Landscaping Standards

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The City of Moab is committed to conserving water to help ensure adequate water is available for the future of our community. Moab's state-mandated five-year Water Conservation Plan update was approved December 14, 2021. City Council passed one of the recommendations from that plan, a water-efficient landscaping code update, on September 12, 2023.

The landscape ordinance is a set of standards to support the design, installation, and maintenance of healthy landscapes suited for the Moab climate. Landscapes in enhance quality of life and provide space for recreation while improving the environment by purifying air and water. In Utah, approximately 60% of residential water use goes toward outdoor irrigation, but landscapes can use much less water while providing numerous benefits. The City's landscape ordinance intends to enhance our outdoor spaces by supporting water-wise landscapes, managing storm water, contributing to fire protection, preventing erosion, mitigating urban heat island effect, and creating habitat for native plants. The ordinance is summarized below, but Moab City Code (17.10) is the definitive place for complete information.

  1. When does it apply?
  2. Maintenance Requirements
  3. Landscaping Standards
  4. Moab-specific Resources
  5. Landscape Resources

Per the ordinance, existing landscapes are legally nonconforming and are not required to modify their landscape except under the following circumstances:

  • Landscape Modifications must meet applicable standards outlined in the ordinance. For example, when replacing existing plants, the new plants may need to be on the plant list.
  • Landscape Transformations of two thousand square feet (2000 sf) or more or comprising at least 50% of the landscape require the full landscape to comply.
  • Additions and Exterior Remodels that require a building permit, level I site plan, or level II site plan must comply.
  • New Developments, including newly constructed single-, two-family, and multi-family dwellings, must adhere to the ordinance.