New Lawn Variance
Greeley residents must get a permit (variance) when planting new seed or sod to water the lawn outside of watering restrictions. Without a permit, residents must follow Greeley’s watering schedule or risk fines. Permits must be obtained when landscaping a new home or planting seed or sod in an established yard.
In order to acquire a permit, the city requires residents to prepare the soil with compost (organic matter). When soil is properly prepared, the landscape retains water and diminishes runoff from the lawn onto paved surfaces. Soil in Greeley is mostly clay with pockets of sandy soil. Both sand and clay are minerals that lack organic matter. Compost is a mixture of decayed organic matter used for fertilizing and conditioning soil. It promotes microbiological activity in soils necessary for healthy growth.
Apply for a variance
To apply, either the homeowner or landscape installer must bring the following items to our office:
- an original receipt/invoice for seed or sod
- an original receipt/invoice for compost (not top soil or fertilizer)
- a photo of rototilling or receipt of tiller purchase/rental
- a sprinkler permit number (if applicable )
There is no fee for a variance.
The permit will be issued at the time of application. A member of our staff will perform a visual inspection of the new lawn within two days. If the lawn installation is found to be in non-compliance, the variance will be revoked.
Compost must be added at a minimum rate of four cubic yards per 1,000 square feet of area. It must be spread evenly on top of the existing soil (approximately 1.5 inches deep), then rototilled in to a depth of six to eight inches. Additional lawn establishment benefits are attained by adding up to six cubic yards per 1,000 square feet and/or adding super phosphate or triple-super phosphate for root growth. Phosphate should be spread on top of compost immediately before tilling it into the soil.