Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Intent. Parking lot landscaping required by this section is intended to promote attractive, safe, off-street parking lots by providing minimum requirements for installation and maintenance of landscaped areas. This section places a high priority on the safe flow of pedestrians and vehicles within a parking lot. It also requires adequate safe emergency lanes for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.
(1) Required parking lot landscaping shall consist of two types: 1) Interior Parking Lot Landscaping, and 2) Perimeter Parking Lot Landscaping as described below. The standards required for these two types of landscaping shall be determined by the "class" of parking lot proposed on the site. The parking lot "class" shall be determined by the total number of proposed parking spaces for a given use.
(a) Class A 0 to 20 spaces
(b) Class B 21 to 50 spaces
(c) Class C 51 to 200 spaces
(d) Class D >200 spaces
(2) Where parking lots and/or parking lot landscaping were legally existing as of the effective date of this chapter, but do not conform to the provisions of this chapter, such parking lots shall be considered legally non-conforming. Upon any expansion to such non-conforming parking lots and/or parking lot landscaping, or the expansion or alternation of a structure associated with that parking lot and/or parking lot landscaping, the entire parking lot existing and expanded shall be subject to the requirements of this subchapter.
(C) Interior Parking Lot Landscaping.
(1) Planting Islands. In some cases where parking is required for a use, a certain percentage of the paved area must be maintained as landscape areas which include landscape islands and peninsulas. To function as an "LID Stormwater BMP", the landscape island or peninsula shall be at a lower grade than the surrounding pavement and curbing shall allow drainage from pavement to enter into recessed landscape areas. For the purposes of calculating this requirement the following table shall be employed.
INTERIOR PARKING LOT LANDSCAPE REQUIREMENTS
Percent of Required Landscaping in Parking Lot
Maximum Parking Lot Island Size (Square Feet)
(a) All single row parking landscape islands and peninsulas shall be a minimum of 180 square feet in area with a minimum width of nine feet measured from back of curb to back of curb or edge of pavement. Each island and peninsula shall contain a minimum of one canopy tree and five evergreen or deciduous shrubs, or ornamental grasses. If the landscape island is intended to function as an "LID Stormwater BMP", then the plant material should be able to tolerate and thrive at various depths and lengths of inundation. Refer to Appendix H-3 "Stormwater Technical Standards Manual."
(b) All double row parking landscape islands shall be a minimum of 240 square feet in area with a minimum width of nine feet measured from back of curb to back of curb or edge of pavement. Each island and peninsula shall contain a minimum of two canopy trees and ten evergreen or deciduous shrubs, or ornamental grasses.
(c) All interior parking rows shall be terminated at both ends with landscape islands. The exterior parking rows abutting the perimeter parking lot landscaping area, which are not adjacent to a structure, shall require the installation of one additional canopy tree at both ends of the exterior row. All parking islands shall be dispersed so as to define aisles and limit unbroken rows of parking to a maximum of 100 feet in length. For calculating purposes, handicapped parking spaces shall count as one parking space. (See illustrations below.)
(d) One hundred percent of every parking lot island or peninsula outside of shrub masses shall be planted in turf or other approved groundcover in the appropriate density to achieve complete cover within two years as determined by the approved landscape plan.
(e) If the specific application of the interior landscape requirements will seriously limit functions of the building site, the Director of Planning and Development shall have the authority to permit consolidation and relocation of these landscaped areas on the building site.
(f) The primary plant materials used in parking lots shall be canopy tree species, in conformance with applicable provisions of § 159.183(A) and (B) above. Understory trees, shrubbery, hedges, and other plant materials may be used to supplement the canopy tree plantings, but shall not be the sole contribution to such landscaping.
(D) Perimeter Parking Lot Landscaping.
(1) Intent and Application. The landscape requirements identified below provide for the enhancement of all parking lots by recognizing two distinct conditions. The first condition is where parking lots are located within front and corner side yards, where a uniform scheme of landscaping is required to protect the aesthetics along public streets. The second condition is where parking lots are located within rear and interior side yards and minimum requirements for beautification of both residential and nonresidential uses are desired. The intent is to require a higher level of landscaping abutting or adjacent to residential uses (principally multi-family uses) than for non-residential uses. It should be noted that the issue of reducing impacts between dissimilar uses is addressed in § 159.186.
(2) Area and Configuration.
PERIMETER PARKING LOT LANDSCAPING REQUIREMENTS
Parking lots adjacent to, abutting, or by yard type
Central Core Map
All Other Areas
Required Trees (per 100 linear feet)
Required Shrubs (per 100 linear feet) (Minimum height 24-inches at time of planting)
Public street, private street, front yards abutting residential uses/ zone district
deciduous or evergreen
Rear and interior side yards abutting or across from a residential use/ zone district
canopy trees and 2 under- story
deciduous or evergreen
Rear and interior side yards abutting a non-residential use/ zone district
deciduous or evergreen
1. For calculation purposes, plant quantities are rounded up to the nearest whole number when the calculation is .5 or greater.
2. Refer to tree and shrub staggering diagrams.
3. Setbacks are the minimum required unless specified elsewhere in this chapter.
(a) These requirements may be altered by the Director of Planning and Development, Plan Commission, or the Board of Zoning Appeals to protect vehicular or pedestrian traffic or to facilitate free movement of emergency vehicles.
(b) All trees shall be planted within ten feet of the parking lot edge.
(c) All shrubs shall be planted within five feet of the parking lot edge.
(3) Shared Parking Facilities. All paved areas that encroach upon the required ten foot perimeter parking lot landscape areas, except those abutting a public right-of-way shall conform to the following.
(a) The total area that is removed must be provided as interior parking lot landscaping on those parcels. This area shall not be counted towards the overall required interior parking lot landscaping as stated above.
(b) Plantings in these areas shall comply with the standards stated in this section.
(E) Parking Garages. All parking garages shall be required to meet the following landscape and urban design requirements:
(1) Perimeter Landscaping. Parking structures shall provide along any street frontage pedestrian-related amenities such as sitting areas, planters, and visually interesting wall surfaces at the street level. There shall be such amenities provided so that 20% of the building facade will contain such spaces. Such amenities shall be evaluated through Site Plan Review. In all cases, there shall be a minimum sidewalk width along the street of eight feet that shall not be impeded by such pedestrian-related amenities.
(2) Interior Landscaping. Interior landscaping requirements for parking garages may be met by providing hanging baskets, landscape planters, and/or flower boxes around the exterior of the first three levels of the parking garage structure.
(Ord. 64-11-08, passed 12-9-08; Am. Ord. 23-06-10, passed 7-13-10; Am. Ord. 32-10-11, passed 11-15-11; Am. Ord. 22-06-13, passed 7-9-13)