GJ is coming to terms with its arid climate

The city of Grand Junction is giving some thought to easing landscaping requirements on businesses.

As things stand now, any business, commercial or industrial, that is looking to build or expand is required to install landscaping.

It’s long been a sore point among businesspeople that the requirements were expensive and hard to understand. More than a few have noted that the requirements seem more geared to a community that sits in a different, and moist, climate zone than the one we occupy in the high desert of western Colorado.

Officials acknowledged in a story on Monday by Daily Sentinel reporter Mike Wiggins that those businesses could use xeriscaping and meet city requirements, but that they haven’t made efforts to promote xeriscaping or even provide much information about it.

Grand Junction, along with Palisade, the Clifton Water District and the Ute Water Conservancy District, has long been a partner in the Drought Response Information Project (http://www.thedripwebsite.com), the people who buy billboard messages reminding passersby that “It’s the desert” here in the Grand Valley.

The need for xeriscaping to fit in with the natural surroundings of the Grand Valley is one of the Drought Response Information Project’s main messages.

It’s good to see that members of the City Council are becoming aware that Grand Junction has been sending different signals by joining water-conservation efforts and failing to promote xeriscaping as an important way to conserve water.

Whether the city should offer incentives for xeriscaping is, however, a different question.

It costs less to xeriscape and less to maintain the landscaping that best fits in with our western Colorado surroundings.

That seems to us to be incentive enough.

For now, Grand Junction can do best by moving xeriscaping to the top of the list of things it suggests to businesses looking to improve their properties.


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