Aug. 19 2014 03:00 AM

The ongoing drought has forced elected officials in Amarillo, Texas, to revise their rules regarding commercial landscapes. Starting September 5th, only half of the material on businesses’ landscapes can be made of living material. The other half must be made of nonliving materials.

Violators can be fined up to $500. “We really tried to just incorporate some things into the landscape ordinance that would help with our water conservation efforts and also provide a little more flexibility for the property owners who are required to put in landscapes,” said Kelley Shaw, Amarillo’s planning director.

This replaces a previous ordinance that required landscapes to be entirely composed of living material. However, the new rule only applies to new businesses that plan to arrive in the city and current ones that want to redo their landscapes.