It is found and declared in the areas of the City that are or may become blighted with the resulting impairment of taxable values upon which, in large part, municipal revenues depend, that such blighted areas are detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens and to the economic welfare of the Municipality; that in order to improve and maintain the general character of the Municipality it is necessary to rehabilitate such blighted area including landscaping; and that the conditions found in blighted areas cannot be remedied by the ordinary operations of private enterprise with due regard to the general welfare of the public, without public participation.
   The purposes of this chapter are to enhance the appearance of buildings and to rehabilitate certain areas by eliminating blight and blighting factors within all areas of the City through the provision of standardized and strengthened provisions for landscaping for the protection of the health, safety and general welfare of the Municipality; to better define and articulate outdoor spaces and architectural elements; to preserve existing values of other properties within or adjacent to such areas and all other areas of the City; and to preserve the taxable value of the property within such areas and all other areas of the City.
   It is expressly recognized that blight is observable at different states of severity, and that moderate blight unremedied creates a strong probability that severe blight will follow.  Therefore conditions that constitute blight, including the absence of landscaping, landscaping that is no longer healthy, and landscaping that is dead, are to be broadly construed to permit a Municipality to make an early identifications of problems and to take early remedial action to correct a demonstrated pattern of deterioration and to prevent worsening of blight conditions.
   (a)   Applicability.   The provisions of this section shall apply to all lots, sites and parcels which hereafter are developed, redeveloped or expanded pursuant to a site plan required by Ordinance 1276.  No certificate of occupancy shall be issued unless acceptable and aesthetically pleasing landscaping is provided and the requirement of this section are met.
   (b)   Installation and maintenance.
         (1)   Landscaping shall be planted in a sound manner according to sound planting procedures.  Standards and procedures of the American Standard for Nursery Stock shall be followed where applicable.  Landscaping areas shall be protected by curbs or other acceptable means from vehicular encroachment and damage.  If building or paving construction is completed during the planting season then no certificate of occupancy shall be issued until landscaping is provided.  If building or paving construction is completed in a time of year when planting can not be completed, then a temporary certificate of occupancy shall be issued after the owner provides a performance bond to the City in an amount which insures landscaping installation.
         (2)   Landscaping shall be maintained in good condition to present a healthy, neat and orderly appearance free from refuse and debris.  (Weed Control is addressed in Chapter 1459).  All unhealthy and dead materials shall be replaced within forty-five days or the next appropriate planting period whichever comes first.  Grass areas shall be kept weed free and mowed on a regular basis.  All edges shall be trimmed and maintained.  All areas shall be provided with a readily available water supply.  If hoses are used to supply water then said hoses shall not cross sidewalks, parking lots or driveways in a hazardous manner.
   (c)   General standards.
         (1)   All portions of the landscaped area shall be planted with grass, ground cover, shrubbery or other suitable plant material except paved patios, terraces, sidewalks and similar site features.
         (2)   A mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees shall be provided on all unpaved surfaces and the banks of ponds or retention basins.
         (3)   Required trees and shrubs may be planted at uniform intervals, at random or in groupings.
         (4)   All landscape plans shall be prepared by a landscape architect or landscape professional familiar with acceptable plantings for this climate and the site conditions.
         (5)   Current trees and existing planting(s) that are significant to the site shall be preserved, wherever possible, to enhance the development.
         (6)   All plans shall be reviewed by the Community Development Department in accordance to this section.
   (d)   Private ponds.  Ponds are permitted for recreational, scenic or storm water management purposes.  Ponds are required to meet all federal, state, county and municipal requirements.  The property owner shall maintain the pond, filter system and site.  The maintenance shall include but not be limited to the cleaning of the pond, if dry the mowing of grass in conformance to City Ordinance and the elimination of any nuisance created by standing water or a water body.
(Ord. 2006-11.  Passed 9-5-06.)