A. Purpose and intent. The purpose of creating landscape design standards for development within the Hillside Residential zone is to minimize resource consumption through the use of a drought-tolerant native plant palette, to establish landscape setbacks along roads and natural open space, taking advantage of the topography and vegetation as a means of enhancing the overall aesthetics of a development project, and to provide transitions between developed areas and surrounding open space.
Landscaping shall be used for aesthetic enhancement, erosion control and transition to natural open space areas.
B. Landscape and irrigation plan.
1. All proposed new development shall require approval of a landscape and irrigation plan. Complete plans shall be submitted as part of the application process set forth in § 20.206.050. Such plans shall be subject to the review and approval of the Director of Development Services and the Fire Chief or designee.
2. All landscape and irrigation plans shall include all information required by the Development Services Department and shall be designed to ensure slope stability, fire safety, and design quality, as well as a tree removal and retention plan with the following information.
a. Identification of the extent of vegetation removal required for site preparation and development; and
b. The location and species of individual trees of four (4)-inch caliper or more. Maximum effort should be exercised to retain existing trees in place.
3. The Director of Development Services may waive the landscape and irrigation plan requirement for additions and remodeling where no or only minor alterations to the existing landscape or topography are proposed.
4. All landscaping shall be planted and maintained in compliance with approved plans.
5. The developer shall be responsible for ensuring that all landscaping installed consistent with approved landscaping and irrigation plans is properly and effectively established one (1) year from the date of city sign-off on said installation. The developer shall be responsible for taking corrective measures directed by the city to ensure same. The city shall be authorized to require bonding or other surety to achieve this requirement.
C. General landscaping standards.
1. All portions of a site where existing vegetative cover is damaged or removed, or consists primarily of weeds (typically unwanted plants that grow aggressively and are damaging to native plants), and are not otherwise covered with new improvements, must be successfully re-vegetated with a substantial mix of native and/or drought tolerant grasses and ground covers. The density of the reestablished vegetation must be adequate to prevent soil erosion and invasion of weeds after one (1) growing season. Refer to the plant palette in this chapter for a list of noxious weeds and non-natives that are not allowed in the Brea Hillside Management Zone.
2. Utilitarian structures such as fuel tanks, water tanks or towers, similar storage facilities shall be installed underground. Those not installed underground shall be painted with earth tones found in the adjacent area or shall be entirely screened with appropriate landscaping that blends with the surrounding natural environment.
3. Plants with similar water requirements shall be grouped together in hydrozones. Refer to the plant palette in this chapter.
4. Prior to planting consideration of soil compaction shall be used to determine planting pit depths and drainage.
5. The Director of Development Services shall have the authority to require other improvements such as the removal of dead or diseased trees and the thinning of trees or other vegetation to encourage desirable growth.
D. Tree removal and replacement.
1. For each existing native tree or shrub removed or damaged with a combined caliper equal to or greater than four (4) inches at four (4) feet above finish grade, a twenty-four (24)-inch box minimum replacement tree or shrub of the same genus and species shall be planted on the site. For trees equal to or in excess of an eight (8)-inch combined caliper, the replacement tree shall be a forty-eight (48)-inch box or larger of the same genus and species. Should a tree of the same genus and species not be available, the applicant shall submit reasonable proof of general unavailability in the region, and a list of no less than five (5) substitutes, one (1) of which shall be of the same genus, for approval by the Director of Development Services.
2. The Director of Development Services may approve a substitute or may require provisions, including but not limited to bonds or similar security, to assure the installation and maintenance of the specific genus desired.
In order to ensure that native vegetation, such as oak trees, survive the construction phase of hillside development, any grading activities must be appropriately setback from the vegetation. Tree protection standards are established to ensure that preserved trees survive the construction phase. The preservation of trees will benefit hillside communities by giving an established appearance to the community.
E. Setbacks/slopes along roadway edges.
1. The following setbacks from the curb face, or line that would be the location of the curb face, to the property line shall be required from the following roadways:
a. Major arterial: Eighty (80) feet.
b. Primary arterial: Sixty (60) feet.
c. Modified secondary and secondary arterial: Forty (40) feet.
d. Collector roadway: Thirty-five (35) feet.
e. Local roadway: Twenty (20) feet.
2. Setbacks and slopes along edges between roadways and rear property lines shall be fully landscaped with materials consistent with all other common open space areas. The landscape material shall transition in height to provide low vegetation immediately adjacent to the right-of-way edge to taller trees on the slope.
3. Any manufactured slope that is part of a private lot and that abuts any public or private street or other right-of-way or open space use intended for public use and/or enjoyment shall be fully landscaped in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and shall be maintained by a homeowners association or other entity established as part of the tentative map approval process for the maintenance of common open space.
Landscaping along right-of-way edges shall exhibit a transition in height up or down the slope.
F. Drought-tolerant/native vegetation.
1. All landscape plans must use native and/or drought-tolerant plant materials appropriate for their location and soil type, as identified in standard agricultural suitability soils test. Preferred landscaping materials shall consist of native plants identified in the city’s landscape design manual.
2. All native vegetation outside the impact area shall be preserved and protected from damage during construction. Oak trees shall have a preservation zone of the dripline plus ten (10) feet surrounding the tree. Any project impact within this preservation zone shall be considered as damaging to the tree.
G. Interface between natural open space areas and development.
1. The area between a structure and wildfire hazard areas, as defined by the Fire Chief or designee, shall be planted and maintained as consistent with the provisions of paragraph J. The transition between manufactured areas and natural areas shall be established beyond residential structures so as to permit the development to meet applicable Fire Department brush clearance requirements.
2. Climactically suitable shrubs and trees shall be used as wind breaks as appropriate.
H. Landscaping as focal points.
1. Significant landscaping, such as signature trees (i.e., large or unique trees), hedges, and flowering plants shall be used to provide focal points within a development. A landscape area with minimum dimensions shall be provided for said landscaping. This area shall require the following minimum dimension measured diagonally from face of curb, or the line that would be the location of the curb face:
a. Major arterial: One hundred (100) feet.
b. Primary arterial: Eighty (80) feet.
c. Modified secondary and secondary arterial: Fifty (50) feet.
d. Collector roadway: Fifty (50) feet.
2. A landscape area shall then be provided generally matching the depictions within Figure 20.206.106.H. Provisions for maintenance of said landscape areas shall be an integral component of project approval.
I. Slope maintenance and erosion control.
1. All cut and fill slopes shall be planted with native and/or drought-tolerant vegetation and irrigated with an automatic irrigation system to prevent erosion.
2. All cut or fill slopes exceeding five (5) feet in vertical height shall be planted with adequate plant material to protect the slope against erosion. Planting shall be in the ratio of at least one (1) shrub per sixteen (16) square feet of natural slope area and one (1) tree per four hundred (400) square feet of actual slope area, with ground cover to completely cover the slope within twelve (12) months from planting.
3. All shrubs shall be a minimum one (1) gallon size.
4. All trees shall be minimum fifteen (15) gallon size.
5. Slopes less than five (5) feet in vertical height shall be planted with ground cover anticipated to cover the slopes completely within twelve (12) months after planting.
6. Landscape coverage and stabilization of graded slopes shall be selected and designed to be compatible with surrounding natural vegetation. A city-approved irrigation system shall be utilized for plant establishment. A minimum three (3) feet flat area from top or toe of slope of twenty (20) feet or greater shall be maintained to face of wall on common area maintenance slopes.
7. Random patterns or uniform coverage that is contrary to or reasonably detracts from the surrounding natural environment shall be avoided.
8. Shrubs on manufactured slopes shall be heavily concentrated along the drainage flow of swales.
9. Lawns and sod shall not be installed on slopes greater than four (4) to one (1). Low- maintenance bunch grasses can be used on slopes steeper than three (3) to one (1).
1. Irrigation shall be designed to conserve water and to protect existing native vegetation.
2. Drip irrigation or similar water-efficient systems shall be required in appropriate areas to reduce overspray and runoff.
3. Irrigation needs shall be reduced by careful control of drainage pattern on a slope and selection of appropriate plant material.
4. Technological irrigation equipment, such as humidity sensors, that control irrigation settings and run times due to season weather changes shall be used.
K. Fuel modification zones.
1. A permanent fuel modification area and fire prevention plan shall be required, subject to the determination of the Fire Chief, around development projects, or portions thereof, that are adjacent or exposed to hazardous fire areas for the purpose of fire protection. The recommended width of the fuel modification area shall be based on applicable building and fire codes and the recommendations of the Fire Chief, with consideration given to:
a. The natural ungraded slope of the land within the project and in the areas adjacent to the project.
b. Fuel loading.
c. Access to the project by fire suppression equipment, and access directly to the fuel modified area, and egress out of the project in case of evacuation.
d. The on-site availability of water that can be used for firefighting purposes with regard to fire flows, water pressure, and duration.
e. “Built-in” fire protection within structures.
2. Adequate provisions shall be made for the continual maintenance of such areas, and the Fire Chief may require brush, vegetation, or debris to be removed and cleared consistent with the provisions of Chapter 15.216.
L. Private yard hardscape limitations.
1. In the front yard area, the paving or other covering with impervious surfaces shall be limited to thirty percent (30%) of said yard area, exclusive of any paving required to provide direct vehicular access to a garage.
2. No more than fifty percent (50%) of the rear yard area shall be covered with impervious surfaces with the exception of swimming pools and spas as measured eighteen (18) inches outside the water’s edge.
1. Landscaping shall be designed to screen the view of downslope building elevations. The landscape plan for individual residential dwellings shall specifically consider the downslope elevation and demonstrate that portions of elevations below the bottommost floor are screened from view. Downslope elevations visible from any adjacent property or public right-of-way shall be landscaped with a selection of shrubs and trees that screen the downslope portion from view to the satisfaction of the Director of Community Services.
2. Visual screening and privacy within side and rear yards shall be provided. Front yards and building entrances shall be designed to remain mostly visible for security purposes.
N. On-lot tree program.
1. A minimum of two (2) trees shall be installed and maintained in each rear yard.
2. One (1) additional tree shall be installed along the side yard adjacent to the street on corner lots with uphill visibility from roads.
3. Tree sizes shall be a minimum of twenty (24)-inch box for rear yards with fifteen (15) feet depths or less and thirty-six (36)-inch box for rear yards that are greater than fifteen (15) feet deep.
4. Minimum distance between tree trunk and adjacent wall is five (5) feet.
5. Soil compaction and drainage shall be considered when determining planting pit depths.
On-lot tree programs are beneficial to homeowners and the community in general by providing landscaping while preserving views.