WaterNow and Western Resource Advocates (WRA) worked with the City of Centennial to recommend updates to the City’s Land Development Code, with a goal of increasing community resilience related to water supply and stormwater management.
The City of Centennial has experienced the adverse impacts of both drought and flooding, and is invested in improving the way its Land Development Code can support community resiliency. This commitment was solidified by the City’s 2018 adoption of their new Comprehensive Plan, Centennial NEXT, which identifies various sustainable stormwater and water efficiency goals and strategies. The City was interested in moving forward expeditiously with water-related updates to its Land Development Code in 2020 in order to influence Centennial’s new Jones District development, a 40-acre undeveloped tract. Code updates also have the potential to impact the rest of the 110,000-person City, including in-fill developments and retrofits.
Through a robust research and stakeholder engagement process WaterNow and WRA developed a set of recommendations to update Centennial’s Land Development code – and other relevant municipal codes – to reduce water use, increase water reuse, and improve stormwater management.
The project team honed in on a final set of 11 high priority recommendations for updates to the City’s municipal code to advance water efficiency, on-site reuse, and sustainable stormwater management practices. Major topics in these recommendations spanned indoor water efficiency, outdoor water efficiency, plant lists, mulch, hydrozones, irrigation system requirements and audits, and street trees. The recommendations also included details on: the existing code requirement, the recommended code to update, Front Range communities with similar code requirements, sample code language from these communities, and the appropriate place to include the new code language.
Once implemented and adopted into code, these recommendations have the potential to significantly reduce indoor and outdoor water use and improve other sustainable water policies in Centennial. The findings from this project are a model for other communities in Colorado that are considering expanding their regulatory oversight of water use and management. WaterNow and WRA have stayed in close communication with Centennial as they work through code adoption.