennials and warm-season grasses with an annual irrigation water requirement of less than 15'' (9.345 gallons) per square foot.

(b) The intent of this section is to assist the city in meeting future water needs.

(c) Use of turf and ornamental water features. The provisions of this section apply to all development and redevelopment within the city.

(1) Exemptions. Developments with complete site plan application submitted to the city prior to the date of September 30, 2022, are exempt from this section.

(2) An exemption may be granted for consistency within developments when a site plan approved prior to January 1, 2023, is adjacent to a site plan without approval prior to January 1, 2023, and a net water savings can be accomplished beyond what is minimally required under this section.

An exemption under this subsection must be approved by both the general manager and the City of Aurora director of planning.

(d) Turf that serves primarily an aesthetic purpose shall not be permitted.

(e) The installation of new turf shall be restricted as follows:

(1) Turf shall not be installed in the front or side yards of any single-family dwelling except as specified in subsection (e)(2) of this section.

(2) The installation of new turf in alley load residential front yards where backyard size prohibits the installation of turf shall not exceed the lesser of: 45 percent or 500 square feet.

(3) The installation of new turf in residential backyards shall not exceed the lesser of: 45 percent of the backyard area as defined by the Unified Development Ordinance or 500 square feet.

(4) The removal of water-wise landscaping for the purpose of installing turf is prohibited, regardless of building permit issue date.

(5) Turf shall not be installed in medians or curbside landscapes.

(f) The installation of turf in the following developments shall be allowed only in active or programmed recreation areas:

(1) Multi-family developments;

(2) Commercial developments;

(3) Public and private schools;

(4) Interior landscaped common areas on a common irrigation meter designed for recreation and conforming to the City's Unified Development Ordinance, as modified from time to time; and

(5) Formal sports fields, informal play areas, active and reflective recreation areas only as defined in the city's Parks, Recreation and Open Space Dedication and Development Criteria Manual.

(g) Turf shall not be installed for the development of golf courses.

(h) Ornamental water features. The use of water in all public and private exterior ornamental water features and ponds is prohibited.

(i) Median and curbside landscape. The installation of new spray and/or sprinkler irrigation systems in median and curbside landscaping is prohibited.

(j) Except as indicated in subsections (c)(1) and (2) of this section, there shall be no waivers or variances to this section permitted.

(k) Three years after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section, the city manager shall have a third party economic study conducted to include at least the following elements: impact of this section on water usage in the City of Aurora; impact of this section on household water rates in the City of Aurora; impact of this section on home values and prices in the City of Aurora; impacts of this section on new home construction in the City of Aurora; and adoption of similar ordinances by other jurisdictions within the Denver metropolitan area. (Ord. No. 2023-44, § 17, 9-11-2023; Ord. No. 2022-46, § 1, 9-12-2022)