(A)   Generally. A landscaping plan is required for all uses which require site plan review. The landscaping plan must be done in coordination with vehicular and pedestrian traffic movement and consider issues of safety and security in design.
   (B)   Purpose. The city requires the use of landscaping in recognition of the value of landscaping to preserve and enhance the area's image, promote the retention and use of existing vegetation, safeguard property values, protect public and private investments, and promote high-quality developments and promote the compatibility between land uses by reducing the visual, noise, and lighting impacts of specific development on users of the site and abutting uses.
   (C)   Submittal requirements. The following items are required for a complete landscape plan:
      (1)   Plans should be submitted at the same scale as the overall site plan;
      (2)   Location, general type, and quality of existing vegetation, including specimen trees and size;
      (3)   Existing vegetation to be saved and size;
      (4)   Methods and details for protecting existing vegetation during construction;
      (5)   Locations and labels for all proposed plants;
      (6)   Plant lists or schedules showing the required and proposed quantities and planting sizes;
      (7)   Location and description of other landscape improvements, such as earth berms, walls, fences, screens, sculptures, fountains, street furniture, lights, and courts or paved areas;
      (8)   Planting and installation details as necessary to ensure conformance with all required standards; and
      (9)   Description of street trees proposed or existing in the public right-of-way as regulated by the Shade Tree Commission. Street trees in public rights-of-way shall not be considered required landscaping for compliance with this chapter.
   (D)   Landscaping and screening standards.
      (1)   Landscaped frontage strips of sites requiring site plan review and general requirements.
         (a)   General requirements. The landscaping strip shall extent along the street frontage of these sites and may be pierced by access ways to the extent necessary to comply with applicable ordinances. The landscaped strips can be of a varying width, not be less than ten feet in width. All street frontage areas including the both frontage areas on a corner lot shall be required to include landscape strips on the frontage.
         (b)   Minimum planting requirements. One shade tree and ten shrubs per 50 feet of linear street frontage. The width of access ways which pierce the strip shall be included in the calculation of lineal dimensions. Commercial and industrial zones should include landscape breaks to insure a clear line of sight from the public right-of-way for safety and security.
         (c)   Supplemental landscape requirements; spacing of trees. Trees in a perimeter landscape strip may be planted singly or in clusters. Clusters of trees shall be avoided in the interior of parking lots to increase safety and security.
         (d)   General landscape barrier. The Planning Commission may impose a general landscape barrier. A hedge, wall, fence, berm, or other landscape barrier shall be located within the perimeter landscape strip. Unless otherwise provided in this section, the barrier shall be not less than three feet in height.
         (e)   Living and nonliving barriers. If walls, fences, or other nonliving barriers are used as elements of the landscape barrier; shrubs or vines shall be planted as determined by the Planning Commission to be meet the purpose of this section.
         (f)   Earth berms. Earth berms may be used only when installed in conjunction with sufficient plant material to satisfy the provisions of this section. The slope of a berm shall not exceed a ratio of 3:1.
         (g)   Additional landscape treatment. The remainder of the perimeter landscape strip shall be landscaped with grass, ground cover, or other appropriate landscape treatment. Sand or pavement shall not be considered to be appropriate landscape treatment unless approved by the Planning Commission.
      (2)   Parking lot landscaping.
         (a)   Perimeter parking lot landscaping for rear and side yards. For sites larger than 10,000 square feet, the strip must be a minimum of ten feet wide. For sites smaller than 10,000 square feet, the strip must be a minimum of five feet wide. One tree and three shrubs are required for 50 feet of perimeter. Alternately, the applicant may preserve at least 25 feet of existing woodlands. Existing woodlands must be preserved to the extent possible. Preservation of existing woodlands in lieu of planting requirements shall be at the discretion of the Planning Commission.
         (b)   Interior parking lot landscaping. One planting island for every 20 parking spaces. In very large lots of 50,000 square feet or more, fewer, but larger islands may be appropriate to provide greater visual relief and create an environment more conducive for healthy tree growth.
         (c)   Planting islands. A safe site distance at vehicular entrances must be maintained. The trees must have a clear trunk at least six feet above the finished grade to allow vehicular circulation and a clear line of sight beneath the tree canopy without causing any damage. No tree planting area may be less than five feet wide in any dimension for traffic control.
         (d)   Safety and security. Interior parking lot plantings shall not include any shrub which would exceed 24 inches in height at maturity and no clustering of trees shall be permitted in planting islands.
   (E)   Plant materials.
      (1)   Shrub and ground cover. All required ground cover plants and shrubs must be of sufficient size and number to meet the required standards within three years of planting. Mulch (as a ground cover) must be confined to areas underneath plants and is not a substitute for ground cover plants. Trees may be deciduous or evergreen. Deciduous trees at the time of planting must have a minimum diameter of three inches, measured five feet above the ground, and have a minimum height of eight feet. Evergreen trees at the time of planting must be a minimum of six feet in height.
      (2)   Existing vegetation. Existing landscaping or natural vegetation may be used to meet the standards, if protected and maintained during the construction phase of the development. When the existing trees are at least 12 inches in diameter, measured five feet above the ground, they may count triple towards meeting the tree requirements of a landscaping standard. Landscape materials should be selected and sited to produce a hardy and drought-resistant landscape area. Selection should include consideration of soil-type and depth, the amount of maintenance required, spacing, exposure to sun and wind, the slope and contours of the site, and compatibility with existing native vegetation preserved on the site. Prohibited plants include plants identified by the Planning Director as potentially damaging to sidewalks, roads, underground utilities, drainage improvements, foundations, and the like. Fruit-bearing trees are prohibited.
      (3)   Exceeding standards. Landscaping materials that exceed the standards may be substituted for the minimums so long as all fence or vegetation height limitations are met, including the vision clearance standards as required by engineering or safety departments.
   (F)   Approval. Approval of the landscape plan is subject to the approval of the site plan by the procedures set forth in city's ordinances. See § 154.070, Site Plan Review; Conformance.
   (G)   Installation and maintenance. Plant material must be installed to current nursery industry standards. Plant materials must be properly supported to ensure survival. Support devices such as guy wires or stakes must not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian movement. Maintenance of landscaped areas is the on-going responsibility of the property owner. Required landscaping must be continuously maintained in a healthy manner. Plants that die must be replaced in kind.
   (H)   Completion of landscaping. The required landscaping must be installed prior to the issuance of a final certificate of occupancy. See § 154.070, Site Plan Review; Conformance and § 154.075, Certificate of Occupancy.
   (I)   Planning Commission discretion. The Planning Commission may vary these requirements when deemed appropriate. Such variation must be requested by the applicant prior to consideration of plan approval.
('65 Code, § 1323.26) (Ord. 98-073, passed 7-21-98)