Modern Phoenix Neighborhood Network

Responsible Gardening
and the NAOS

by Thomas Park, President of Xerophytic Design, Inc.


Today new home construction most often means a lush, tropical, pseudo-Tuscan style. However, the shift in landscaping now is to provide people with a lush, native, low water use environment. The cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, and Tempe now offer tax rebate incentives to homeowners who switch from lawn to xeriscaping.*

In addition to offering tax rebates for landscape conversions, The City of Scottsdale has gone so far as to implement a Native Area Open Space (NAOS) as a major component of their Environmentally Sensitive Land Ordinance. The objective of the ordinance is to preserve a piece of the undeveloped parcel by not disturbing native areas outside of the building envelope. In the event that the native area is disturbed, the developer must restore the natural desert area per city guidelines.

Some Home Owner's Associations in North Scottsdale even specify the quantity and quality of lighting to preserve the "desert experience" at night. And most importantly they have all developed an extensive plant list using xerophytes in all exterior building areas to create a uniform plant palette and an extension of the Sonoran Desert.

*Let us know if you find tax rebate incentives for the cities of Glendale, Phoenix, and Apache Junction, and we'll add it here.

All garden designs and photos are copyrighted by Thomas Park, Xerophytic Design, Inc. unless otherwise indicated