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It is the desire of the city to encourage horticulture infrastructure and encourage development which is environmentally sensitive, socially responsive, as well as aesthetically pleasing. To assist in these objectives, a minimum standard for a landscaped setback is prescribed, and landscape features are implemented to minimize the adverse effects commonly incidental to higher density residential, commercial and industrial property improvements. Under no circumstances is the use of artificial plantings acceptable to meet the requirements of this section.
(a) Required landscaping of front yard setbacks. At least 90% of the required front yard setback in any zoning district shall be landscaped and maintained with living ground cover. The required setback may include necessary hard surfacing of driveways to reach allowable parking, loading or stacking areas. Poured or laid asphalt, concrete or similar hard surfacing shall not be used as allowable landscape material. Landscape rock, stone, or pebbles shall not be allowed for placement within the right-of-way. Front yard setback landscape areas must be capable of providing a substantially full expanse of foliage within three years after planting.
(b) Trees. Valuing the benefits provided from the use of trees in reducing heat, pollution and the loss of habitat resulting from the use of expansive areas of hard surfacing for parking purposes, the following standards regarding trees shall be met and maintained for all forms.
(1) Total number of trees required.
A. Trees shall be required at the rate of one tree per 50 feet of frontage, not including the width of perpendicular driveways, or one tree per six required parking, loading, and stacking spaces provided on the site, whichever is greater. Frontages with less than 50 feet require at least one tree no less than 1.5 inch caliper. Where fractional trees result, the number of required trees shall be rounded to the nearest whole number. If a buffer yard is also required (see § 160.488) within a front yard and trees are provided as the required buffer yard landscaping units, the required number of trees required by this section may be eliminated but for only the frontage that shares the buffer yard.
B. Exception: If parking facilities or building can utilize zero setbacks, one tree per 50 feet of frontage shall be provided within the right-of-way subject to approval by the city engineer.
(2) Placement according to size, type, and percentage allowed.
A. Trees shall be located within the front yard (yard, front).
B. Deciduous shade tree. May be utilized for 100% of the total tree requirement. Only deciduous shade trees may be utilized for required interior trees or optional right-of-way planting, and no more than 20% of the total tree requirement may be planted in the right-of-way area. Street trees planted in the right-of-way boulevard may count towards the deciduous shade tree requirement. Trees planted in the right-of-way require a permit from the parks and recreation department. Deciduous shade trees must be a minimum caliper of 2 inches.
C. Deciduous ornamental trees. Up to 25% of the required trees may be deciduous ornamental trees. Deciduous ornamental trees may be utilized for 100% of the total tree requirement when the front yard setback is located beneath overhead power lines. Deciduous ornamental trees must be a minimum caliper of 1.5 inches.
D. Evergreen or coniferous trees. Up to 25% of the required trees may be evergreen or coniferous trees; however, they shall not be planted in a driveway or intersection safety zone nor utilized for parking lot interior trees or right-of-way plantings. Evergreen or coniferous trees must be a minimum of 6 feet in height.
E. Required species mix. The city of Sioux Falls encourages a diverse and vibrant urban forest. In order to avoid overplanting of one specific type of species minimum requirements have been established for the number of species based upon the total number of trees required on a site.
Required Number of Trees
Minimum Number of Species
F. Exception: On sites with limited capacity due to existing conditions or redevelopment restrictions, alternatives to placement standards are allowed through the provisions of § 160.599 (Landscape and Buffer Yard Alternative Plans).
(3) Interior parking space tree requirements.
A. When unenclosed interior parking spaces are provided on the site, one tree shall be required for every 18 interior parking spaces after a minimum of 36 interior parking spaces are provided. Every interior tree shall be located in a planting island entirely within the hard-surfaced area utilized for parking and maneuvering purposes. The islands shall have dimensions of at least five feet wide and contain a minimum of 36 square feet per tree. Planting islands shall utilize raised curbs or wheelstops necessary to prevent damage from vehicles. Interior trees shall be allowed to be grouped into a larger island. Each tree, if grouped, shall have a minimum of 36 square feet per tree.
B. Exception: On sites with limited capacity due to existing conditions or redevelopment restrictions, alternatives to placement standards are allowed through the provisions of § 160.599 (Landscape and Buffer Yard Alternative Plans).
(4) Existing tree bonus. The city encourages preservation of any existing trees on a site which are in good condition and at least one and three- quarter inch caliper in size. The trees may be counted as part of the required number of trees on a site. A credit of two trees toward the number of required trees shall be given for each existing tree on a site that is of an acceptable species which is over ten-inch caliper in size. This credit, however, may not be applied in reducing the number of required interior trees.
(5) Unlawful cutting of trees or shrubs. The topping or severe trimming, destroying, or removal of any trees, shrubs, or other vegetation is prohibited in any area where the trees or shrubs are required to be placed under this Code. Target pruning of trees shall not exceed 25% of the canopy height.
(6) Tree and shrubbery replacement. Any required trees or shrubs that are removed shall be replaced with similar plant material size and type in accordance with the standards of this Code or permits issued under this Code. Any required mature deciduous tree which has been removed shall be replaced with a similar plant type with a two and one-half inch minimum caliper size. Any required mature evergreen or coniferous tree shall be replaced with a similar type tree with a minimum height of six feet. Any required mature shrubbery which is removed shall be replaced with a similar plant type that has a three-gallon minimum pot size.
(c) Screening of dumpsters and outdoor storage. All outside garbage or recycling dumpsters or any outdoor storage which requires screening on the site shall be screened from view of the street right-of-way by an opaque durable fence or wall with a minimum height of 6 feet in height.
(d) Screening of drive-through windows.
(1) All drive-through windows should be oriented away from DD, AD, and MD forms. When abutting DD, AD, or MD forms, the drive-through shall be screened by a fence or wall.
(2) Parking lot screening from residential. When a fence, wall, or hedge is required, it must be of a character necessary for adequate screening of a parking lot from adjacent residentially used property.
(e) Maintenance. The use of in-ground sprinkler systems is encouraged for blue grass, fescue, and other similar sod grass areas, and at a minimum, water services shall be conveniently located to provide a permanent and easily accessible means of watering. Native landscaping may be approved with an alternative landscape plan. Property owners shall be ultimately responsible for the proper maintenance of all required landscape materials, and any dead or substantially damaged landscape materials shall be replaced.
(1992 Code, App. B, § 15.49.060) (Ord. 42-83, passed 6-27-1983; Ord. 41-89, passed 5-15-1989; Ord. 4-91, passed 1-7-1991; Ord. 20-91, passed 3-4-1991; Ord. 51-94, passed 6-6-1994; Ord. 100-94, passed 11-7-1994; Ord. 76-97, passed 11-3-1997; Ord. 3-99, passed 1-4-1999; Ord. 115-99, passed 11-1-1999; Ord. 39-01, passed 5-7-2001; Ord. 37-03, passed 5-5-2003; Ord. 187-07, passed 12-3-2007; Ord. 9-13, passed 3-19-2013; Ord. 22-15, passed 3-3-2015; Ord. 23-16, passed 4-5-2016; Ord. 37-19, passed 4-2-2019; Ord. 16-21, passed 2-2-2021)