Warm Season Grass Removal Rebate

Any warm-season grass in the process of being removed or already removed is not eligible for a rebate.

Overview

Apply for Rebates

Residential

Application deadline Completion & notification deadline Rebate amount Required Photos Required Scottsdale Service Limit per property
11/30/2020 1/31/2021 $1.00 per sq. ft., up to $5,000 Two of each removal area Water 1

Commercial

Application deadline Completion & notification deadline Rebate amount Required Scottsdale Service Limit per property
2/28/2020 3/31/2021 25% conversion cost, up to $20,000 Water Option 1: Two, Option 2: One
Eligibility
  • Winter grass, or grass that is over seeded, is not eligible.
  • Must remove a minimum of 500 ft2. Can combine front, back, and/or side yards in one rebate to meet the minimum square footage.
  • Homeowners part of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) must ensure that the new landscape complies with HOA Covenants, Codes & Restrictions (CC&Rs).
  • Rebate is based on the measurement of warm-season grass at the time of application. Grass must be growing at a minimum 50% density to be included in the measurement. See Figures 1 and 2 below for examples of eligible and ineligible warm-season grass.
    • Note: artificial turf measurements may be larger than Water Conservation measurements to accommodate for curves and cuts.

Figure 1: Eligible Warm-season Grass

Eligible lawn images
The first image is an example of healthy warm-season grass at 100% density. The second image is an example of dead grass at 100% density. The last image is of grass at the minimum 50% density.

Figure 2: Ineligible Warm-season Grass

Ineligible lawn images
The first image is of grass at less than 50% density. The second image is of a designated grass area that is bare dirt. The last image is over 50% weeds.
Removal Area Installation Requirements

The Water Conservation Office promotes Arizona-friendly landscapes that are both water efficient and beautiful. To learn more, attend a free landscape workshop; read free design publications online and in print; and watch Water – Use It Wisely’s “Drab 2 Fab Backyard Rehab” video series.

  • Removal area must be replaced with a maximum of 75% non-living materials and a minimum of 25% Arizona-friendly living plant material.
    • Non-living materials: decomposed granite, pathways/pavers, patios, artificial turf, and other structures.
    • Living plant material: must be listed as low-water-use by the Arizona Department of Water Resources. At typical mature size, must cover 25% of the grass area removed. Mature size will be based upon regionally applicable references. A cheat sheet for the most commonly used Arizona-friendly plants and your final Selected Plant List document are available for download but does not include all eligible species. The trunk or stem of the plant must be in the converted area to count. Existing plants in the removal area count towards the minimum 25% if they are not removed. See Figure 3 for visual explanation of removal area; eligible and ineligible existing plants; and eligible and ineligible new plants.
  • Fountains, pools and other water-intensive features may not be installed in the removal area.
  • All exposed soil in removal areas must be covered. If granite top dressing is used, a minimum 2” layer must cover the soil.
  • Plastic sheeting (impermeable weed barrier) is not permitted in the removal area.

Figure 3:

Removal Area Explanation Map
Example of a hypothetical warm-season grass removal and landscape renovation in the One Civic Center area. The yellow area indicates the warm-season grass removal area. The circles indicate existing plants. The triangles indicate proposed new plantings. If the circle or triangle is green, it is eligible to count towards the minimum 25% minimum plant canopy coverage. If the circle or triangle is red, it is outside of the removal area and does not count towards the minimum.
Application Requirements
  • Download the free residential warm-season grass removal rebate information packet, including documents that support the below requirements.
  • All residential warm-season grass removal rebates must include:
    • Pre-removal photos:
      • Take two photos of each removal area from different angles. See Figure 4 below.
      • Photos must be taken within 10 days of application submission – time stamps will be checked.
      • Altered or misrepresentative photos will be considered fraudulent and the rebate will be denied.
    • W-9
  • If you know the square footage of grass to be removed and how many square feet of Arizona-friendly living plant material will be required to replace it, then you may also submit your Selected Plant List. Please note, the Water Conservation Office will still complete its own measurements and pre-inspection. Submitting your Selected Plant List with the application does not mean you can proceed with removing the warm-season grass before a Notice to Proceed is granted.

Figure 4: Grass Pre-Removal Photos

Ineligible lawn images
Example of acceptable warm-season grass pre-removal photos, two photos taken from different angles.
Pre-Inspection & Measurement
  • If necessary, in-person inspections will take place during normal business hours. An inspector will call the number provided on the application to arrange an in-person inspection.
  • Once the pre-inspection is complete, the Water Conservation Office will email the total grass removal measurement and the required square feet of Arizona-friendly living plant material to the email address listed on the application.
  • The rebate is based on the measurement. If the grass is removed, or if the grass is over seeded, the original measurement cannot be altered. If there are concerns with the measurement, contact WaterConservation@ScottsdaleAZ.gov and do not remove the grass.
Plant Calculator & Notice to Proceed
  • After receiving the required Arizona-friendly living plant material square footage, you must complete your Selected Plant List and submit it to WaterConservation@ScottsdaleAZ.gov. Include the address where the removal is occurring in all correspondence.
  • Once your Selected Plant List is verified and approved by the Water Conservation Office, the Notice to Proceed is emailed to the email address listed on the application and the applicant may begin the project
  • Funds are reserved for removal projects from the Notice to Proceed date to the program completion and notification deadline. No extensions.
  • You can change your Selected Plant List during the project, however the applicant is still responsible for using only Arizona-friendly plants listed on Arizona Department of Water Resource’s Low Water Use & Drought Tolerant Plant List and meeting the minimum 25% mature canopy coverage.
Post-Inspection
  • To notify the Water Conservation Office of project completion, email WaterConservation@ScottsdaleAZ.gov. Final inspection instructions will then be sent via the email provided on the application.
    • Project completion is defined as having all warm-season grass removed, no bare dirt, and the final non-living and Arizona-friendly living plant materials installed.
  • Water Conservation has up to two weeks to respond to the project completion notification.
  • If necessary, in-person inspections will take place during normal business hours. An inspector will call the number provided on the application to arrange an in-person inspection.
  • The rebate will not be applied to the active water account until a completed W-9 s submitted.
  • Once approved, the rebate will be applied to the active water account and will stay on the active water account until all credits are depleted.
  • If the project is completed after the completion and notification deadline, but before the rebate program year ends on 4/30/20, the project may receive a rebate if there are unallocated funds available. Email WaterConservation@ScottsdaleAZ.gov for more information.
Important Information
  • Regardless of warm-season grass removal rebate eligibility, all multifamily, HOA, & commercial properties must submit landscape changes to Planning & Development Services. Rebates only occur with Planning’s approval.
  • Start by:
    1. Submitting a Development Review Minor Application or starting a Pre-Application & Case Submittal Process with Planning & Development Services. Depending on the complexity of the design and the number of permits required, this process can take from 4-6 weeks to complete (or longer). To expedite processing, be sure to submit all required documents. This approval by Planning is separate from the rebate approval and Water Conservation Notice to Proceed. To start the rebate process, proceed to step 2.
    2. Contact the Water Conservation Office by emailing WaterConservation@ScottsdaleAZ.gov or calling 480-312-5650 to request the arm-season grass removal rebate application and to verify eligibility. Once an application is approved and the property completes a pre-inspection, the applicant will receive a Notice to Proceed.
Planning & Development Services Requirements
  • All landscape changes in a multi-family, HOA, & commercial property must receive Planning & Development Services approval.
  • Changes in the landscape must result in low-water-use plants and irrigation in compliance with Scottsdale’s Landscape Ordinance. Removing warm-season grass and replacing it only with decomposed granite is not eligible.
Water Conservation Office Requirements & Assistance
  • Winter grass, or grass that is over seeded, is not eligible.
  • Must remove a minimum of 2,000 ft2. Can combine multiple areas in one rebate to meet the minimum square footage.
  • Fountains, pools and other water-intensive features may ot be installed in the removal area.
  • Rebate is based on the measurement of warm-season grass at the time of application. Grass must be growing at a minimum 50% density to be included in the measurement. See Figures 1 and 2 below for examples f eligible and ineligible warm-season grass.
    • Note: artificial turf measurements may be larger than Water Conservation measurements to accommodate for curves and cuts.
  • The Water Conservation Office promotes Arizona-friendly landscapes that are both water efficient and beautiful. To learn more, attend a free landscape workshop. Additionally, free publications are available online and in print to help assist in designing, maintaining, and watering Arizona-friendly landscapes.
    • The Water Conservation Office offers one free consultation for multifamily, HOA, & commercial properties to discuss irrigation changes, plant selection, and best practices. This consultation is not a professional design service, nor does it substitute for Planning & Development Services design approval. To schedule your free consultation, email WaterConservation@ScottsdaleAZ.gov or call 480-312-5650.

Figure 1: Eligible Warm-season Grass

Eligible lawn images
The first image is an example of healthy warm-season grass at 100% density. The second image is an example of dead grass at 100% density. The last image is of grass at the minimum 50% density.

Figure 2: Ineligible Warm-season Grass

Ineligible lawn images
The first image is of grass at less han 50% density. The second image is of a designated grass area that is bare dirt. The last image is over 50% weeds.
Rebate Amount

There are two options for the multifamily, HOA, & commercial warm-season grass removal rebate and each property must choose one option. Beginning July 1, 2016, a property cannot exceed $20,000 in warm-season grass removal rebates.

Option 1:

  • Remove a minimum of 2,000 ft2.
  • Rebate is 25% of the conversion cost (excluding taxes), up to $10,000.
  • Can receive up to two Option 1 warm-season grass removal rebates.
  • Only one warm-season grass removal rebate per fiscal/program year (July 1 – June 30).

Option 2:

  • Remove a minimum of 10,000 ft2.
  • Rebate is 25% of the conversion cost (excluding taxes), up to $20,000.
  • Can receive only one Option 2 warm-season grass removal rebate.
  • Only one warm-season grass removal rebate per fiscal/program year (July 1 – June 30).
Post-Inspection
  • To notify the Water Conservation Office of project completion, email WaterConservation@ScottsdaleAZ.gov.
    • Project completion is defined as having all warm-season grass removed, no bare dirt, and the landscape installed.
  • Both the Water Conservation Office and Planning & Development Services will conduct a post-inspection.

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale - Scottsdale Water
9312 N. 94th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85258 
P: 480-312-5650
F: 480-312-5615

WaterOperations-CustomerService@ScottsdaleAZ.gov

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Need Help?

480-312-3111

General City Information/Speak to a Citizen Service Specialist


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