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Councilman calls for changes in outdoor watering restrictions

July 24, 2009 |  5:12 pm

A member of the Los Angeles City Council called for changes to the city’s outdoor watering restrictions today, saying the drought rules are causing residents to kill their lawns and trees.

Councilman Greig Smith, who represents the northwest San Fernando Valley, unveiled a proposal that would allow customers of the Department of Water and Power to use their sprinklers for up to eight minutes per day on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays.

The current rules, which went into effect on June 1, limit the use of sprinklers to 15 minutes per day on Mondays and Thursdays. No watering is allowed between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“The twice-a-week restrictions are turning people's lawns brown, which hurts home values in our neighborhoods," said Smith, who argued that the watering rules were rushed into place and have “significant problems.”

Smith said his measure, if approved, would also allow DWP ratepayers to preserve their trees and shrubs. He introduced his proposal on the same day that the council agreed to allow golf courses, colleges and other large property owners to water on any day of the week as long as they show that they have reduced their water consumption by 20%.

A DWP spokesman said his agency will review the proposal.

-- David Zahniser