It is the intent of landscape and appearance standards to establish minimum criteria for improvements on properties in keeping with the visual and aesthetic values of the community. Maintaining these minimum standards will protect property values, protect the physical and visual environment, minimize intrusions upon adjoining properties and enhance the appearance of the community.
1. Exterior Lighting. All exterior lighting shall be installed and operated in a manner so as to not unduly impact upon an adjoining property or impair the safe operation of motor vehicles on public streets. In all residential zoning districts parking areas, drives and sidewalks shall be provided with lighting for safety purposes; however all such lighting shall be installed in such a manner, with directional and shielded lighting so as to not spill over onto other properties. Lighting for nonresidential uses shall observe the same hours of operation as the use itself, except that a minimum level of lighting for security purposes may be left on beyond normal hours of operation. In no circumstances shall flickering or flashing lights be permitted.
2. Fences. The following standards shall apply to all fences:
A. No fence shall exceed eight feet in height or be located so no part thereof is within two feet of an alley or street right-of-way line. No fence in a required front yard shall exceed four feet in height in a residential zoning district, except in cases of a double frontage lot where the fence shall not exceed eight feet in the required yard adjoining non-accessible right-of-way. No fence shall encroach into a traffic visibility zone.
B. Barbed wire fences shall be permitted only for livestock and other agricultural uses. Under no circumstances shall concertina wire be permitted.
C. Electric fences shall be permitted only for livestock enclosures and shall not carry a charge greater than 25 milliamperes nor a pulsating current longer than one-tenth second in a one second cycle. All electric fences shall carry the seal of approval of an approved testing laboratory.
D. No fences shall be permitted in the required front yard of any commercial zoning district.
E. Security fences shall be permitted in the required front yard of industrial zoning districts, provided that they do not encroach upon any required traffic visibility zone.
3. Foundation Plantings. Whenever a concrete, block or wood foundation is exposed higher than 18 inches in height facing a public street, plant materials shall be planted and maintained adjacent to it to obscure it from view from the public street.
4. Landscape Plan Preparation. Where in this chapter a landscape plan is required the following shall be included:
A. The location, size and identification of all existing trees and shrubbery intended to remain shall be indicated on the landscape plan and noted as existing.
B. Proposed plantings shall be shown on the plan at the normal mature spread for this hardiness zone.
C. A planting schedule consisting of a key, common name, quantity, size and planting instructions shall be provided.
D. Proposed seeding or sodding plans for all disturbed areas shall be provided, indicating the type of ground cover to be used, and the method of application.
5. Landscape Planting Sizes and Methods. Where in the course of this chapter plant materials are required to be installed the following minimum planting standards shall be followed:
A. Deciduous Trees – This tree shall have a minimum trunk diameter, measured six inches above grade, of one and one half inches. The tree shall be straight of trunk with the main leader intact.
B. Coniferous Trees – This tree shall have a minimum height of three feet measured from grade to the top of the tree. The needle color and branching habits shall be normal for the species.
C. Deciduous Shrubs – This shrub shall have a minimum height of 15 inches measured from the grade to the top of the shrub.
D. Coniferous Shrubs – This shrub shall have a minimum diameter of 12 inches, measured across the shrub.
6. Plant Material Standards. All plant materials required by this chapter shall meet specifications of the American Association of Nurseryman (ANN) for the number and grade.
7. Screening. Where a lot occupied by a commercial or industrial use abuts or is across a street, highway, alley, railroad right-of-way from a residential district, a school or a recreational area screening shall be preserved, planted or constructed and maintained by the owner of the commercial or industrial use in accordance with the following provisions.
A. Screening shall be provided along lot lines or street right-of-way in a manner sufficient to effectively obscure the commercial and industrial use from view at ground level with the lot lines of a residential use or school abutting or located across the street from said commercial or industrial use.
B. All parking areas designed for more than three vehicles when located within 60 feet of a residential zoning district shall be screened in a manner sufficient to obscure view of the parking area at ground level from view of adjacent and nearby residential lots or schools.
C. All parking areas designed for more than three vehicles in a residential zoning district shall be screened in a manner sufficient to obscure the view of the parking area at ground level from the view of adjacent properties and the street.
D. A screen shall be comprised of plant materials, unless waived by the Zoning Administrator in favor of a fence, earth berm or other technique where plant materials are not likely to thrive. At the time of installation planting screens shall be three feet in height and at a spacing for the plant variety that will result in hedge like growth at maturity. The owner shall keep all screening properly maintained, free of trash and litter and all plant materials pruned in such a manner as to provide effective visual obscurity from the ground to a height of at least four feet. If individual plantings within a planting screen are damaged or die; they shall be replaced by the owner annually. Screens shall not be required nor encroach into traffic visibility zones.
8. Tree Plantings Required – Nonresidential. All newly constructed nonresidential buildings shall be required at a minimum to plant and maintain one deciduous tree for every five parking spaces required and provided on the property before occupancy is given. At least 50% of required trees shall be located within the parking lot and the remainder within a distance not greater than 10 feet around the perimeter of the lot. Trees located within the lot shall be located in landscaping islands large enough to accommodate the tree and other plantings as approved through the Site Plan Review process. In the event rows of parking are designed to accommodate in excess of 24 cars the rows shall be interrupted by a landscape island. All landscape islands shall have a minimum of one tree. All rows of parking shall begin and terminate with a landscape island.
9. Tree Plantings Required – Residential. All newly constructed residential buildings shall be required at a minimum to plant and maintain trees according to the schedule below within one year of occupancy. At least one deciduous tree per lot shall be planted in the required front yard. Plantings in the street right-of-way shall be approved by the City Forester.
Type of Residence
Single-Family Attached (per unit)
Two- to Four- Family (per unit)
Five- or more Family (per unit)
10. Failure to Install or Maintain. A certificate of occupancy shall not be issued until all screening and landscaping is in place, except in the instance where it is not feasible to install the landscaping because of weather conditions. Its issuance is expressly conditioned on the proper maintenance and replacement, when necessary, of the screening and/or landscaping. If the required plantings, at any time, fall below the plantings approved on the Site Plan, the Council, upon reasonable notice and hearing, shall revoke the certificate of occupancy unless the deficiencies are corrected or replaced within a reasonable time to be set by the Council.
11. Landscaping Escrow. In the case where it is not feasible to install the landscaping because of weather conditions, the Building Official shall collect an escrow in the amount of 110% of the cost to install said landscaping on the site. Said escrow shall be in the form of a check to be cashed, bond, or irrevocable letter of credit, all as approved by the City Attorney.