In order to maintain and enhance existing tree coverage, to promote careful landscaping of outdoor areas, to soften and enhance the humanmade environment and to promote appropriate landscape design and construction, the following standards shall apply.
   (A)   Landscaping in general.
      (1)   Commercial outparcels shall be landscaped while vacant to maintain an attractive appearance. Landscaping shall consist of grasses, shrubs, trees or any other vegetative cover that will secure the soil and create an attractive appearance.
      (2)   All required plantings shall be nursery grown stock that is free from disease or growth problems and shall be installed in a manner that insures the availability of sufficient soil and water for healthy growth that is not intrusive to above and below ground utilities.
      (3)   Only landscaping and approved fences and walls shall be permitted within a required buffer or street yard area, except that sidewalks and other pedestrian walkways, bicycle paths, aboveground utilities, drainageways and approved signs shall be permitted where they do not comprise more than 20% of the total area of the required buffer or street yard. Underground utilities are encouraged and should not interfere with the ability to provide the required buffer or street yard area and landscaping.
      (4)   Clustering and/or random spacing of plants and trees is encouraged to produce a natural appearance in the landscape, except where uniformity is required for opaque screening.
      (5)   Landscaping, including berms, shall be installed and maintained so as not to interfere with sight distance requirements or the sight distance needs of drivers in parking areas and at entrance and exit locations.
      (6)   Native species and related cultivars are encouraged.
      (7)   Whenever shrubs are required for screening, they shall be of a type that retains their foliage to within 6 inches of the ground on a year-round basis.
      (8)   Whenever trees are required (buffers, parking lots and the like), a minimum of 50% shall be canopy trees, and a minimum of 20% shall be evergreen.
      (9)   No more than 30% of all shrubs required shall be deciduous.
      (10)   No required planting area shall contain less than 150 square feet and no planting area shall be less than 8 feet in diameter around a required tree.
      (11)   Parked vehicles may overhang a landscaped area no more than 2-1/2 feet. Curbing or wheel stops shall be installed to ensure no overhang or penetration of the landscaped area greater than 2-1/2  feet. Landscaping, walls, fences and any other material shall be so located to prevent its damage and/or destruction by overhanging vehicles.
      (12)   The Zoning Administrator may approve revisions to a landscaping plan approved by the Town Council in order to accommodate seasonal planting problems or a lack of plant availability as long as:
         (a)   There is no reduction in the quantity of plant material;
         (b)   There is no significant change in the size or location of plant materials; and
         (c)   The new plants are of the same general category and have the same general design characteristics as the materials being replaced.
      (13)   Plant size shall be as follows.
Minimum Height at Maturity (Feet)
Minimum Crown Spread at Maturity
Minimum Height at Planting
Minimum Caliper* at Planting (Inches)
Minimum Spacing (Feet on Center)
Large tree
> 40
< 30 feet**
8 feet
35 feet
Small tree
> 15
< 30 feet**
5 feet
15 feet
24 inches
30 inches
3 feet
*Caliper shall be measured 6 inches above the ground.
**The minimum crown spread shall only apply to canopy trees.
***Shrubs do not include ground covers.
      (14)   All landscape materials, whether used for screening, buffering, open space or other landscaping areas, shall be properly maintained by the property owner.
         (a)   Maintenance includes all actions necessary to keep landscaping materials healthy, neat and orderly in appearance, and free of litter and debris.
         (b)   Any landscaping lost or diseased shall be removed and replaced unless, in the opinion of the Zoning Administrator, the maturity of the remaining vegetation compensates for the loss of an individual shrub or tree, thereby causing the intent of the landscape standard to still be met without replacement.
   (B)   Protection of existing trees.
      (1)    Except when necessary to provide access to a site or to ensure the safety and security of people and property, any existing healthy trees that are 8 inches or greater in caliper, located within a public right-of-way or undeveloped required yard shall be retained unless approved for removal during site plan review. In addition, every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and retain existing trees and shrubs not located in planned roadways, drainageways, building foundation sites and construction activity areas.
      (2)   Existing trees and shrubs shall count towards meeting landscape requirements as long as they are:
         (a)   Free from disease or growth problems;
         (b)   Clearly shown on the site plan;
         (c)   Approved by the Zoning Administrator prior to development as meeting the intent of the landscaping requirements;
         (d)   Are not considered nuisance or noxious plants; and
         (e)   Are adequately protected during grading and development of the site.
      (3)   Protective measures, as outlined below, shall be taken to minimize damage to existing trees and other vegetation to be retained.
         (a)   Site plans shall show the location of trees and shrubs to be retained and the locations of protection fencing.
         (b)   Prior to construction, grading or other land disturbing activity, protective barriers shall be placed around the root protection area of all trees and shrubs to be saved.
         (c)   For trees, the root protection area shall not be less than the drip line.
         (d)   No soil disturbance or compaction, stock piling of soil or other construction materials, vehicular traffic or storage of heavy equipment are allowed in the areas designated for protection.
         (e)   Root pruning shall be kept to an absolute minimum. Pruning of existing trees shall be done according to the National Arborists’ Association Standards in a manner that preserves the character of the tree.
         (f)   No ropes, signs, wires, electrical device or other material shall be secured or fastened around or through a tree or shrub designated for protection.
   (C)   Parking lot landscaping.
      (1)   The following standards apply to all new parking areas with 12 or more spaces and all expansions to existing parking areas which add 12 or more spaces, unless otherwise noted.
      (2)   In an expansion, only the area of expansion is required to be included in the calculation; however, the landscaping may be provided anywhere within the parking area.
         (a)   Trees and shrubs shall be planted along all internal driveways.
         (b)   No more than 2 parking aisles (defined as a travel lane and the parking located on each side) shall abut. Otherwise, parking aisles shall be separated from each other by planted medians which may include pedestrian walkways.
         (c)   No more than 30 parking spaces shall be contained within 1 parking aisle.
         (d)   All parking aisles, except where they are permitted to abut or they directly adjoin a building, shall be landscaped around their perimeter, excluding access points, at the rate of 2 large and 2 small trees plus 30 shrubs per 100 linear feet.
         (e)   One landscape island shall be provided for each 15 parking spaces.
         (f)   Landscape islands shall contain a minimum of 1 canopy tree and 6 shrubs.
         (g)   The remainder of the landscape island shall be completely filled in with perennials, annual flowers, ornamental grasses, turf grasses, a minimum of 3 inches of landscaping mulch or a combination thereof.
         (h)   All parking rows shall contain a landscape island at the end of the row of parking. Each landscape island shall contain at least 1 canopy tree and 6 shrubs.
         (i)   The remainder of the landscape island shall be completely filled in with perennials, annual flowers, ornamental grasses, turf grasses, a minimum of 3 inches of landscaping mulch or a combination thereof. However, canopy trees are not required within 75 feet of a building façade.
   (D)   Landscape buffers.
      (1)   The purpose of a landscape buffer is to help provide transition between different types of land uses, to break up or soften the appearance of paved surfaces, and to provide the shade and greenery necessary to create a livable environment.
      (2)   Buffers shall be required as prescribed in the zoning district regulations and as described in the standards below:
         (a)   Landscape buffers shall measure no less than 10 feet in width and shall contain a minimum of 1 large tree per 100 linear feet, 5 small trees per 100 linear feet and 20 shrubs per 100 linear feet;
         (b)   Fractions shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number; and
         (c)   Buffer yard exceptions:
            1.   Fences and walls of uniform design and material shall be allowed to replace required shrubbery in any landscape buffer when, in the opinion of the Zoning Administrator, the fence or wall will achieve the same effect as the shrubbery and will contribute positively to the overall design of the property;
            2.   Buffer width requirements may be reduced by 50% when a 6-foot continuous opaque fence, wall or berm is approved and constructed within the landscape buffer. A minimum of 50% of the required plantings shall be placed on the exterior side of the fence, wall or berm;
            3.   In the event unusual topography or elevation of a development site, the size of the parcel to be developed, the soil or sub-surface condition of the site would make strict adherence to the requirements of this subchapter serve no meaningful purpose or would make it physically impossible to install and maintain the required buffer plantings, the Zoning Administrator may alter the requirements of this part as long as the existing features of the development site comply with the spirit and intent herein; and
            4.   A like alteration may occur only at the request of the property owner who shall submit a plan to the Zoning Administrator showing existing site features that would buffer or screen the proposed use and any additional buffer materials the property owner will plant or construct to buffer the proposed use.
(Ord. 04-21, passed 10-6-2004, § 42.2.6; Am. Ord. 21-01, passed 6-2-2021)