This makes me very proud to live in Arizona. I imagine Brad Lancaster is delighted.
Now we just need the same ordinance up here in Phoenix, and soon!
City mandates rainwater-harvesting for commercial developments in 2010
By Rob O'Dell
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.15.2008
Tucson became the first city in the country to require commercial developments to harvest rainwater, as the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday for the mandate.
The regulations don't take effect until June 1, 2010. They'll require that 50 percent of a development's landscaping water come from rainfall.
The council voted 6-0 with member Regina Romero absent.
The 50 percent requirement is down from a proposed 75 percent that a city committee had endorsed last spring, and from some environmentalists' original hope for 100 percent.
The 50 percent threshold was chosen because it is the level that wouldn't force developers to install expensive cistern tanks. Instead, they can use berms or contoured slopes on a site to guide rainwater to trees and landscaping.
Several developers praised the city's process and flexibility in creating the new law.
One group, the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, opposed the new rules.
Robert Medler, the chamber's government-affairs manager, says the organization supports conservation efforts but opposed what it called an "unfunded mandate" that would push development to other cities.
David Pittman, director of the Arizona Builders Alliance, said he strongly backed the ordinance, however. "It will be a success because it will be fairly easy to comply with," Pittman said. "It's not just a first step for Tucson, it's a first step for all municipalities (nationwide)."
The Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, the Tucson Association of Realtors and the Metropolitan Pima Alliance all spoke in favor.
Environmentalists, including Bonnie Poulos, said the ordinance was a good first step. Poulos said she would like to see the 100 percent requirement met to make sure the region takes advantage of rainwater, which she called Tucson's only renewable-water source.
Councilman Rodney Glassman, who campaigned on the issue last year and led the effort to get it approved, said the ordinance's approval shows what can be done when everyone works together to "make Tucson a better community."
● Contact reporter Rob O'Dell at 573-4346 or email@example.com.
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