§ 153.047  LANDSCAPING.
   (A)   Generally.
      (1)   The intent of these landscaping requirements shall be to enhance the visual quality of development, to soften the appearance of expansive paved areas and building mass, create and maintain a pleasing appearance in the community, reduce the effects of glare and heat caused by parking areas and to reduce visual clutter along commercialized streets.
      (2)   Landscaping required by this section shall be installed in the following situation:
         (a)   All new construction, development or any expansions in developed site area land uses; or
         (b)   For all existing development, other than one- or two-family residential land uses, when more than 50% of the land area developed at the time of application for zoning permit is disturbed, redesigned, altered or reconstructed.
      (3)   Where screening or buffering requirements of this chapter overlap in area, duplicate or otherwise conflict with any requirement of this section, only the more stringent requirements need be met; provided however, no fence, wall or berm may be substituted for any requirement in this section.
      (4)   The succeeding divisions described the minimum types and amounts of landscaping which shall be required.
      (5)   Where growing conditions permit, large trees may be substituted for small trees and large or small trees may be substituted for shrubs, however, required larger plant material may not be substituted with smaller plant materials. Where existing plant life satisfies the requirements of this section the owner is encouraged to use plant life in lieu of destroying it and planting new materials.
   (B)   Street landscaping,
      (1)   Street landscaping off the street right-of-way and behind the sight triangle shall be required in the ROS, RO, OI, NB, GB, PB, and GMC Zoning Districts along all thoroughfares.
      (2)   The landscaping shall be provided in a designated landscaping area which shall include, as width, at least the first 12 feet of the front yard and side yard as measured from the edge of the street right-of-way line. Per 100 linear feet of landscaping, there shall be, at a minimum, four small trees and 12 shrubs, or four large trees. The remaining portion of the landscaped area shall be improved with ground covers or natural mulching materials. No part of the landscaped area shall be left as bare soil. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property and any tenant of the property to maintain the landscaped area in a healthy condition; to keep plant growth off roadways or otherwise from interfering with traffic visibility or safety, and to keep the landscaped area free of litter, debris and uncontrolled weed growth. Within the designated landscaped area, landscaped decorative fences and masonry walls may be constructed no closer than six feet to the street right-of-way line and behind the sight triangle, however, the construction of the fences or masonry walls shall not relieve the developer from planting requirements except as provided in the succeeding divisions of this section.
      (3)   All required plantings shall be located on the street side of any fence or wall, and where berms are constructed, between the street right-of-way line and the crest of the berm. Any side devices constructed within the designated landscaped area shall be limited to the following.
         (a)   Berms.  All earth shall be planted with ground covers except where mulching is provided for trees or shrubs. Shrubs and trees on the berms and within the designated landscaping area may be counted in planting requirements. Berms shall meet all requirements of § 153.046(C)(3) of this chapter.
         (b)   Fences.  Fences shall be constructed of decorative wood or metal materials, designed specifically for fencing, be of a consistent patter, and not exceed six feet in height. Metal fences shall be limited to decorative steel or iron. Utility metal fencing such as chain link fencing is not permitted within the designated landscape area. (Utility fences are permitted outside (side opposite street side) the designated landscaping area, see § 153.049 and other applicable requirements.) Wood fences shall be limited to pressure treated wood or naturally preserved species approved by the Administrator (e.g., locust and redwood). Wood fencing may be rail, picket, or opaque in construction and must be of a consistent pattern.
         (c)   Walls.  Walls shall be constructed of decorative materials and shall not exceed a height of six feet. Materials visible on the street side shall be limited to clay brick, natural or cultured stone, or other decorative masonry materials approved by the Administrator. Except for stone, masonry materials must be constructed of a consistent pattern.
      (4)   In the event that the size of the parcel to be developed or its location would make it physically impossible to install and/or maintain the required landscaping, the Administrator may alter the street landscaping requirements of this chapter provided, however, the spirit and intent of this chapter are maintained. An alteration may occur only if the developer submits a plan to the Administrator that shows any existing and proposed landscaping. The Administrator shall otherwise have no authority to alter any landscaping requirements.
      (5)   No street landscaping materials, wall or fence device shall be constructed or maintained in a manner which blocks sight distance at vehicular ingress and egress points on the property or obstructs sight distance at street intersections as set forth in § 153.052 of this chapter. All plantings exceeding two and one-half feet in height shall be located behind the sight triangle.
   (C)   Parking lot landscaping.
      (1)   Parking lots shall be landscaped in accordance with this division. The provisions of this section do not apply to rear parking lots. As used herein, the rear parking lots include only parking areas located between the rear building line and a rear interior lot line (a line not adjoining a street. The amount of plant materials required for parking lot landscaping is in addition to any plant materials required by any other provision of this chapter (e.g., buffer strips, street landscaping and building landscaping).
      (2)   The following minimum number of plants shall be required for each parking space. If calculations result in a fraction, the fraction shall be increased to the next whole number.
Large trees
Small trees
      (3)   The following rules shall apply to the arrangement and installation of required parking lot landscaping. These requirements apply only to the minimum number of trees required by this section. Non-required trees (additional trees beyond what is required by this section) may be planted in any fashion.
         (a)   Large trees shall be planted so that no point of the tree’s main trunk is closer than four feet from parking lot or driveway surfaces. If large trees required by this division are planted in an island (area surrounded by paved surfaces), peninsula, or median there shall be sufficient pervious planting area (pervious area shall also mean impervious materials (e.g., walks), that drain into the trees root area) for viable growth of the tree(s). Trees may be clustered where appropriate for the species and this area may also be used for planting shrubs or small trees. To be counted for required parking lot landscaping, a large tree must be planted within 25 feet of the parking lot. Where existing plant stock is to be counted at distances greater than 25 feet from the paved surfaces where the developer can show that the existing stock casts shadows upon the paved surface. No trees located off the project site may be substituted for new plantings.
         (b)   Small trees shall be planted so that no point of the tree’s main trunk is closer than four feet from parking lot or driveway surfaces. To be counted for required parking lot landscaping, a small tree must be planted within 15 feet of the parking lot.
         (c)   No shrubs shall be located within any vehicle overhang area. (Area three feet beyond curb or wheel stop at the head of a parking space.)
         (d)   Required parking lot landscaping shall generally be distributed throughout the parking area. Plantings may be located along the perimeter of the parking lot, along entranceways, and on interior features such as islands, peninsulas and medians. The minimum percent each of the required large trees, small trees, and shrubs to be planted on interior features (islands, peninsulas, and medians) is as follows:
Number of Spaces
Minimum Percent of Plant Materials to be Planted on Interior Features
40 or less spaces
No minimum
40 to 100 spaces
More than 100 spaces
         (e)   Each parking space shall be not further than 100 feet from a tree (large tree or small tree).
         (f)   It is encouraged that trees be located so as to maximize shading of parking spaces during summer months.
         (g)   All parking lot landscaped areas shall be covered with ground covers or natural mulching materials, however, areas subject to vehicle overhang may be covered with brick, stone, mulch or other non-living materials.
   (D)   Area deficient in landscaping.  Where an existing commercial development lacks sufficient trees to meet the requirements of new development as set forth in divisions (B) and (C) of this section, no tree inside or within 25 feet of a parking area, or within 12 feet of the street right-of-way shall be removed without a permit issued by the Administrator. The Administrator shall issue the permit only after having first determined:
      (1)   The tree is either:
         (a)   Diseased and dying; or
         (b)   Otherwise a threat to public safety or potential property damage; or
      (2)   That the removal of the tree would not make the property less conforming to the standards of either divisions (B) or (C) of this section.
   (E)   Landscaping installation and maintenance.
      (1)   The plantings that constitute required landscaping shall be properly installed and maintained in order to fulfill the purpose of which it is established.
      (2)   Plant species shall be recommended for healthy growth under local climate conditions, not of a type highly prone to disease, and be of a type highly prone to disease, and be of a type expected to grow in a manner which will satisfy the spirit and intent of this section of this chapter. Plant materials shall be planted in accordance with generally recommended and accepted planting and growing practices. The owner of the property, any tenant on the property where landscaping is required shall be jointly and severally responsible for the maintenance of all required landscape materials. The maintenance shall include all actions necessary to keep the landscaped areas free of litter and debris; to keep plantings healthy; to keep growth from interfering with safe vehicular or pedestrian travel, or use of parking areas, or from creating any nuisances to adjoining properties; and to keep walls, fences, and berms in good repair and neat appearance.
      (3)   Any vegetation that constitutes required landscaping shall be replaced in the event that it dies. All landscaping materials shall be protected from damage by erosion, motor vehicles or pedestrians.
(Prior UDO, § 5.3)  Penalty, see § 153.999