Apply for a Pervious Pavement Rebate

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About Pervious Pavement: Commonly used for walkways, driveways, parking lots, and patios

Rebate Amount: $1.50 per ft²

Cost: $3–$40+ per ft²

Size Requirement: Minimum of 100 sq ft

Installation Requirement: Must be installed by a licensed contractor
          Pervious pavement crosswalk in Southgate    

We know you're eager to get started, but make sure to review these steps prior to applying. Applicants must submit their application form(PDF, 4MB) and required documentation to the Watershed Protection Group before installing pervious pavement.

 

Email

Step 1.Submit your application before installing 

  1. Read and agree to the City of Palo Alto Terms and Conditions(PDF, 83KB) of the Stormwater Rebate Program.
  2. Complete the City's Application Form(PDF, 4MB). Include the following attachments with the application:
    • Any necessary permits (see below)
    • IRS W-9 Form
  3. Email all application materials to cleanbay@cityofpaloalto.org.

Step 2.Application and design review

  1. City of Palo Alto Watershed Protection staff will confirm receipt of your application and set up a pre-installation inspection. We may request additional information if deemed necessary.
  2. Some pervious pavement projects may require a permit to install. Please see “Do I need a City permit for installation of pervious pavement?” in the FAQ section below. If your project requires permitting, please contact the Development Center at (650) 329-2496 and select Option 3 for the Building Plan Check Team when prompted.
  3. We will conduct a pre-installation inspection of the site where the pervious pavement will be installed.
  4. If approved after the pre-installation inspection occurs, we will issue you a “Notice to Proceed” to install your pervious pavement project via email or in the mail if an email address is not available. Make sure you provide your primary email address in the application form!

Step 3.Project installation and inspection

  1. Have the licensed contractor install your pervious pavement project per the approved application and additional Rebate Program requirements.
  2. Contact us once the pervious pavement has been fully installed to set up a post-installation inspection: cleanbay@cityofpaloalto.org.

Step 4.Submit your final documentation and receive your rebate!

  1. Submit all final documents to Watershed Protection staff (such as receipts and the IRS W-9 if not previously submitted) at cleanbay@cityofpaloalto.org.
  2. Applicants who receive a rebate greater than $600 will be asked to complete IRS Form 1099. The City of Palo Alto Accounts Payable Department will contact you at the beginning of the following calendar year.
  3. Receive rebate payment within 6-8 weeks of final approval.

Mail

Step 1.Submit your application before installing

  1. Read and agree to the City of Palo Alto Terms and Conditions(PDF, 83KB) of the Stormwater Rebate Program.
  2. Complete the City's Application Form(PDF, 4MB)You may request a hard copy of the application by emailing cleanbay@cityofpaloalto.org or calling the Watershed Protection Group at (650) 329-2122.
  3. Include the following attachments with the application:
    • Any necessary permits (see below)
    • IRS W-9 Form
  4. Mail all application materials to:

     Watershed Protection Group
     2501 Embarcadero Way
     Palo Alto, CA 95032
     Attention Stormwater Rebate Program 

Step 2.Application and design review

  1. City of Palo Alto Watershed Protection staff will confirm receipt of your application and set up a pre-installation inspection. We may request additional information if deemed necessary.
  2. Some pervious pavement projects may require a permit to install. Please see “Do I need a City permit for installation of pervious pavement?” in the FAQ section below. If your project requires permitting, please contact the Development Center at (650) 329-2496 and select Option 3 for the Building Plan Check Team when prompted.
  3. We will conduct a pre-installation inspection of the site where the pervious pavement will be installed.
  4. If approved after the pre-installation inspection occurs, we will issue you a “Notice to Proceed” to install your pervious pavement project via email or in the mail if an email address is not available. Make sure you provide your primary email address in the application form!

Step 3.Project installation and inspection

  1. Have the licensed contractor install your pervious pavement project per the approved application and additional Rebate Program requirements.
  2. Contact Watershed Protection staff once the pervious pavement has been fully installed to set up a post-installation inspection.

Step 4.Submit final documentation and receive your rebate!

  1. Submit all final documents to Watershed Protection staff (such as receipts and the IRS W-9 if not previously submitted): cleanbay@cityofpaloalto.org or mail to 
         Watershed Protection Group
         2501 Embarcadero Way
         Palo Alto, CA 95032
         Attention Stormwater Rebate Program 

  2. Applicants who receive a rebate greater than $600 will be asked to complete IRS Form 1099. The City of Palo Alto Accounts Payable Department will contact these applicants at the beginning of the following calendar year.
  3. Receive rebate payment within 6-8 weeks of final approval.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I install pervious pavement?

Pervious Pavement allows rainfall to infiltrate into the soil below and reduces runoff and related street ponding.  Pervious pavement can be designed to match the aesthetic value of a home.

What are the requirements for a pervious pavement rebate?

Per the City of Palo Alto, these are the requirements to receive a rebate:

  1. Pervious pavement must be considered one of the following:
    • Porous Asphalt
    • Pervious Concrete
    • Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP)
    • Grid Pavement
  2. Pervious pavement must be installed by an experienced, licensed contractor.
  3. Pervious pavement must be at least 100 square feet in size.
  4. Pervious pavement must not impede window egress or safe passage for travel.
  5. If your pervious pavement project meets any of the criteria listed under “Do I need a City permit for installation of pervious pavement?” below, you need to obtain appropriate permits from the City of Palo Alto Development Center. Please contact the Development Center at (650) 329-2496 and select Option 3 for the Building Plan Check Team when prompted.
  6. Pervious pavement must not be installed before a "Notice to Proceed" has been issued by the City. Rebates will not be processed until all supporting documents, including permits, have been received. 
  7. Pervious pavement must not be previously rebated under any other program, including, but not limited to, those outside of the City of Palo Alto.

What are the components of a pervious pavement installation?

Pervious Pavement is often used in parking areas, walkways, and residential roads with limited vehicle traffic.Description of the layers of pervious pavement

  • Pervious Pavement is the only visible component of the structure once it has been installed. This is the top layer of the installation.
  • The bedding provides temporary storage for the stormwater to infiltrate the surface. Bedding materials may consist of stone or compacted soil.
  • The base provides structure to the pavement.
  • The subbase is the stone layer that retains the water before it percolates into the soil subgrade. The subbase can also be soil.
  • The soil subgrade is the final layer which water infiltrates. This layer is typically made up of the natural material of the area, compacted.
  • The drain is optional but can provide water diversion after infiltration.

Each of these layers may vary in material, depth, and compaction depending on the project and type of pervious pavement. Please consult with your contractor to determine the proper material, compaction, and depth for your installation.

Where can I find a licensed contractor to install pervious pavement?

Your licensed contractor can help you determine the best type of pervious pavement for you and your home or business. Check out the two resources below for a list of contractors. The City is not responsible for any damage or construction mistakes caused by a contractor, landscape professional or any other individual.

SFPUC Trained Green Infrastructure Contractors
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission publishes a list of contractors who have completed the SFPUC Green Infrastructure Training to perform work licensed in the State of California. This certifies that these contractors have completed training in construction of green infrastructure.

Rescape Qualified Professionals Directory
Rescape regularly updates a directory of local contractors that have completed any of their qualifying trainings. These trainings use a sustainable, holistic approach to the design and management of a landscape. They work with nature to conserve water and soil, reduce waste, and prevent pollution. You can find a Rescape Qualified Professional near you in this directory. 


Do I need a City permit for installation of pervious pavement?

Any pervious pavement installation with the following features will need a building permit or consultation with the City of Palo Alto Development Center before installation:

  • Pervious pavement projects sized greater than or equivalent to 2,500 square feet
  • Commercial pervious pavement projects

To inquire about permitting, contact the Development Center at (650) 329-2496 and select Option 3 for Building Plan Check Team when prompted. Permit approval should be submitted at the time of your Rebate Program application.

How much of a rebate can I receive?

Applicants can receive a pervious pavement rebate at a rate of $1.50/square foot. For example, a 200-square foot pervious pavement project will receive a $300 rebate. Please see details in the chart below. If the rebate maximum has not been reached, applicants can apply for more than one rebate-eligible project. The lifetime rebate maximum is the total rebate amount (for multiple rebates) that one property can receive across that property’s lifetime. 

Property Type Pervious Pavement Rebate Pervious Pavement Rebate Maximum City Lifetime Rebate Maximum
Residential $1.50/square foot $1,000 $1,000

Commercial
(includes multi-family properties)

$1.50/square foot $5,000 $5,000


What are the different types of pervious pavement?

There are several types of pervious pavement. If your preferred material is not listed, contact Public Works– Watershed Protection at cleanbay@cityofpaloalto.org or  (650) 329-2122 to see if your product is eligible for a rebate.

Pervious paving materials include:

  1. Porous Asphalt
    Porous (or open-graded) asphalt does not contain fine aggregate particles. This creates spaces between the large participles comprising the pavement and allows water to drain through the pavement. Porous asphalt can increase road safety by reducing hydroplaning and tends to be lower cost than individual pavers like grid pavement or Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (discussed below).porous asphalt diagram and description of components

  2.  Pervious Concrete
    Unlike conventional concrete, pervious concrete contains little to no sand. This allows water to flow through the pavement. Pervious concrete is lower cost than individual pavers like Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers or grid pavement (discussed below). Pervious concrete can be seen in the parking stalls at the Mitchell Park Library as pictured to the right. 

    Pervious concrete at Mitchell Park
    Pervious Concrete at Mitchell Park

    pervious concrete diagram and description of components

  3. Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP)
    Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP) are solid pavers separated by spaces. Not all interlocking concrete pavers are permeable. There must be openings between the pavers. These openings must be filled with small aggregate (not sand) for the pavement to be permeable. PICP is more popular in the walkways, crosswalks, and other similar feature. It may be easier to repair PICP than porous asphalt or pervious concrete. This is because pavers can be replaced individually.
    Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP) diagram and description of components

  4. Grid Pavement
    Grid pavement is a concrete or plastic grid structure filled with decorative gravel or planted with grass. It is underlain by a sandy gravel mixture that promotes infiltration of stormwater. It is often use for low traffic parking lots and playing fields. Grid pavement is more effective when installed in areas with light traffic.

    The two most common forms of Grid pavement are grass flexible porous pavement and gravel flexible porous pavement.

    Grass Flexible Porous Pavement diagram and description of components

    Gravel Flexible Porous Pavement diagram and description of components

How should I maintain my pervious pavement?

Pervious pavement needs little maintenance once installed. The Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) suggests that owners follow these simple steps to maintain their pervious pavement:

  • Avoid blowing leaves, grass trimmings and other debris across permeable pavement. Leaf blowers force dirt and debris into pavement void spaces
  • Remove weeds from pavement and replace missing sand or gravel between pavers as needed.
  • Inspect subdrain outlets (if applicable) yearly to verify they are not blocked.
  • Inspect pavement after rains for ponding or other visible problems. If there are problems with standing water, vacuum sweeping with specialized equipment may be required. Concrete grid pavers do not require sweeping.

 

 

 

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