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The on-site landscape and tree requirements of this § 14-705(1) (On-Site Landscape and Tree Requirements) shall apply to all development on existing lots greater than 5,000 sq. ft. in area, except:
(.1) Lots with a principal single-family, two-family, parks and open space, or urban agriculture use; and
(.2) Parking lots and garages. Parking lots and garages shall comply with the landscape standards of § 14-803(5) (Parking Landscape and Screening).
(b) Landscape and Tree Plan Required.
Zoning permit applications must, if subject to the provisions of this § 14-705(1) (On-Site Landscape and Tree Requirements), include a landscape and tree plan prepared by a licensed architect, licensed landscape architect, licensed professional civil engineer, or a certified arborist that demonstrates compliance with the standards of this § 14-705(1) (On-Site Landscape and Tree Requirements).
(c) General Standards.
Herbaceous plants or lawn installed in the required landscaped area shall be from the list of appropriate plantings maintained by the Commission. 659
(.2) Minimum Plant Size.
Trees installed in the required landscaped area shall have a minimum caliper of 2.0 in.
All irrigation systems for development shall be designed, installed, and operated to minimize runoff and over-spray of irrigation water onto roadways, sidewalks, and adjacent properties, and shall be installed with rain sensors to turn the system off during rainy conditions.
(.4) Sight Triangle Requirements.
Shrubs and similar plants that exceed 2.5 ft. in height are prohibited in sight triangles.
(d) Landscape Buffering Between Different Land Uses.
Landscape buffers are required when specific types of different land uses abut each other, as listed in § 14-705(1)(d)(.1) (When Buffering Is Required), below. These requirements only apply at the time a lot subject to these requirements is developed, and no existing development shall be required to install buffer landscape because of a change in the zoning district classification of an abutting lot.
(.1) When Buffering Is Required.
A landscape buffer satisfying the requirements of § 14-705(1)(d)(.2) (Two Buffering Options) shall be provided along side and rear lot lines for the following:
(.a) Multi-Family Residential, Commercial, or Institutional.
(i) A multi-family building with more than six units that abuts a lot in an RSD zoning district; and
(ii) A building with a principal use in the public, civic, and institutional, office, retail sales, commercial services, or vehicle or vehicular equipment sales and service use categories that abuts a lot in a Residential district.
(.b) Industrial. 659.1
A building or lot containing a principal use in the wholesale, distribution, and storage, or industrial use categories that abuts a lot in a Residential district.
(.2) Two Buffering Options.
The applicant shall provide the amounts of buffering shown in Table 14-705-1 using either Option A or Option B.
(.a) Option A – Landscape Buffer.
A landscape buffer area meeting the requirements of Table 14-705-1 shall be provided on the shared border to minimize sound, light, and noise impacts. The buffer area shall consist of natural plant materials such as lawn, herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees, and shall not contain impervious materials. At least 15 ft. of space must be provided between tree trunks. Shrubs shall have a mature height of at least five ft.
(.b) Option B – Wall, Berm, Fence, or Vegetative Screen.
An opaque wall, berm, fence, or dense vegetative screen meeting the requirements in Table 14-705-1 shall be provided on the shared border. If a fence or wall is provided, the side facing the Residential district shall be at least as finished in appearance as the side facing the applicant's use. Fencing shall be constructed of wood or ornamental metal; chain-link and barbed wire are prohibited as fencing material.
Land Use (Descriptions below are summary only. The provisions of § 14-705(1)(d)(.1) shall control.)
Opaque Wall, Berm, Fence, or Dense Vegetative Screen
Multi-Family Residential abutting an RSD district; Commercial or Institutional abutting a Residential district (14-705(1)(d)(.1)(.a))
Width: 10 ft. min.
Landscape: At least 1 tree and 3 shrubs per 25 ft.
Height: 5 ft. min./6 ft. max.
(at least 5 ft. at time of planting for a vegetative screen)
Industrial abutting a Residential district (14-705(1)(d)(.1)(.b))
Width: 15 ft. min.
Landscape: At least 1 tree and 4 shrubs per 25 ft.
Height: 7 ft. min./8 ft. max.
(at least 7 ft. at time of planting for a vegetative screen)
(e) Preservation of Heritage Trees. 660
(.a) The lot is at least 15 acres in total area and is located within an I-1 zoning district; or
(.b) One or both of the following applies to the heritage tree:
(i) a certified arborist has determined that the tree is dead, damaged, diseased, or a threat to public health or safety; or
(ii) the Streets Department has determined that the tree interferes with the provision of public services or constitutes a hazard to traffic, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
(.2) If the standards of § 14-705(1)(e)(.1) are not met, a heritage tree may be not be removed from any property unless the applicant obtains a special exception approval. The Zoning Board shall grant a special exception to remove a heritage tree if:
(.a) The applicant replaces the removed heritage tree in accordance with § 14-705(1)(f) (Tree Replacement Requirements);
(.b) It determines that the criteria of § 14-303(7) (Special Exception Approval) have been met; and
(.c) The applicant has demonstrated that the proposed development cannot be practically redesigned to protect the heritage tree.
(f) Tree Replacement Requirements. 660.2
(.1) Except as set forth in § 14-705(1)(f)(.2) or § 14-705(1)(f)(.3), below, all healthy trees on the lot of 2.5 in. DBH or larger that are removed, damaged, or destroyed as a result of development activities shall be replaced on the same lot or an abutting lot in accordance with the following standards:
(.a) All trees proposed for removal and all proposed replacement trees shall be indicated on the site plan.
(.b) The total caliper of all replacement trees shall be no less than the total caliper of all trees removed from the lot. Each replacement tree shall not be less than 2.5 in. DBH at planting.
(.c) In the event that the replacement trees are proposed on an abutting lot and such lot is not under the same ownership as the principal lot, a written agreement between the record owners shall be submitted to L&I with the zoning permit application.
(.2) Trees removed under the following conditions are exempt from the replacement requirements of § 14-705(1)(f):
(.a) As determined by a certified arborist, the tree is dead, damaged, or diseased.
(.b) As determined by a certified arborist, the tree is an undesirable species in its present location.
(.c) As determined by a certified arborist, the tree poses potential danger to life or property.
(.3) For any property that meets the conditions of § 14-705(1)(e)(.1)(.a):
(.a) Trees listed on the Department of Parks and Recreation Invasive Species List are not subject to the requirements of section (.1), above.
(g) Credits for Preserving Existing Trees. 660.3
Applicants who preserve mature, healthy trees as part of a development project may obtain credits toward trees required by this Zoning Code, other than those required under section (f), above. Trees intended to be preserved shall be indicated on the site plan. To obtain credit, the preserved trees must be on the same lot or an abutting lot, at least five in. diameter breast height (DBH) and must be in healthy condition as determined by a certified arborist. The credit for preserved trees shall be as shown in Table 14-705-2 and may be applied toward the number of trees required on the lot or lots. Any preserved trees for which credit is given, and that are lost to damage or disease within two years after the credit is awarded, shall be replaced by the land owner with trees otherwise required
Caliper of Preserved Tree (in.)
Credit (in total DBH)
Over 12 in. DBH
12 in. DBH
Over 8 in. to 12 in. DBH
8 in. DBH
5 in. to 8 in. DBH
5 in. DBH
Amended, Bill No. 130764 (approved December 18, 2013).
Amended, Bill No. 210075 (approved March 29, 2021).