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All plant material shall be nursery grown, installed, and maintained in accordance with good horticultural practices. Plant material shall meet current standards set by the Nursery and Landscape Association American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1-2004) and shall be freshly dug, have uniform shape and be free of disease, insects and/or damage. Alternatives to these materials that can be shown to meet both the intent and requirements of this Zoning Code may be approved as part of a site plan:
(a) Ground Cover and Grass. Ground cover shall be planted a minimum of eight inches (8 in.) on center and shall be planted in such a manner to present a finished appearance and seventy-five percent (75%) coverage after one (1) complete growing season. Grass shall be planted in species normally used as turf grass. All landscape areas are required to be mulched with rocks, pebbles, wood chips or other materials to be approved as part of the landscape plan.
(b) Height. Shall be at least 12 to 15 inches high at planting, and are generally used in conjunction with walls and fences.
(c) Shrubs. Shrubs shall be at least two (2) feet average height and spread at the time of planting, and a minimum size of three (3) feet height and spread at maturity, where required for screening, shall form a continuous, year-round, solid visual screen within five (5) years after planting. Shrubs should be creatively placed in groupings of odd numbers not less than three (3) plants.
(d) Trees. At the time of planting deciduous trees shall be 2 inch diameter for canopy shade and shade trees and 1-1/2 inch diameter for small accent and ornamental trees (as measured six inches above ground). Clump type species shall be a minimum of six (6) feet tall. Evergreen trees shall be a minimum of six and one-half (6.5) feet tall.
(1) Diversity. Along an individual street, uniform street tree plantings are desirable. However, over-use of a few species is inevitable without a conscious effort to vary plant species and families. The use of several varieties adds interest to the plantings of the City and insures against the loss of all trees in case of an epidemic disease striking any one species. The International Society of Arboriculture's "Diversification Formula" will be used as a guideline to prevent over planting of a single tree species or family. This formula states that, out of the total tree planting, no more than 10% should be from one family, and no more than 5% should be of one species. See "Recommended Trees” which follows.
(2) Hazards. Trees which produce nuts, seeds, or fruit that can create a hazard to pedestrians or vehicles, shall not be planted in such a manner that the natural drip line of an average adult tree of the species planted will be any closer than three feet (3 ft.) of a pedestrian walkway or parking lot.
(3) Recommended Trees. The Tree List approved for use within the City, as approved by the Waterville Tree Commission, is designed to encourage an imaginative selection of landscape trees. This list is divided into three size categories: large trees which mature at a height of 50 feet or more (Group A); medium trees reaching a mature height of between 30 and 50 feet (Group B); and small trees which range from 10 to 30 feet at maturity (Group C). Tree lawn sizes must accommodate the tree size planted: Group A (>7 ft.), Group B (4-7 ft.), Group C (3-4 ft.). Other proposed species not contained in this list must be approved by the Planning Commission upon recommendation by the Waterville Tree Commission.
(4) Prohibited Tree Species. Trees identified by the Waterville Tree Commission as prohibited tree species shall not be used within any required landscaping in the City.
(e) Maintenance and Replacement for Required Landscape Areas and Buffer Yards. All landscaping materials shall be installed in accordance with accepted, good construction and planting procedures including removal of wire basket, pulling burlap back and staking for one year only. The owner/lessee or responsible party of the property shall be responsible for the continued property maintenance of all landscaping materials and areas, and shall keep them in a proper, neat and orderly appearance, free from refuse and debris at all times.
All unhealthy or dead plant material shall be replaced within one year, or by the next planting period, whichever comes first. Violation of these installation and maintenance provisions shall be grounds for the City to require replacement of the landscape material or institute legal proceedings to enforce the provisions of this section. Proper maintenance should be accomplished by the following standards:
(1) All plant growth in landscaped areas shall be controlled by pruning, trimming, or other suitable methods so that plant materials do not interfere with public utilities, restrict pedestrian or vehicular access, or otherwise constitute a hazard.
(2) All planted areas shall be maintained in a weed-free condition, clear of undesirable undergrowth, and free from refuse and debris.
(3) Replacement plants shall conform to the standards that govern the original installation. Dead or unhealthy plants shall be replaced within the next planting season.
(4) Representatives of the City may inspect landscaping and compare observed conditions with the approved landscaping plan on file.
(Ord. 26-05. Passed 1-23-06.)