§ 97.071  CITY TREE AND LANDSCAPE BOARD.
   (A)   Purpose. Before a building permit is issued for any type of construction except single-family and two-family buildings, where off-street parking and open lot sales display and service areas are provided, a portion of such areas shall be given over to landscape beautification and natural plant growth, as is provided for herein.
   (B)   Definition of terms. For the purpose of this section, certain words and terms used herein shall be defined as follows:
      GROUNDS PERMIT. A permit which must be secured from the LRC prior to the development or redevelopment of, or addition to, any vehicular use area. The permit shall be secured from the City Inspector for a fee of $10.
      LANDSCAPE REVIEW COMMISSION. There shall be created a LANDSCAPE REVIEW COMMISSION (hereinafter referred to as the LRC) which shall be comprised of the Vincennes City Tree and Landscape Board, with the addition of a representative of the Knox County Soil and Water Conservation District as a non-voting subject-matter expert, and shall be operative upon the passage of this section. Three members shall constitute a quorum of the authority for the purpose of conducting its business and exercising its powers and for all other purposes. Action may be taken by the LRC upon a vote of majority of the members present, unless in any case the by-laws of the LRC shall require a larger number. In making appointments to the LRC, there shall be a preference for seeking members who are knowledgeable about landscaping.
      PLANT MATERIAL. To be used in conformance of this section shall conform to the standards given in the current “American Standard for Nursery Stock,” ANSI, or equal to.
      VARIANCE. Permission granted by the LRC, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, to depart from the landscape standards.
      VEHICULAR USE AREAS. Shall include all areas used for the circulation, parking, and/or display of any and all types of vehicles, boats or heavy construction equipment, whether self-propelled or not, and all land upon which vehicles traverse as a function of the primary uses. This shall include, but is not limited to, activities of a drive-in nature such as service stations, convenience stores, financial institutions, restaurants, and the like. Only driveways and parking spaces serving single-family and two family uses shall be an exception to the definition.
   (C)   Areas subject to provisions.
      (1)   All new commercial development, rental housing complexes, industrial, off-street parking, and other vehicular use areas except those located on, under, or within buildings, and those serving single and two family residential uses shall conform to the minimum landscaping requirements hereinafter provided by this section. Existing structures undergoing significant remodeling/reconstruction will also be subject to this section.
      (2)   In recognition of its unique character and building regulations, the Vincennes Historic District is exempt from the minimum landscaping requirements, but owners are encouraged to incorporate where possible appropriate plantings as part of vehicular use areas.
   (D)   Minimum requirements.
      (1)   General parking/vehicular use areas requirements: for perimeter screening;
      (2)   One tree per four parking spaces;
      (3)   Minimum of 75% shall be large or medium trees (cf. buffer requirements and list in street tree ordinance);
      (4)   One shrub per parking space (see § 97.073 for approved list of shrubs);
      (5)   Island requirements (for parking areas with over 16 spaces);
      (6)   Parking lots shall have one island per 16 parking spaces;
      (7)   Size of islands must be at least 200 square feet;
      (8)   Must contain at least one medium or large tree (cf. list in street tree ordinance);
      (9)   General commercial development requirements: interior planting requirements (non-vehicular use areas);
      (10)   One large trees per 500 sq. ft., or substitute two medium to small trees (cf. list in street tree ordinance);
      (11)   Eight shrubs per 500 sq. ft. (see § 97.073 for approved list of shrubs);
      (12)   Rental housing complex requirements;
      (13)   Interior planting requirements (non-vehicular use areas);
      (14)   Nine large trees and three medium or small trees per acre (cf. list in street tree ordinance);
      (15)   Twenty shrubs per acre (see § 97.073 for approved list of shrubs);
      (16)   Industrial development requirements;
      (17)   Interior planting requirements (non-vehicular use areas);
      (18)   Ten large trees and five medium to small trees per acre (cf. list in street tree ordinance);
      (19)   Twenty shrubs per acre (see § 97.073 for approved list of shrubs);
      (20)   For perimeter screening/setback (non-vehicular use areas);
      (21)   Setback of ten feet to adjoining property;
      (22)   Follow one of the following:
         (a)   One small to medium tree per 30 ft. of boundary (cf. list in street tree ordinance);
         (b)   One large tree and four shrubs per 50 ft. of boundary (cf. list in street tree ordinance and § 97.073); and
         (c)   For commercial development, the planting location may be varied, or the requirement of trees and shrubs may be waived under the following circumstances;
      (23)   They would impair visibility; and
      (24)   They would duplicate already occurring street trees.
         (a)   Must be maintained to the ordinance specifications, which includes number of trees/shrubs and health, following initial planting;
         (b)   Minimum planting size for shrubs is at least three gallon size and trees is two inch in caliper;
         (c)   Visibility of traffic is not to be obstructed by any of the requirements in this section, e.g. no large shrubs on corners of intersections, parking lot exits, etc;
         (d)   These are minimum landscaping requirements. Use of flowering plants, grasses, and artwork is encouraged as well;
         (e)   Preferred use of native plant species for landscaping. Can use the Landscaping with Plants Native to Indiana brochure by The Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society for ideas (found at http://www.inpaws.org); and
         (f)   List of invasive plant species (§ 97.074) not to be used in new landscaping developments. This list is to be kept current with invasive plants species rated as medium or high on the Indiana Invasive Species Council List (found at http://www.indianainvasivespecies.org).
   (E)   Grounds permit. Prior to the development or redevelopment of any aforementioned area, a grounds permit must be obtained from the LRC. Issuance of this permit is contingent upon the following:
      (1)   Submission of landscape plan. The property owner shall submit to the City Inspector's Office five copies of a combination site plan-planting plan. Said plan, hereafter referred to as a “landscape plan,” shall be required for all areas mentioned above. When the vehicular use area is relative to a proposed new structure, the landscape plan shall be submitted by the time of submittal of building plans of the proposed structure.
      (2)   Review of landscape plan. Within ten days of receipt of the plan by the City Inspector's Office, it shall be reviewed by the LRC, and if found in compliance with the requirements of this section, a grounds permit shall be issued.
      (3)   If not found in compliance, the LRC will review with the property owner suggestions in which the landscape plan could comply.
      (4)   Any variance from minimum requirements that are approved shall be in harmony with the general spirit, purpose and intent of this section. A variance may be granted by the LRC, in specific cases, if applicant demonstrates that strict application of the terms of the ordinance will result in practical difficulties in the use of the property and that variance approval will not be injurious to adjacent properties or the general welfare of the community.
      (5)   Developer has two weeks to appeal decision of the LRC to the Vincennes Board of Zoning Appeals. If not appealed, and still found noncompliant, no grounds permit will be issued.
   (F)   Existing plant material. In instances where healthy plant material exists on a site prior to its development, in part or whole, for purposes of off-street parking or other vehicular use areas, the LRC may adjust the application of the above-mentioned standards to allow credit for such plant material if, in its opinion, such an adjustment is in keeping with and will preserve the intent of this section.
   (G)   Penalty. Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this section shall be fined $100 upon conviction for each offense and a separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continued. Total fines are not to exceed $2,500. Individuals in noncompliance will be notified by a written letter and have a week to remedy situation before being fined.
   (H)   Reporting. The City Inspector and City Tree and Landscape Board will report annually to the City Council about the efficacy of the section. A list of businesses with landscape plans for the year and how those businesses complied will be included in the report.
   (I)   Existence of emergency. That an emergency exists and this section shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage and approval by the Mayor.
(‘71 Code, §§ 101.02 - 101.06)  (Ord. 32-1986, passed 10-14-86; Am. Ord. 4-2008, passed 6-9-08; Am. Ord. 10-2010, passed 5-24-10; Am. Ord. 8-2018, passed 6-9-18)