Castle Rock limits new grass lawns

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — New grass lawns will be limited in Castle Rock under a new ordinance passed this month by the town council.

The ordinance will ban residential grass lawns in front yards and limit backyard grass to no more than 500 square feet, the town announced in a news release on Monday. It will apply to all new homes permitted for construction after Jan. 1, 2023.

“Keeping up with demand during the summer requires a lot of infrastructure that we only use three or four months out of the year, and it’s very expensive to maintain and expensive for ratepayers,” Castle Rock Water Director Mark Marlowe said in the release. “We’re always trying to reduce peak demands because of the stress on our infrastructure.”

Castle Rock will also prohibit non-functional grass lawns in new nonresidential landscapes for apartments, condos, townhomes, common areas and commercial businesses permitted in 2023 and beyond. Swimming pools and water features at new builds would also reduce the allowed grass lawn area, the town said.

Instead, the town will require what it calls “ColoradoScape” — that is, xeriscaping with “drought-resistant plants that blend in with the native Castle Rock landscape,” the town said. Castle Rock said it will also incentivize builders to add low-water landscaping in yards through reduced water system development fees.

Castle Rock uses about 118 gallons of water per day per capita, with an average of 42% of residential consumption used outdoors, the town sa