Chapter 17.64LANDSCAPING REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

17.64.010
Purpose.
17.64.020
Applicability.
17.64.030
Landscape plan approval.
17.64.040
Preservation of significant trees.
17.64.050
Surface parking areas.
17.64.060
Adjacent to freeway right-of-way.
17.64.070
General standards for all landscape areas.
17.64.080
Irrigation.
17.64.090
Timing of installation.
17.64.100
Tree replacement.
17.64.110
Maintenance.
17.64.120
Failure to maintain landscaping.
17.64.010Purpose.

The purpose of these regulations is to preserve and enhance the aesthetic character of the city, to improve the aesthetic quality of the built environment, to maintain existing significant vegetation, to reduce impacts of development on drainage systems and natural habitats, to promote the efficient use of water, and to support the “Mountains-to-Sound Greenway.”

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.020Applicability.

All new development except for single-family residences shall be subject to the landscaping provisions required by the underlying zoning district (see specific zoning district regulations) as well as the provisions of this section.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.030Landscape plan approval.

Development applications shall include a landscape plan consistent with the requirements of this section. The landscape plan should be prepared or approved by a licensed landscape architect, certified nurseryman, or certified landscaper, and drawn on the same base map as the development plans. The landscape plan shall include:

A. Total landscape area, including location of any street trees;

B. Identification of landscape materials (botanical/common name) and applicable size;

C. Property lines;

D. Impervious surfaces, including parking stalls, access aisles, and other vehicle use areas;

E. Natural or man-made water features or bodies;

F. Existing or proposed structures, fences and retaining walls;

G. Natural features or vegetation left in a natural state;

H. Location and plan for all existing significant trees;

I. Any designated recreational and/or open space areas.

No building permit or clearing and grading permit shall be issued where landscaping is required until a landscaping plan has been submitted to, and approved by, the city. The landscape plan shall include identification and provisions for any existing “significant trees” and any required street trees, as well as other landscaping requirements.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.040Preservation of significant trees.

Significant trees in areas in wetlands, fish and wildlife conservation areas, frequently flooded areas, geologically hazardous areas as defined in CEMC Chapter 18.01, and in the required landscaped buffer adjacent to I-90, shall be preserved. “Significant trees” are defined as existing healthy trees which, when measured four feet above grade, have a minimum diameter of eight inches for evergreen trees, or twelve inches for deciduous trees. Significant trees shall be identified by a tree survey prepared by the applicant and shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible. During construction, the applicant shall use accepted preservation techniques to protect significant trees designated for retention.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.050Surface parking areas.

Surface parking areas shall provide perimeter and interior landscaping as shown below. The perimeter landscaping may be used to meet landscape area requirements of the underlying zoning district.

A. Perimeter Landscaping. The perimeter of all parking areas shall be landscaped. Parking areas that abut a residential zone shall be landscaped with a five foot B2 buffer. Parking lots perimeters not adjacent to residential zone shall be landscaped with a five foot B1 buffer. Parking lots adjacent to a public right-of-way shall be landscaped with a five foot B2 buffer.

B. Landscaping shall be provided within all surface parking areas encompassing six or more stalls. Such parking areas shall have a minimum of ten percent of the parking area, maneuvering area and loading space landscaped, provided that no landscaping area shall be less than fifty square feet in area, and no parking shall be located more than one hundred feet from a landscaped area. Perimeter landscaping, required adjacent to property lines and/or residential areas, shall not be calculated as part of the ten percent figure.

C. Landscaped islands shall be provided and distributed throughout the parking area at a ratio of one tree for every six parking stalls. Landscaped islands shall be a minimum of twenty-five square feet in size and contain a minimum of one tree of suitable species and ground cover plantings.

D. Permanent curbs or structural barriers shall be provided to protect the plantings from vehicle overhang and damage.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.060Adjacent to freeway right-of-way.

All development adjacent to Interstate 90 shall provide a vegetative and/or topographical buffer adjacent to the freeway right-of-way. Buffers shall be of an adequate width and shall contain adequate vegetation to screen uses from being viewed from the freeway. Buffers for attractive open space areas such as parks, golf courses and open space may contain landscaping that permits filtered views of the open space activity. If existing native vegetation within this buffer is insufficient to provide a visual screen, the city may require supplemental plantings and/or an increase in the width of the buffer.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.070General standards for all landscape areas.

A. All new development shall comply with the screening and buffering required by the buffering matrix in Table 17.64-1 and the following standards:

1. B.1 – Low Screen Buffer. This buffer is intended for areas where a limited buffer screen is required to separate uses that are potentially incompatible. This buffer is composed of live ground cover through out the buffer and trees planted every thirty feet along the length of the buffer.

2. B.2 – Medium Screen Buffer. This buffer is intended for areas where a moderate buffer is needed to separate incompatible uses. This buffer is composed of live ground cover through out the buffer, evergreen shrubs which reach a minimum of two to four feet in height and trees planted every thirty feet along the length of the buffer.

3. B.3 – High Screen Buffer. This buffer is used where a high degree of visual screening is required between incompatible uses. This buffer consists of a fully site obscuring fence with landscaping between the fence and the property line composed of live ground cover through out the buffer, evergreen shrubs which reach a minimum of six feet in height and trees planted every thirty feet along the length of the buffer.

Table 17.64-1. 

District of Development

Minimum buffer requirements for side and rear yards abutting contrasting district

R

RM

Commercial

I

BP

RM

5/B2

5/B2

10/B1

10/B2

10/B2

Commercial (all)

10/B3

5/B3

5/B1

5/B1

5/B1

I

20/B3

20/B3

5/Bl

5/B1

10/B2

BP

20/B3

20/B3

5/Bl

10/B2

5/B1

B. All new landscape areas shall be subject to the following provisions:

1. Plant selection shall consider adaptability to climate, geologic, and topographical characteristics of the site. Bark, mulch, gravel or other non-vegetative material shall only be used in conjunction with landscaping to assist vegetative growth and maintenance or to visually complement plant material. Non-vegetative material is not a substitute for plant material.

2. Berms shall not exceed a slope of two horizontal feet to one vertical foot (2:1).

3. Landscape areas shall be provided with adequate drainage.

4. Retention of existing substantial vegetation is encouraged.

5. Use of native vegetation is encouraged.

6. All plants shall conform to American Association of Nurserymen (AAN) grades and standards as published in the “American Standards for Nursery Stock” manual, provided that existing healthy vegetation used to augment new plantings shall not be required to meet the standards of this manual.

7. Single-stemmed trees required pursuant to these regulations shall, at the time of planting, conform to the following standards:

a. Deciduous trees shall have a minimum caliper of two inches and a height of twelve feet.

b. Conifers and evergreens shall be at least six feet in height.

8. Multi-stemmed trees shall be permitted as an option to single-stemmed trees provided that such multiple-stemmed trees are at least eight feet in height and not allowed within street rights-of-way.

9. Medium and tall shrubs required pursuant to these regulations shall be at least twenty-four to thirty inches in height at time of planting.

10. Groundcover required pursuant to these regulations shall be at least four inches in height at time of planting and spaced to result in the required coverage within three years.

11. Landscape water features shall not use potable water unless the water feature recirculates water used in its operation.

12. Landscaping shall not conflict with the safety of those using adjacent sidewalks or with traffic safety.

13. Required landscape areas which, at the determination of the city, are inappropriate to landscape due to the existence of some natural or man-made feature, shall be relocated: first, to another lot line, or second, to an equal-sized area elsewhere on the property as directed by the city.

14. Plants listed on the Noxious Weed List of the Kittitas County Weed Board or the State of Washington Noxious Weed List are prohibited in landscaped areas.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.080Irrigation.

All plants shall receive sufficient water to assure their survival. Landscaping that can be supported by natural precipitation patterns to encourage the conservation of water. Automatic irrigation systems are required for all landscaped areas required by this title unless a landscape architect, certified nurseryman, or certified landscaper certifies that the proposed landscaping consists of native or other suitable vegetation which is capable of surviving without supplemental irrigation. Irrigation systems shall make provisions for winterization. Irrigation water, whether manually applied or applied through an irrigation system, shall be applied with the goals of avoiding runoff and overspray. An irrigation plan and schedule shall be included as part of the required landscape plan.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.090Timing of installation.

All required landscaping shall be installed prior to building occupancy, provided that the city may authorize up to a one hundred eighty-day delay when planting season conflicts could produce a high probability of plant loss. A bond or assignment of funds in the amount of one hundred twenty-five percent of the work and materials required to install the approved landscaping shall be required.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.100Tree replacement.

If any existing tree(s) designated for retention as part of the required landscaping is damaged or destroyed replacement trees shall be planted as follows:

Deciduous trees – Minimum caliper of three inches;

Evergreen trees – Minimum height of twelve feet.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.110Maintenance.

Whenever landscaping is or has been required in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the landscaping shall be permanently maintained in a healthy growing condition, free of trash and debris, so to accomplish the purpose for which it was initially required. Dead or dying plantings shall be removed and replaced or repaired unless specifically required to provide wildlife habitat. Irrigation systems shall be maintained and periodically inspected to assure proper functioning.

(Ord. 1163 § 1 (part), 2001)

17.64.120Failure to maintain landscaping.

The city planner or designated representative is hereby authorized and empowered to notify the owner of any property required to be landscaped, or the agent, tenant, lessee or assignee of any such owner, that the landscaping is not being adequately maintained and the specific nature of such failure to maintain. The notice shall specify the date by which the maintenance must be accomplished, and shall be sent by certified mail, addressed to the owner at the last known address.

Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner or agent so notified to perform the required maintenance within the time specified in the written notice, or within fifteen days after the date of such notice if the notice is returned to the city by the by the Post Office because of the inability to make delivery thereof provided the notice was properly addressed to the last known address of the owner or agent, the city planner or representative may take additional enforcement action as authorized by this title.