Chapter 16.14
LANDSCAPING

Sections:

16.14.010    Administrative provisions.

16.14.020    Purpose of landscape standards.

16.14.030    Applicability.

16.14.040    General requirements.

16.14.050    Buffering.

16.14.060    Required plant materials.

16.14.070    Description of landscape standards.

16.14.080    General provisions.

16.14.090    Installation.

16.14.100    Irrigation.

16.14.110    Landscape plans.

16.14.120    Plant materials standards.

16.14.130    Credit for preservation of existing vegetation.

16.14.140    Preservation of existing vegetation.

16.14.150    Street frontages.

16.14.160    Vision clearance area landscaping.

16.14.170    Parking lot landscape standards.

16.14.180    Landscaping maintenance.

16.14.010 Administrative provisions.

See Chapter 16.12 BLMC. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.020 Purpose of landscape standards.

Landscape standards are designed to:

A. Improve the appearance and visual character of the community.

B. Promote compatibility between all land uses by reducing the visual, noise, and lighting impacts of development on adjacent properties.

C. Unify development, and enhance and define public and private spaces on a site.

D. Reduce the visual impact of glare, headlights, and parking lot lights from the public right-of-way and from adjoining properties.

E. Reduce the area of impervious surfaces.

F. Reduce the level of carbon dioxide in areas of heavy vehicle use and return pure oxygen to the atmosphere.

G. Encourage safe and efficient on-site circulation.

H. Encourage the retention and use of existing vegetation.

I. Provide shade as a means of mitigating heat and exposure in parking lots and other paved areas.

J. Encourage efficient water use and conservation.

K. Encourage a pedestrian-oriented street environment. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.030 Applicability.

The landscape standards reflected in Tables 16.14A and 16.14B establish minimum landscape requirements that apply to all developments, except:

A. Minor building alterations.

B. Site improvements for improved public access.

C. Change of use not affecting exterior of building.

D. Construction of one detached single-family home or duplex.

E. Short plats. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.040 General requirements.

A. All portions of development sites not used for buildings, parking, driveways, walkways, outdoor storage, plazas, stormwater ponds, or similar improvements shall either remain in their native state or be landscaped in accordance with the purpose of this chapter.

B. Required landscaping elements shall be designed by a licensed landscape architect.

C. The type, quantity, and arrangement of installed plants shall be appropriate to the size and purpose of the landscape area.

D. Nonvegetative material such as gravel, mulch, and bark may supplement but not substitute for plantings.

E. Based on site-specific factors such as topography and micro-climate, the director or designee may waive or amend specific landscaping requirements as necessary to achieve the purpose of this chapter.

F. The director or designee may require berms or similar artificial topographical features.

G. Planting beds shall not be located over impervious surfaces.

Table 16.14A Site Specific Buffering Requirements 

 

L-1 Basic

L-2 Low Screen

L-3 High Screen

L-4 High Wall

L-5 Partial Screen Fence

L-6 Full Screen Fence

In setback areas of multiple-family development (except as otherwise noted)

X

Multiple-family parking (where parking areas abut interior property line or right-of-way)

X

Recycling and garbage areas in residential zones

 

 

X

Property lines within 75 feet of delivery and loading areas on commercially zoned lots abutting residential zones

X

Street frontage of commercial development where frontage is not occupied by parking, except those properties in the downtown subject to design standards as set forth in Chapter 18.35 BLMC

X

Outdoor merchandise display areas of greater than 300 square feet in commercial zones, excluding plant merchandise displays

 

X

 

 

 

Garbage and recycle screening in commercial zones

X

Parking area landscaping along a public or private right-of-way

X

Parking area driveway or primary circulation route landscaping

X

Parking and loading areas for institutional and commercial uses abutting a residentially zoned property

 

X

Campground or recreational vehicle park street frontage screening

X

Manufactured home park property boundaries

X

 

Electrical substation unless fully enclosed within a building

X

Telecommunication or satellite relay station unless fully enclosed within a building

X

Pump station, wellhead, tank-style reservoir, and other water or sewer facilities unless fully enclosed within a building

X

Vehicle or equipment storage yard in commercial zones

 

X

Interior property lines for essential public facility sites

X

 

 

 

(Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.050 Buffering.

Buffering between zones is required based on the provisions of Table 16.14B.

A. Buffering requirements between abutting zones is the requirement of each developing or redeveloping property. Buffering requirements established by Table 16.14B do not apply to the portion of the property adjacent to a public or private road.

1. Cooperative Agreements. Developers are encouraged to enter into cooperative agreements with adjacent properties to develop a single buffer with joint responsibility for maintenance. This eliminates the need for double buffering.

2. Cooperative Buffering. It is the intent of this code to require cooperative buffering to maximize benefit and equitably burden each property owner where cooperative agreements are not achieved. Where cooperative buffering would create an alleyway or “no man’s land” between walls, fences, or linear plantings, an alternative landscape standard shall be applied so as to accentuate the benefits of a barrier without creating the negative effects of an isolated alleyway.

B. Critical Area Buffers. In cases where critical area buffers occupy the area that would be required for a landscaping, the landscaping requirement may be eliminated or reduced by the director or designee in keeping with the substantive requirements found in BLMC 16.22.040(D) and (E).

C. Residential Buffers. Where buffers required by Table 16.14B occur on residential plats, the buffer shall be on a separate parcel or tract and shall be owned and maintained by a homeowners’ association.

D. Large Retail Buffers.

1. For retail establishments with buffers along interior property lines that exceed 12 feet in width, as required by the City of Bonney Lake Downtown Design Standards, the L-3 and L-4 planting requirements shall be modified to require two rows of trees within the required landscape buffer. Tree rows shall be staggered.

2. For retail establishments with buffers along interior property lines that exceed 20 feet in width, as required by the City of Bonney Lake Downtown Design Standards, the L-3 and L-4 planting requirements shall be modified to require two rows of trees and a four-foot-high berm within the required landscape buffer. Tree rows shall be staggered.

 

Table 16.14B Zone Buffering Requirements 

 

RC-5, R-1, R-2

R-3

C-1

C-2, E, MC

PF, DM, or DC

RC-5, R-1, R-2

 

L-3

L-3

L-3

L-3

R-3

L-3

L-3

L-3

L-3

C-1

L-3

L-3

L-3

L-3

C-2, E, MC

L-4

L-3

L-3

L-3

PF, DM, or DC

L-3

L-3

L-3

L-3

 

(Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.060 Required plant materials.

Plants used within required landscape areas shall be locally hardy, noninvasive plants with a mature size and growth habit appropriate to the location and use. The city of Bonney Lake maintains a plant materials list to aid in the selection of plant materials. Plants shall be selected from this list. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.070 Description of landscape standards.

A. Basic Landscape Standard (L-1). A landscape treatment to enhance the appearance of street frontages and yard areas. A linear effect is not the goal, but a visually pleasing, park-like effect should be achieved. The minimum width shall be consistent with the setback area unless otherwise specified herein.

1. Required Plant Materials. Basic landscape standard (L-1) requires the installation and maintenance of all of the following:

a. One tree per 30 linear feet as measured along the front lot line.

b. Six shrubs per 30 linear feet as measured along the front lot line.

c. The use of turf as ground cover is discouraged. Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance vegetative ground cover is encouraged.

d. Living plant materials covering a minimum of 70 percent of the required landscape area within five years of planting. The required plant materials may be installed in the required area in any arrangement and do not need to be linear in design.

2. Exceptions to Required Plant Materials. An exception to the requirement in subsection (A)(1)(a) of this section shall be granted if, excluding any required parking area landscaping, the landscape area required to comply with the L-1 basic landscape standard is located entirely within 15 feet of a building.

B. Low Screen Landscape Standard (L-2). A landscape treatment to enhance the visual appearance of linear spaces while allowing high visibility and an open effect. Low screen landscape areas shall be a minimum of seven feet wide unless otherwise specified herein.

1. Required Plant Materials. Low screen landscape standard (L-2) requires the installation and maintenance of all of the following:

a. Low shrubs to form a continuous screen at least 24 inches high within five years and maintained at a height not to exceed 42 inches.

b. One canopy tree per 30 linear feet as measured along the street lot line.

c. Living plant materials covering a minimum of 70 percent of the required landscape area within five years of planting.

d. The use of turf as ground cover is discouraged. Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance vegetative ground cover is encouraged.

2. A masonry wall, solid wood fence, or a berm between 30 and 42 inches high shall be permitted as a substitute for the required low shrubs, but the trees and other plant materials are still required. When applied along street frontage, the masonry wall is to be placed farthest from the street with the required landscaping in between the wall and street. When applied along an abutting property, the masonry wall may be placed along the interior lot line.

Figure 16.14A

C. High Screen Landscape Standard (L-3). A landscape treatment to create a living visual barrier and insert a psychological separation. A high screen landscape area shall have a minimum width of seven feet unless otherwise specified herein.

1. Required Plant Materials. High screen landscape standard (L-3) requires the installation and maintenance of all of the following:

a. Evergreen shrubs that are in at least five-gallon containers at the time of planting to form a continuous screen, at least six feet high, within five years of planting.

b. One tree per 30 linear feet as measured along interior lot lines. Evergreens or canopy trees may be used as appropriate to provide the desired screening.

c. Living plant materials covering a minimum of 70 percent of the required landscape area within five years of planting.

d. The use of turf as ground cover is discouraged. Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance vegetative ground cover is encouraged.

2. A masonry wall or solid wood fence at least six feet high shall be permitted as a substitute for the shrubs but the trees and other plant materials are still required. When this landscape standard is applied along street frontage, the screen or wall is to be placed farthest from the street with the required landscaping in between the wall and street. When along a street frontage, vines shall be planted a maximum of eight feet on center on the streetward side of the wall. When applied along an abutting property, the masonry wall may be placed along the interior lot line.

Figure 16.14B

Figure 16.14C

D. High Wall Landscape Standard (L-4). A landscape treatment to create a visual separation that provides noise buffering and added security and privacy. A high wall landscape area shall have a minimum width of seven feet and requires the installation and maintenance of all of the following:

1. Masonry wall at least six feet high with a maximum height of seven feet. When applied along street lot lines, the wall shall be placed farthest from the street with the required landscaping in between the wall and the street. When along a street frontage, vines shall be planted a maximum of eight feet on center on the streetward side of the wall. When abutting an adjacent parcel, the wall may be placed along the interior lot line.

2. One tree per 30 linear feet as measured along interior lot lines. Evergreens or canopy trees may be used as appropriate to provide the desired screening.

3. Four high shrubs or vines are required per 30 linear feet of wall.

4. Living plant material must cover a minimum of 70 percent of the required landscape area within five years of planting.

5. The use of turf as ground cover is discouraged. Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance vegetative ground cover is encouraged.

Figure 16.14D

E. Partial Screen Fence Landscape Standard (L-5). A landscape treatment to create a psychological definition of separate spaces while allowing some visibility for security purposes. A partial screen fence landscape area shall have a minimum width as necessary to allow for maintenance of the fence and requires the installation and maintenance of fences at least six feet high that are at least 50 percent site-obscuring, such as a dark colored, vinyl coated chain link fence. Vines are permitted on fences to fulfill the requirement for a screening fence provided they would be 50 percent site-obscuring within five years of planting. Fences may be made of wood, metal, masonry, or other permanent materials.

Figure 16.14E

F. Full Screen Fence Landscape Standard (L-6). A landscape treatment to create a complete visual break between separate spaces. A full screen fence landscape area shall have a minimum width as necessary to allow for maintenance of the fence and requires the installation and maintenance of fences at least six feet high with a maximum height of seven feet that are 100 percent site-obscuring. Fences may be made of wood, metal, masonry or other permanent materials.

Figure 16.14F

(Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.080 General provisions.

A. Rain gardens, fully landscaped infiltration basins, vegetated swales and other water quality features may be counted as required landscape areas, provided the required planting standard can be substantially achieved. Landscaping design that encourages rainwater retention and infiltration is encouraged.

B. The use of native plants is encouraged. Flexibility in interpreting planting standards shall be applied where necessary to accommodate the unique growth habits of native plants and the limits on availability of appropriately sized native plant specimens.

C. Drought-tolerant plantings are encouraged. Water conservation is a primary purpose of this code. However, if any planting used for required landscaping is not drought tolerant, an irrigation system shall be installed to ensure plant survival (see BLMC 16.14.100).

D. Outdoor art, street furniture, and landscape architectural elements are encouraged. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.090 Installation.

Plants shall be installed using best landscaping practices. Prior to planting, soils shall be made conducive to healthy growth. Newly planted trees shall be properly staked. Plants shall be manually irrigated if necessary until they are established. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.100 Irrigation.

An automatically controlled irrigation system shall be provided for all plant materials used to meet these landscape standards. The use of drought-tolerant plant species may preclude the need for irrigation. Drip irrigation and low-gallon systems are encouraged for nonturf areas. The irrigation systems shall not provide water to unplanted areas, or to areas where existing native plants have been preserved. The irrigation systems shall be maintained and operated in a manner that promotes the health and appearance of the plant material while minimizing water use and avoiding excessive runoff. It is a primary purpose of this code to minimize the need for irrigation, and to minimize waste of water through improperly designed and operated irrigation systems. A separate water connection will be required for landscape irrigation systems. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.110 Landscape plans.

If a proposed land development or change of land use requires landscaping per this chapter, the permit application pertaining to said proposal shall include a landscaping plan containing the following:

A. A conceptual landscaping plan showing existing and proposed shrubs and trees as masses, to be submitted during preapplication review.

B. A scaled plan showing existing property lines, ground elevations, streets, buildings, fences, walls, curbs, plants with species names, and similar elements.

C. Three copies of the proposed landscape plan, drawn to scale, showing proposed and retained property lines, ground elevations, streets, buildings, fences, walls, curbs, plants (with species names and numbers of each), irrigation, and other elements affecting the landscape.

D. As appropriate, cross sections of proposed berms or mounds.

E. If required by the director or designee, a tree survey indicating the location, species, and diameter of existing trees, or stands of trees, greater than six inches in diameter, with notes as to which trees will be retained. The trees to be retained shall be noted on the grading plan by dripline boundary.

F. If irrigation is installed, an as-built irrigation drawing to be submitted prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy or release of the performance bond. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.120 Plant materials standards.

A. Shrubs and Ground Cover.

1. All required plant materials shall be of sufficient size and number to meet the required 70 percent coverage standard within five years according to the type of landscape standard being addressed. Mulch is not a substitute for ground cover plants.

2. All required shrubs shall be in at least three-gallon containers prior to planting, unless otherwise specified herein. All required ground cover shall be in at least one-gallon containers prior to planting, unless otherwise specified herein.

B. Trees. Except where one or the other is specified elsewhere in this code, trees may be either deciduous or evergreen varieties. Required canopy trees at the time of planting must have a minimum diameter of two inches DBH. Required evergreen trees at the time of planting must be a minimum of six feet in height. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.130 Credit for preservation of existing vegetation.

Variable credit shall be allowed for preservation of mature trees and groves of small trees. No credit shall be provided for the preservation of existing invasive species, such as Himalayan blackberry. The director or designee shall determine the value of the preserved vegetation based on visual impact and area required for preservation. Approved preservation shall relieve the contractor/developer from installing landscaping in relation to the area preserved and the visual impact of the preserved vegetation. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.140 Preservation of existing vegetation.

Preservation of existing vegetation shall be consistent with Chapter 16.13 BLMC. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.150 Street frontages.

A. For subdivisions, four- to nine-lot short plats, and commercial developments, the proponent shall install street trees along all street frontages.

B. Trees under power lines shall be of a species whose height at maturity is compatible with such location. Street trees shall be consistent with the city’s street tree master plan.

C. Street trees shall be at least two-inch caliper and shall be planted at least every 30 feet on center where practical.

D. Shrubs planted along street frontage shall be of species that when mature are less than 36 inches tall.

E. Where the downtown, midtown and eastown subarea plans and design standards specify alternative landscaping requirements, the individual plans shall prevail. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.160 Vision clearance area landscaping.

Within vision clearance triangles (see BLMC 16.12.010, Definitions), no plants nor structures shall be allowed which substantially impair vision at a height between three feet and eight feet above the street grade. See also public works road approach standards. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.170 Parking lot landscape standards.

A. Applicability of Parking Area Landscape Standards.

1. General Provisions. Subject to any exceptions herein, the standards in this code apply to all parking areas, including carports, which provide for six or more spaces except for the following:

a. A parking area for a single-family dwelling, accessory dwelling, or duplex.

b. A legal nonconforming parking area. See BLMC 16.14.170(A)(2).

2. Provisions Applicable to Legal Nonconforming Parking Areas. Parking areas with legal nonconforming landscaping are subject to the following parking area landscape standards:

a. When a new building is constructed on a site with a preexisting parking lot, the parking area landscape standards herein shall apply to a portion of the parking area sufficient to meet the minimum required parking for the new building and to any additional parking area proposed by the applicant to serve the building.

b. When a building is expanded, the parking area landscape standards herein shall apply to a portion of the parking area that is sufficient to meet the minimum required parking spaces for the expanded area of the building and to any additional parking area proposed by the applicant to serve the expanded area of the building.

c. When a legal nonconforming parking area is physically expanded in size (not simply re-striped to increase, decrease, or reconfigure the number of parking spaces), the parking area landscape standards herein shall apply only to the expanded portion of the parking area.

d. When a legal nonconforming gravel parking area is paved, the parking area landscape standards herein shall apply only to the paved portion of the parking area.

B. General Parking Area Landscape Standards. Canopy trees shall be required at the minimum rate of one tree for every 3,000 square feet of paved vehicular use areas on the site and shall be distributed throughout the paved area. Trees shall be planted in a landscaped area such that the tree trunk is at least three feet from any outside curb edge or paved area. Vehicular use areas include parking spaces, driveways, interior roadways, loading areas, and fleet vehicle storage areas. Large-scale coniferous trees may be substituted for required canopy trees at a maximum rate of 10 percent of the overall required number of trees. Parking area screening requirements may be achieved through a combination of change of grade and use of plant materials. The use of berms or drainage swales is acceptable, as is lowering the grade of the parking area. Rain gardens, fully landscaped infiltration basins, vegetated swales and other water quality features may be counted as required landscape areas provided the required planting standard can be substantially achieved. Landscaping design that encourages rainwater retention and infiltration is encouraged.

C. Parking Area Landscaping Along Street and Driveway Entrances.

1. Parking areas within 25 feet of a street, except an alley, shall provide a landscape strip between the street and the parking areas as follows:

a. In all areas except those where other standards are specified, a landscape strip at least seven feet in width shall be provided.

b. Landscape strips along a street may be pierced by pedestrian and vehicular accessways. Landscape strips along a street shall be landscaped as per Table 16.14A.

2. Parking area driveway entrances, except those entering from alleys, shall be provided with a landscape strip at least seven feet in width, measured from the outside edges of six-inch-wide curbs. These landscape strips shall be at least the length of a full parking space, or such distance necessary to heighten entryway visibility and improve parking area circulation. Entrance driveway landscape strips shall be landscaped according to the low screen landscape standard (L-2) except the height of the low screen within vision clearance areas shall not exceed 24 inches.

D. Perimeter Parking Area Landscaping.

1. Along the perimeter of the parking area, a landscape strip, at least seven feet in width, measured from the outside edge of a six-inch-wide curb, shall be provided. The landscape strip may be pierced by pedestrian and vehicular accessways.

2. Where abutting lots share parking and/or loading areas, the perimeter of these shared areas shall be considered the outside of the parking area. Perimeter landscaping shall not be required along the interior lot lines of the lots that are sharing parking and/or loading areas.

3. All parking areas shall provide perimeter landscaping according to low screen landscape standard (L-2), except as otherwise specified in Table 16.14A.

E. Interior Parking Area Landscaping.

1. In addition to the landscaping required in subsections C and D of this section, landscaping shall be provided within the interior of surface parking areas for 50 or more motor vehicles so as to:

a. Improve the visual qualities of these areas.

b. Delineate and define circulation movements of motorists and pedestrians.

c. Improve air quality.

d. Encourage energy conservation by reducing solar heat gain.

2. Parking area landscaping shall be provided according to Table 16.14C, Interior Parking Area Landscaping.

Table 16.14C Interior Parking Area Landscaping

Total Number of Spaces in Parking Area

Minimum Interior Parking Area Landscape Area

50 to 99 spaces

15 square feet per parking space

100 or more spaces

22 square feet per parking space

3. A continuous landscape strip or raised pedestrian path shall be provided between every six rows of parking. The landscape strip or pedestrian path shall be a minimum of seven feet in width, measured from the outside edge of a six-inch-wide curb.

4. Planting islands shall be provided at the ends of each parking row and at intervals within parking rows so that no parking stall is more than 45 feet from a planting island, or no more than 10 parking spaces may be allowed in a row without the installation of a planting island. Planting islands shall be at least seven feet in width, as measured from the outside edge of a six-inch-wide curb, and a minimum area of 140 square feet. Each of these islands shall provide at least one canopy tree. Low maintenance vegetative ground cover shall be planted at a spacing of 12 inches on center within the planter bed. Mulch shall be installed to suppress weeds, but shall not substitute for vegetative ground cover.

(Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).

16.14.180 Landscaping maintenance.

A. Whenever landscaping was required as a condition of development approval under the provisions of this chapter, the current property owner must continue to maintain shrubs, trees, and other plants in the landscaping and planting areas in a healthy growing condition by:

1. Replacing dead or dying trees, shrubs, and other plants;

2. Maintaining the landscaped area reasonably free of noxious weeds and trash;

3. Pruning or removing trees or shrubs to avoid the creation of a safety hazard or nuisance.

B. Failure to maintain landscaping according to this section shall constitute a civil violation and shall subject the violator to the enforcement procedures of Chapter 14.130 BLMC. The property owner shall be entitled to 60 days’ advance notice of the violation prior to penalties accruing. The property owner may assert as a defense to a code enforcement action any unusual weather patterns, plant disease, or other factors affecting plant viability beyond the property owner’s control. (Ord. 1454 § 1, 2013).