Money and Business

Arroyo Grande to consider removing city's water restrictions

Declaration change could raise up to $70k for city

Arroyo Grande to consider removing...

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - Conserving water during the drought caused homeowners to think twice about watering their lawn.

"People maybe were a little uncomfortable standing outside with a watering hose or with their sprinklers going," says homeowner Mel Stahlman. 

It's also affected the types of plants to buy for their gardens. "I think people have been aware of the water situation the last few years and have adjusted their purchases accordingly - that is they've chosen more water wise plants, things that don't need a lot of water," explains the Buyer for the Cherry Lane Nursery in Santa Maria and Arroyo Grande, Aaron Stern. 

Now the Arroyo Grande City Council is considering ending the Stage One Emergency Water Declaration.

That potentially means an end to the city's ordinance that limits the amount of water a homeowner like Mel Stahlman can use on his yard. "This year we have a bountiful rainfall and we should be able to use a bit more and green up our homes," Stahlman says. 

In fact, Aaron Stern says the lifting of the restrictions could lead to a change in what his customers are buying. "I believe people will purchase things they might have been putting off like planting more vegetables and things that might require a little more water like colorful baskets and things like that," he explains.

The city sees it a little differently however. Interim City Manager Robert McFall believes many people who are coming to Tuesday night's city council meeting will be advocating for a plan of continuing conservation. 

He doesn't think the city will ever allow the water usage they had before the drought. 

Stahlman on the other hand believes even if water restrictions were removed, people would still conserve like they do now. "After years and years of the drought, I think people are mindful of their water use and I think people are pretty intelligent," he says. 

The change in declaration could raise an estimated $40,000-70,000 for the city in sewer and water fund revenues. That money would potentially go to things like repairs of the water system or incentives for water conservation.

The city broadcasts their meetings online for people to be able to watch from anywhere. Click here for more. 

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