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SEC. 12.40.  LANDSCAPE - GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.
   (Added by Ord. No. 170,978, Eff. 5/13/96, Oper. 7/13/96.)
 
   A.   Purpose.
 
   1.   To bring greater order and certainty to the development process.
 
   2.   To respond to State-level mandates for action in such areas as water conservation, energy conservation, enhancement of water quality, and amelioration of air quality.
 
   3.   To increase the amount and quality of appropriate landscaping appurtenant to all land uses in the City.
 
   4.   To establish a minimum level of regulation that protects the public and at the same time allows for design flexibility.
 
   B.   Prohibitions.  Notwithstanding any provisions of Chapter 1 of this Code to the contrary, the Department of Building and Safety shall not issue any building, grading, or use of land permit for any Project unless the Department of City Planning determines that the proposed landscaping will meet the provisions of Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code and has been assured that any proposed landscaping will be installed.
 
   C.   Exceptions.  The provisions of Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code shall not apply to:
 
   1.   Any Project involving replacement of an earthquake hazardous building demolished as a result of an enforcement of the Earthquake Safety Ordinance (Division 88, Article 1, Chapter IX of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.)
 
   2.   Any Project for which a building permit is required
 
   (a)   in order to comply with an order issued by the Department of Building and Safety to repair an unsafe or substandard condition, or
 
   (b)   in order to rebuild as a result of destruction by fire, earthquake, or other natural disaster.
 
   3.   Any Project regulated by Subparagraph (i) of Section 12.04.05 B 1 (a) of this Code.
 
   4.   Any Project which has obtained a still-valid discretionary land use approval from the City prior to the operative date of this section, and which also required approval of landscape documents.
 
   5.   Any Project where plans were accepted by the Department of Building and Safety for plan check prior to the operative date of this ordinance.  This exception does not apply to any Project where changes were later made to the Project which increase the gross square footage or number of parking spaces by more than five percent.  This exception shall no longer be valid if construction is not commenced within one year of the date of issuance of the permit.
 
   6.   Any landscape that is designated a Historic-Cultural Monument.
 
   7.   Cemeteries.
 
   D.   Definitions.  Whenever the following terms are used in Sections 12.40 through 12.43 they shall be construed as defined below.  Words and phrases not defined herein shall be construed as defined in Sections 12.03, and in the Guidelines adopted by the City Planning Commission pursuant to Subsection F below.
 
   Grass - Any relatively low-growing living ground cover of the family Poaceae (Graminae), usually mown.  Includes, but is not limited to, members of the species Agropyron (Wheat Grass), Agrostis (Bent Grass, Redtop), Bouteloua (Blue Grama Grass), Buchloe (Buffalo Grass), Cynodon (Bermudagrass), Festuca (Fescue), Lolium (Rye Grass), Poa (Bluegrass), Stenotaphrum (St. Augustine Grass), Zoysia (Korean Grass).  Does not include members of the family Poaceae (Graminae), that are usually not mown, such as members of the species Aristidia (Triple-Awned Grass), Miscanthus (Eulalia Grass), Muhlenbergia (Deer Grass).
 
   Landscape Practitioner - Any person licensed by the State of California to design, install or maintain landscape or irrigation systems.  Any person specifically exempted by the State from the licensing requirements in the field of landscape or land management.  Any owner who designs, installs or maintains landscaping or irrigation systems on his or her own property.
 
   Lawn Area - Any relatively low-growing, living, ground cover, typically (but not necessarily) mown, that will withstand foot traffic, and that requires dry-season irrigation greater than that required by Common Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon).  Includes Dichondra and Clovers (Trifolium species.)
 
   Native (Plant) - Any (plant) species indigenous to the Los Angeles area existing before European settlement, as identified in James Hendrickson’s The Jepson Manual, or its successor standard reference, as adopted by the Director of Planning.
 
   Native (Plant) Community - A recurring combination of native (plant) species that reflects parallel responses to similar combinations of environmental conditions, as identified in Robert F. Holland’s “Preliminary Descriptions of the Terrestrial Natural Communities of California,” or its successor standard reference, as adopted by the Director of Planning.
 
   Permeable - A material that permits water penetration to a soil depth of 18 inches or more, including non porous surface material poured or laid in sections not exceeding one square foot in area and collectively comprising less than two-thirds of the total surface area of loosely laid material such as crushed stone or gravel.
 
   Project - Any use of land, construction or addition which includes more than 2,000 gross square feet of impermeable surface.  A Project shall include new parking areas and additions to existing parking areas constructed with impermeable paving and new parking buildings.  A Project shall not include construction of or addition to one-family dwellings, nor shall a Project include any structure or use of land which is permeable.
 
   Stream - Any perennial or intermittent stream or river identified on United State Geological Survey Maps.
 
   Wetland - Any natural lake, intermittent lake, pond, intermittent pond, marsh, swamp, seep or spring identified on United States Geological Survey Maps.
 
   E.   Landscape Point System.  (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.)  The Department of City Planning shall not approve proposed landscape for any Project unless the landscape satisfies the requirements of the landscape point system, as established by the City Planning Commission.  A Project that satisfies any landscape requirements of Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code or any other sections of this Code, may accrue points.
 
   F.   Approvals.  (Amended by Ord. No. 173,268, Eff. 7/1/00, Oper. 7/1/00.)  The Director of Planning shall have the authority to issue approvals under Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code.  The Director shall review and approve or disapprove the proposed landscape.  These decisions shall be based on the requirements for application submittal established by the City Planning Commission.  The City Planning Commission shall adopt and revise, as necessary, guidelines to implement the provisions of Sections 12.40 through 12.43.  The Director may also grant exemptions from Sections 12.40 through 12.43 if he or she finds that these landscaping requirements are inappropriate due to the temporary nature of the Project.
 
   G.   Certificate of Substantial Completion.
 
   1.   When the approved landscape has been substantially installed, a landscape practitioner shall file a certificate of substantial completion certifying to the Department of City Planning, that the proposed landscape required in Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code has been substantially provided on the Project.
 
   2.   Substantial completion may be guaranteed by the applicant, in lieu of actual installation.  A performance bond, certificate of deposit, letter of credit, surety deposit, or other instrument satisfactory to the City Attorney, in any amount equal to the cost of the landscape, shall be posted with the City to ensure satisfactory completion of the landscape.
 
   3.   Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the Department of Building and Safety from issuing a certificate of occupancy, when otherwise permitted or required.
 
   H.   Relationship To The Provisions of The Los Angeles Municipal Code.
 
   1.   Existing “Q” Conditions, “D” Development Limitations or “F” Funded Improvement Classifications.  In the case of conflicts between Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code with existing “Q” conditions, “D” development limitations or “F” funded improvements classifications, the existing “Q” conditions, “D” development limitations or “F” funded improvement classifications shall control.
 
   2.   Existing Specific Plans.  In the case of conflicts between Sections 12.40, 12.42 and 12.43 of this Code with existing specific plans, the provisions of the following existing specific plans shall control:  Central City West Specific Plan, Colorado Boulevard Specific Plan, Devonshire-Topanga Specific Plan, Granada Hills Specific Plan, Mulholland Scenic Parkway Specific Plan (controls over Section 12.42 only), Pacific Palisades Commercial Village Specific Plan, Park Mile Specific Plan, Playa Vista Specific Plan, Porter Ranch Specific Plan (controls over Section 12.43 only), Reseda Central Business District Specific Plan, San Vicente Scenic Corridor Specific Plan, Valley Village Specific Plan, the Venice Coastal Zone regulations, Ventura-Cahuenga Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan, Warner Center Specific Plan, and Wilshire-Westwood Scenic Corridor Specific Plan.  In the case of conflicts between Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code with the provisions of the Mount Washington Specific Plan or the Foothill Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan, the more restrictive provisions shall control.  (Amended by Ord. No. 171,694, Eff. 9/26/97.)
 
   3.   Future Specific Plans, “Q” Conditions, “D” Development Limitations or “F” Funded Improvement Classifications.  Future specific plans, “Q” conditions, “D” development limitations or “F” funded improvement classifications may impose alternate landscape requirements, if they expressly state that the specific plan’s,’”Q” conditions’s, “D” development limitation’s or “F” funded improvement classification’s landscape requirements are intended to supersede the standards set forth in Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code.
 
   I.   If any provision of Sections 12.40 through 12.43 conflicts with Article 7, Chapter V of this Code, Article 7, Chapter V shall control.
 
   J.   Unless specifically prohibited by this Code, any existing features and techniques that fulfill the requirements of Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code may be used to satisfy the requirements of these sections.  The provisions of Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code shall not require the removal of any existing structures or features nor prohibit any existing, installed landscape techniques.  Where conflicts arise, all efforts shall be made to conform to the provisions of Sections 12.40 through 12.43 of this Code in a reasonable and practical manner.