UPDATE(d) Newsletter

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Legislative and ASLA Updates

AB 2282 Gatto: An act to add sections to the building standards in the Health and Safety Code related to recycled water systems. (view pdf  - Senate Amendment, August 5, 2014)
A Letter from Governor Jerry Brown on his No-Frills, No-Pork Water Bond and Water Action Plan.
 July 2014 Legislative Updates
News from ASLA National:  Leaders E-Express #337 June 2014#338 July 2014


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Events, Sustainability

Green Fire – Screening

- by Katrina Majewski

Aldo Leopold famously said, “There are two things that interest me; the relationship of people to each other and the relationship of people to land.”  Although Aldo Leopold was not a landscape architect by profession, his actions, beliefs and lifestyle reflect landscape architectural core values.

Previous to attending the ASLA film screening of the Green Fire  documentary at the AIA building in San Francisco, on June 19th, I had only been familiar with Aldo Leopold’s name, and not with his legacy. Anita Bueno, ASLA, and Landscape Architect with the US Forest Service, gave the introduction to Green Fire, providing a summary of the US Forest Service and also Aldo Leopold. She explained how Green Fire helps to connect and bridge the [...]

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Don't Grow Crazy, Sustainability

We couldn’t have done it without you!

The following message was received from PlantRight and Sustainable Conservation, recapping the recent awareness and fund-raising campaign to stop a large shipment of Mexican feathergrass before it reached wide distribution.

Our campaign to stop California’s next plant invasion achieved 86% of our financial goal, and we’re pleased to inform you that your generous donations are already hard at work.

Thanks to all our donors, and in collaboration with one of the state’s largest growers, we’ve been able to buy out their remaining Mexican feathergrass inventory that was otherwise bound for 200 garden centers across California. Lest you be curious, all these plants will be properly disposed of in very hot, very large compost heaps. (We’ll have a few photos to share, and a recap, [...]

Convert Your Water-Hungry Lawn to a Drought-Tolerant Landscape

On Thursday, September 18, 2014 at UC Davis, California Native Grasslands Association (CNGA) will be hosting a new workshop focusing on converting lawns to water efficient landscapes. Download the flyer and registration form here or register on the CNGA website .



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SF Giants Night with ASLA-NCC

- by Chiye Azuma

Nearly 150 ASLA-NCC members, friends and sponsors gathered at San Francisco’s AT&T Park on the evening of Monday, July 28th to cheer on the SF Giants against the Pittsburg Pirates.  Thanks to co-chairs James Ingels and Liz Boultz, this event has now become a Chapter tradition in its third successful year with plenty of fun and socializing.

Bob Birkeland, ASLA (Director 2012-2014) and Chris Kent, ASLA (Trustee 2007-2013) at Anchor Plaza

Members of the ASLA-NCC group were treated to a pregame social in Anchor Plaza with classic ball park food and drinks, courtesy of our generous sponsors: Acker-Stone, Calstone, Cold Spring Granite, Ironsmith, Landscape Forms, Miracle Playsystems, Park Pacific, Park West, Tournesol and Victor Stanley.

And curious about the [...]

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ASLA News, Design

Court Rules Designers Owe Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

On July 3, the Supreme Court of California published its decision in Beacon Residential Community Assn. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.  In short, the court concluded that prime architects designing residential buildings owe a duty of care to future homeowners even though they do not actually build the projects themselves or exercise ultimate control over their construction.
Of importance, Beacon involved a demurrer at the trial court level meaning that, on appeal, the Supreme Court was required to accept the facts pled in the plaintiff’s amended complaint as true.  This included the allegation that the Beacon project’s designers provided their services “knowing that the finished construction would be sold as condominiums.”  It also was claimed that the defendants played an active role throughout the construction [...]

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Don't Grow Crazy, Sustainability

Join PlantRight’s Campaign to Stop California’s Next Plant Invasion

Join PlantRight’s Campaign to Stop California’s Next Plant Invasion

Deadline approaching! If you’ve been meaning to help, now is the time.

What if you could protect more of what you love about California – its breathtaking landscapes, habitat and wildlife – right now? You can! Support our effort to prevent a new invasive plant, Mexican feathergrass, from invading California’s wild lands. … See the whole story

And find out what the California Master Gardener Program has to say about this “wildly popular” plant:

Mexican Feather Grass: Invasive Beauty can be Deceiving

Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella or Stipa tenuissima) is a wildly popular ornamental grass used by home gardeners and landscape design professionals. Mexican Feather Grass is loved for its graceful, delicate and fine texture – it [...]

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ADA and Inclusive Design, Design

ADA Section 602 Drinking Fountains, annotated

- by Chiye Azuma

An alcove for the drinking fountain. The intentions were good.



602.2 Clear Floor Space. Units shall have a clear floor or ground space complying with 305 positioned for a forward approach and centered on the unit. Knee and toe clearance complying with 306 shall be provided.


A nice amenity for passersby, but not entirely approachable.


EXCEPTION: A parallel approach complying with 305 shall be permitted at units for children’s use where the spout is 30 inches (760 mm) maximum above the finish floor or ground and is 3 1/2 inches (90 mm) maximum from the front edge of the unit, including bumpers. (photo at right is NOT an “Exception”)




602.5 Spout Location. The spout shall be located [...]

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Columns, Don't Grow Crazy, Sustainability

Growing Crazy: An Intro to Invasive Plants

- by Greg Richardson

Update(d) is greatly pleased to launch a new ASLA-NCC column: “Don’t Grow Crazy”. The series will be produced in partnership with PlantRight, a nonprofit project that works with horticulturalists throughout California to promote the use of noninvasive plants. Articles will focus on the intersection of invasive plants and horticulture to keep our community ahead of relevant sustainable landscaping trends.

But first… What does “invasive” mean to you?
Let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same thing. While pesky weeds grow in our landscapes (against our best intentions), this column will focus on the plants we intentionally select that become damaging weeds in natural areas.

Are all non-native plants invasive? Of course not. Here are 3 ways to help you [...]

APBP monthly webinar: Calming Arterial Streets for Safer Walking and Cycling

Alameda CTC will host the next Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) monthly webinar:

Date:                     Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Time:                     12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location:             Alameda CTC offices, 1111 Broadway, Suite 800, Oakland, CA 94607


The topic is Calming Arterial Streets for Safer Walking and Cycling, and more information is available on the Alameda CTC website. Alameda CTC pays the APBP registration fee of $85, so attendance is free and open to all. Feel free to bring a bag lunch and forward this email to anyone who may be interested in attending or hosting an APBP webinar at their own location.


APBP has applied to the AICP for one Certification Maintenance credit for this webinar. A certificate of attendance for [...]