Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (WELO)

What is the Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (WELO)?WELO Flowchart

In 2010, the State adopted the first Model WELO which established a structure for planning, designing, installing and maintaining water efficient landscapes in new construction and rehabilitated landscaping. Overall, the Model WELO seeks to ensure that landscapes promote water efficiency, soil health, stormwater management, and erosion control. In 2015, the State updated the Model WELO to maximize water efficiency. Adoption of a WELO by the City of Vallejo is required by State law, and can be found in the Vallejo Municipal Code (VMC), Chapter 16.71.

Does WELO apply to your project?

The WELO applies to projects that require a building permit, plan check, or design review approval, and include at least 500 square feet (sf) of new landscape area or at least 2,500 sf of rehabilitated landscape area.

What is a landscape area?

Planting areas, turf areas, and water features (ponds, lakes, waterfalls, fountains, artificial streams, spas, swimming pools).

What is a new construction landscaping?

A new building with a landscape, or other new landscape (park, playground)

What is a rehabilitated landscape?

Any re-landscaping project that has been previously irrigated

If any of the following apply, your project is exempt from the WELO:

  •  Registered local, state or federal historical site;
  •  Ecological restoration project that does not require a permanent irrigation system;
  •  Mined-land reclamation project that does not require a permanent irrigation system; or
  •  Existing plant collection, as part of botanical gardens and arboretums open to the public.

What is the Landscape Review Permit and approval process? 

The City enforces the WELO though a Landscape Review Permit process, approved administratively. The City conducts a 10-day public notice for all landscape projects. If your landscape project is part of a Site Development or Planned Development process, the notice fee does not apply to the landscape portion of the project. If the project plans are prepared by a California licensed professional, a Planning review fee is not required. On the other hand, the City does require a Planning review fee for all project plans that have not been prepared by a California licensed professional.

What are the submittal requirements?

Please consult the Landscape Review Permit handout to determine the submittal requirements. 

All projects must submit the following forms, which are all contained in the handout:

  •  Planning Application
  •  Project information table
  •  Landscape Design Plan
  •  Irrigation Design Plan
  •  Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Installation

If the project is new construction or rehabilitation of an existing landscape area between 501 and 2,500 sf, submit a Landscape Documentation Package that adheres to the Prescriptive Compliance Worksheet in Attachment 6.

If the project is new construction or rehabilitation of an existing landscape area over 2,500 sf, submit a full Landscape Documentation Package that adheres to the criteria listed in Attachments 3 and 4.

Additional WELO resources