(a)   Plant Material. All required buffers, screens, berms and green belts shall comply with the following standards in addition to all other applicable requirements of this section:
      (1)   All plant materials shall be hardy to Lorain County and free of disease and insects.
      (2)   Landscaped areas shall be maintained in a neat, healthy and orderly condition following accepted horticultural practices. Withered, dying and/or dead plants and trees shall be replaced within a reasonable period of time, but not longer than one (1) growing season.
      (3)   Artificial plant material shall not be used within any required landscaped area. This shall not preclude the use of stone, shredded bark, wood chips, pine needles or similar accent materials within planting beds.
      (4)   All plant material, screens and berms shall be installed in such a manner as not to alter drainage patterns or to obstruct vision for safety of ingress or egress.
      (5)   All plant material shall be planted in a manner as to not cause damage to utility lines (above and below ground) and public roadways.
      (6)   Existing plant material which complies with the standards and intent of this ordinance and the provisions of this section may be credited toward meeting the landscape requirements.  Scrub, dying, diseased, or prohibited trees and shrubs shall be removed and shall not be counted toward any requirement of this section.
      (7)   The overall landscape plan shall not contain more than thirty-three percent (33%) of any one plant species, unless determined to be appropriate by the reviewing authority.
Table 1147.03, Minimum Size Requirements
Plant Type
Minimum Size
Deciduous canopy tree
2.5 inch caliper
Deciduous ornamental tree
2.5 inch caliper
Evergreen tree
7 feet in height
Deciduous shrub
24 inches in height
Upright evergreen shrub
24 inches in height
Spreading evergreen shrub
24 inch spread
      (8)   Plant material shall conform to the standards found in the American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1 - 2014) published by American Hort and conform to the minimum plant sizes at time of planting listed in Table 1147.03, unless a greater requirement is specified elsewhere in this Ordinance. Larger sizes may be required by the reviewing authority, if determined to be necessary to maintain a natural appearance and achieve the intended purpose of the buffer, green belt or screen based on the size of the development, its location and/or the character of the surrounding area.
      (9)   Landscaping shall be installed prior to issuance of a certificate of zoning compliance, unless the owner demonstrates that weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances beyond his/her control prevented the installation. In such case, the Zoning Administrator may issue a conditional certificate of zoning compliance provided that a specific time limit, not to exceed 180 days, is established for completing the landscaping.
   (b)   Berms.
      (1)   Berms shall have a minimum height of three (3) feet and maximum height of six (6) feet above grade. The crest shall gently curve with a level crown at least two (2) feet wide.
      (2)   Berms shall be constructed to maintain a side slope not to exceed a one (1) foot rise to a three (3) foot run ratio. When topography or other site conditions prevent construction of berms at this ratio, the reviewing authority may permit retaining walls or terracing. If a berm is constructed with a retaining wall or by terracing, the earthen slope shall face the exterior of the site.
      (3)   Berms shall be designed to vary in height and shape to create a more natural appearance. 
      (4)   Berm areas not containing planting beds shall be covered with grass or other living ground cover maintained in a healthy condition.
      (5)   Required plant material shall be placed on the top and side slope facing the adjacent property.
   (c)   Screen Walls and Fences.
      (1)   All required plant material shall be on the exterior side of the screen wall or fence.
      (2)   The wall or fence may be constructed with openings that do not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the wall surface. While the opening may allow passage of air, it shall not reduce the obscuring effect of the wall or fence.
      (3)   When a screen wall or fence has both a finished face and an unfinished face, the finished face shall be installed so that it is directed toward the exterior side of the development site, or the side which will be most visible to the general public, as determined by the reviewing authority.
      (4)   Screen walls or fences shall be constructed so as to not alter drainage patterns on-site or on adjacent properties.
         (Ord. 4-21.  Passed 1-4-21.)