(a)   General Standards. All plant material shall conform to the latest version of the American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1). Plant material shall be of standard quality or better, true to name and type of their species or variety, and be free of disease, insects, and or damage.
      (1)   Alternatives to these materials that can be shown to meet both the intent and requirements of this Chapter may be approved as part of a Landscaping Plan;
      (2)   Plant material selection should include consideration of soil type and depth, the amount of maintenance required, spacing, exposure to sun and wind, the slope and contours of the site, and compatibility with existing native vegetation preserved on the site;
      (3)   Landscaping materials shall be installed as not to obscure traffic signs, fire hydrants, lighting, drainage patterns, or sight distance areas for the safety of ingress and egress; and
      (4)   All required new landscaping, screening, and buffering materials shall be installed in accordance with generally accepted nursery industry principles and procedures.
   (b)   Vegetative Landscaping Materials:  The following items are suitable vegetation for screening use individually or in combination provided they create the desired density of screening, subject to review and approval by the Community Development Director.
      (1)   General:
         A.   Vegetative materials used in conformance with the provision of this Section shall conform to the standards of the American Association of Nurserymen and shall have passed any inspection required under state regulations.
         B.   Such vegetative materials shall be obtained from established commercial licensed nursery growers and installed by licensed nursery and/or landscape contractors.
         C.   Such vegetative materials shall also be true to name and type. Nursery stock identification tags shall not be removed from any planting prior to inspection and approval of final installation by the City.
      (2)   Grass and Ground Cover:
         A.   Grass shall be planted in species normally grown as permanent lawns. Grass species shall be selected to ensure slow growth and low water consumption whenever possible. The installation of grass shall require commercial fertilizer, 12-12-12, applied at the rate of twenty (20) pounds per one thousand (1,000) square feet. Grass seeding shall be applied at the rate of eight (8) pounds per one thousand (1,000) square feet, and shall consist of: Kentucky Blue Grass (40%); Saturn Perennial Rye (15%); Prizm Perennial Rye (15%); Manhattan 3 Perennial (15%); and Affinity Perennial Rye (15%).
         B.   Grass sod shall be clean and free of weeds and noxious pests or diseases.
         C.   Ground cover shall be provided in two and one quarter (2.25) inch peat pots, and planted a minimum of eight (8) inches on center and shall be planted in such a manner to present a finished appearance and seventy-five (75) percent coverage after one (1) complete growing season. If approved as part of a Landscaping Plan, ground cover may also consist of rocks, pebbles, wood chips, and/or other natural material.
      (2)   Vines.  Shall be provided in 2 year-#2 containers at planting, and are generally used in conjunction with walls, fences, or screening.
      (3)   Shrubs and Hedges. Shrubs and hedges shall be at least thirty-six (36) inches average in height and spread at the time of planting. Where required for buffering or screening, all shrubs and hedges shall be designed to provide a continuous, year-round, solid visual screen of the requisite level of opacity.
         A.   High shrubs must reach a mature height of at least six (6) feet within four (4) years after the date of the final approval of each planting.
         B.   Low shrubs must reach a mature height of at least three (3) feet within two (2) years after the date of the final approval of each planting.
         C.   The height at installation of the planting shall be measured from the level of the surface of the plant base at the edge closest to the screening.
      (5)   Trees. Planting and maintaining a diverse urban forest is the goal of the tree program to prevent an over-dependence on a few species. The trees shall be species which are resistant to insects and disease and which do not cause interference with underground utilities or street lighting. Trees shall be chosen according to the list of trees within the Urban Forest Management Plan in the City of Kent Codified Ordinances and with the approval of the City Arborist.  Trees shall also be installed and maintained according to the Urban Forest Management Plan.
   (c)   Non-Vegetative Landscaping Materials:
      (1)   Earth Mounds. Earth mounds are preferable to walls or fencing as a physical barrier to buffer or screen views and noise. Differences in elevation between areas requiring screening does not constitute an earth mound. Earth mounds shall be constructed of earthen materials and shall conform to the following standards:
         A.   The maximum side slope shall be three horizontal to one vertical (3:1) and the design shall be reviewed by the Community Development Director to ensure that proper erosion prevention and control practices have been utilized;
         B.   Earth mounds shall be designed with physical variations in height and alignment throughout their length;
         C.   Landscaped plant materials shall be arranged and installed on earth mounds in an irregular pattern to accentuate the physical variations in height and alignment and achieve a more natural appearance;
         D.   The Landscaping Plan shall show sufficient detail, including a plan and profile of earth mounds, soil types and construction techniques to demonstrate compliance with the above provisions;
         E.   Earth mounds shall be located and designed to minimize the disturbance to existing trees located on the site or adjacent thereto;
         F.   No part of any berm or earth form which is elevated more than eighteen (18) inches above natural grade shall be located within twenty (20) feet of any right-of-way or property line; and
         G.   Ground cover shall be used and maintained to prevent erosion of the earth mound.
      (2)   Walls and Fences:
         A.   General:
            1.   When walls or fences are used to fulfill screening requirements, they shall be detailed on the Landscaping Plan and subject to Planning Commission approval. They are to be of weatherproof materials. This includes pressure treating or painting of lumber if it is not redwood or cedar and using aluminum or galvanized hardware.
            2.   A fence or wall shall not be located so as to adversely affect the vision of drivers on the public streets or from driveways intersecting public streets.
            3.   All portions of the property shall remain accessible from outside the fence area by means of a gate or other opening.
            4.   Fences and walls shall be permitted in any required yard, or along the edge of any yard.
         B.   Residential Fences:
            1.   Fences in all residential districts which enclose property and/or are within a required side or rear yard, shall not extend toward the front of the lot nearer the building line or the required minimum front yard, whichever is greater.
            2.   Fences which enclose public or institutional parks, playgrounds, or public landscaped areas, situated within a residential area, shall not exceed eight (8) feet in height, measured from the surface of the ground, and shall not exceed twenty-five (25) percent opacity.
         C.   Accent Fences and Picket Fences. Accent fences and picket fences shall be permitted in all zoning districts if limited to four (4) feet in height as measured from grade, and if designed only to partially enclose an area and serve only an ornamental purpose.
         D.   Arbors and Trellises. Arbors or trellises shall be permitted in all zoning districts. Arbors or trellises, which are detached from the building, may encroach on a required side yard, side yard which abuts a street and forward of the principal structure provided that:
            1.   The surface of the arbor or trellis shall be at least 50% open; and
            2.   Such arbors and trellises shall be of a size no greater than the following maximum dimensions:
               Maximum Height 8 feet
               Maximum Width 5 feet
               Maximum Depth 3 feet
         E.   Solid fences. Solid fences of an approved type shall be permitted in all zoning districts only in side and rear yards and/or to enclose a deck, patio, or pool. Solid fences shall not be located within a required front yard. Solid fences shall not be used to enclose the entire perimeter of the property.
         F.   Brick, Stone or Masonry Walls. Brick, stone or masonry walls are permitted forward of the building line but cannot exceed three feet in height.
         G.   Hedges. Hedges shall be permitted in all zoning districts. Hedges shall not be located within any no build zone, conservation zone/no disturb zone, drainage easement, floodway, flood plain or other area which would be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare.
         H.   Prohibited Fencing. Electrified, barbed wire, razor wire, and stockade fences are hereby prohibited in all zoning districts.
            (Ord. 2014-09.  Passed 2-19-14.)