Chapter 17.60
LANDSCAPING

Sections:

17.60.010    Intent and applicability.

17.60.020    Plant materials standards.

17.60.030    Landscaping typology standards.

17.60.035    Landscaping in wildland-urban interface areas.

17.60.040    Landscape site design standards.

17.60.050    Irrigation, maintenance, and enforcement.

17.60.010 Intent and applicability.

A. Intent.

1. Promote well conceived and attractive landscaping that reinforces the architectural and site planning concepts in response to site conditions and context.

2. To enhance environmental conditions.

3. To maintain and enhance the character of the area.

4. To reduce negative potential impacts between adjacent and neighboring uses.

5. To encourage the use of attractive and drought-tolerant plant materials native to eastern Washington.

6. To ensure that plants will quickly achieve their intended visual objectives.

7. To promote tree retention and the protection of existing native vegetation.

8. To define, break up, and screen parking areas to reduce potentially negative impacts on adjacent uses.

9. To provide for the long-term establishment and health of new landscape plantings.

10. To ensure the long-term maintenance and attractiveness of landscape plantings.

B. Applicability. The standards herein apply to nonresidential and multi-family development unless otherwise noted herein. (Ord. 1410 § 4 (Exh. C) (part), 2010).

17.60.020 Plant materials standards.

A. Native and Naturalized Plant Species. New landscaping materials shall include species native to eastern Washington or noninvasive naturalized species that have adapted to the climatic conditions of eastern Washington. The selection of plant species 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, compatibility with existing native vegetation preserved on the site, water conservation where needed, low flammability, and the impact of landscaping on visibility of the site for purposes of public safety and surveillance.

B. Tree Standards and Guidelines. Unless otherwise noted herein, required trees shall meet the following standards at time of planting:

1. Required trees within parking areas shall be a minimum caliper of two inches (as measured six feet above the root ball) and a minimum height of ten feet at the time of planting.

2. Required deciduous trees (other than street trees) shall be fully branched, have a minimum caliper of one and one-half inches (as measured six feet above the root ball), and a minimum height of eight feet at the time of planting.

3. Required evergreen trees (other than street trees) shall be fully branched and a minimum of six feet in height, measured from the treetop to the ground, at the time of planting.

4. If the director decides reducing the minimum size of trees will not detract from the desired effect of the trees, the minimum size of trees (other than street trees) may be reduced if the applicant submits a written statement by a licensed Washington landscape architect or Washington-certified professional horticulturist (CPH) certifying that the reduction in size at planting will not decrease the likelihood the trees will survive.

C. Shrub Standard. Shrubs, except for ornamental grasses, shall be a minimum of two-gallon size at the time of planting.

D. Ground Cover Standards and Guidelines.

1. Ground covers shall be planted and spaced to result in total coverage of the required landscape area within three years, or as per recommendations by a licensed Washington landscape architect or Washington-certified professional horticulturist (CPH) as follows:

a. Four-inch pots at eighteen inches on center.

b. One-gallon or greater sized containers at twenty-four inches on center.

c. A bed of flowers approved by the director in place of ground cover plants. A reduction in the minimum size may be permitted by the director if certified by a registered landscape architect that the reduction shall not diminish the intended effect or the likelihood the plants will survive.

2. Grass is acceptable as ground cover in landscaped areas, but generally not preferred for water conservation and maintenance purposes. (Lawn areas designed as play areas are an exception.)

3. Ground cover areas shall contain at least two inches of composted organic material at finished grade.

E. Soil Augmentation and Mulching.

1. Existing soils shall be augmented with a two-inch layer of fully composted organic material tilled a minimum of six inches deep prior to initial planting.

2. Landscape areas shall be covered with at least two inches of mulch to minimize evaporation. Mulch shall consist of materials such as yard waste, sawdust, and/or manure that is fully composted.

3. Berm/Mound Standards. Berms or mounds shall be no steeper than 3(H):1(V). Any slopes steeper than 3:1 (2:1 is maximum permitted by the city for fill slopes) need erosion control netting or other erosion control methods in planting areas not covered by grass (e.g., rockery).

4. Tree/Shrub Height and Location.

a. The landscape plan should plan for the mature size of trees and major shrubs to avoid interference with windows, decks or lighting.

b. Within the primary zone wildland-urban interface areas defined in Chapter 15.06, new development shall demonstrate the use of fire-resistive, and low-growing plants.

i. The first five feet from structure walls and attachment perimeters shall consist of a noncombustible surface (e.g., mineral soil, gravel, and paving stones).

ii. New development shall demonstrate planting plans ensure spacing between individual plants is dispersed and patchy as opposed to continuous to reduce the risk of horizontal fire spread.

iii. Trees shall be spaced, and plantings arranged, to meet requirements of Chapter 15.06, Wildland-Urban Interface Code.

F. Noxious Weeds. Planting plans shall exclude plants identified on the Washington State Noxious Weed List contained in Chapter 16-750 WAC. (Ord. 1533 § 6 (Exh. 72) (part), 2017: Ord. 1410 § 4 (Exh. C) (part), 2010).

17.60.030 Landscaping typology standards.

Below are described five landscaping types. These landscaping types may be required by different sections of code in this title.

A. Type A Landscaping.

1. Type A landscaping shall function as a full screen and visual barrier. This landscaping is typically found between residential and nonresidential areas and to screen unwanted views;

2. Type A landscaping shall minimally consist of:

a. A mix of primarily evergreen trees and shrubs generally interspersed throughout the landscape strip and spaced to form a continuous screen;

b. Between seventy and ninety percent evergreen trees;

c. Trees provided at the rate of one per one hundred square feet or one per ten linear feet, whichever is greater, of landscape strip;

d. Evergreen shrubs provided at the rate of one per twenty square feet of landscape strip;

e. Ground cover;

f. Applicants shall demonstrate to the director’s satisfaction that the selected plant materials and configuration will be able to completely screen eighty percent of the unwanted views within three years of planting and fully screen the unwanted view within six years. This requirement will account for the size of materials planted and their typical growth rate; and

g. Within the primary zone wildland-urban interface areas defined in Chapter 15.06, landscaping shall also comply with Section 17.60.035.

Figure 1. Type A landscaping standards.

B. Type B Landscaping.

1. Type B landscaping is a “filtered screen” that functions as a visual separator. This landscaping is typically found between differing types of residential development, and to screen unwanted views from the pedestrian environment;

2. Type B landscaping shall minimally consist of:

a. A mix of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs generally interspersed throughout the landscape strip spaced to create a filtered screen;

b. At least fifty percent deciduous trees and at least thirty percent evergreen trees;

c. Trees provided at the rate of one per two hundred square feet or one per twenty linear feet, whichever is greater, of landscape strip;

d. Shrubs provided at the rate of one per twenty square feet of landscape strip and spaced no more than eight feet apart on center;

e. Ground cover;

f. Applicants shall demonstrate to the director’s satisfaction that the selected plant materials and configuration will meet the intent of the standards within three years of planting. This requirement will account for the size of materials and the growth rate; and

g. Within the primary zone wildland-urban interface areas defined in Chapter 15.06, landscaping shall also comply with Section 17.60.035.

Figure 2. Type B landscaping standards.

C. Type C Landscaping Screen.

1. Type C landscaping is a “see-through screen” that functions as a partial visual separator to soften the appearance of parking areas and building elevations. This landscaping is typically found along street frontage or between multi-family developments;

2. Type C landscaping shall minimally consist of:

a. Primarily deciduous trees generally spaced to create a continuous canopy that extends well beyond the landscaped area;

b. At least seventy percent deciduous trees;

c. Trees provided at the rate of one per two hundred fifty square feet or one per twenty-five linear feet, whichever is greater, of landscape strip and spaced no more than thirty feet apart on center;

d. Shrubs provided at the rate of one per twenty square feet of landscape strip and spaced no more than eight feet apart on center;

e. Ground cover;

f. Maintain trees and shrubs to maximize pedestrian visibility (generally between three and eight feet above grade);

g. Applicants shall demonstrate to the director’s satisfaction that the selected plant materials and configuration will meet the intent of the standards within three years of planting. This requirement will account for the size of materials and the growth rate; and

h. Within the primary zone wildland-urban interface areas defined in Chapter 15.06, landscaping shall also comply with Section 17.60.035.

Figure 3. Type C landscaping standards.

D. Type D Landscaping.

1. Type D landscaping refers to enhanced woodland that functions as a buffer between different intensities of uses. These areas feature existing trees and vegetation, but often need supplemental planting to effectively function as an attractive buffer.

2. Type D landscaping shall minimally consist of:

a. Trees, shrubs, and ground covers that are native to eastern Washington and are appropriate to the conditions of the site;

b. Arrangement of plants shall be asymmetrical and plant material shall be sufficient in quantity to cover the soil in three growing seasons;

c. Minimum twenty feet in width if used as a screen;

d. Applicants shall demonstrate to the director’s satisfaction that the selected plant materials and configuration will meet the intent of the standards within three years of planting. This requirement will account for the size of materials and the growth rate; and

e. Within the primary zone wildland-urban interface areas defined in Chapter 15.06, landscaping shall also comply with Section 17.60.035.

Figure 4. Type D landscaping standards.

E. Type E Landscaping.

1. Type E landscaping refers to all other landscaped areas that do not qualify as Type A through D landscaping. While native and low maintenance trees and shrubs are encouraged in these areas, lawn areas may be used for recreational or design purposes. These areas also could include flower beds and perennial beds.

2. Type E landscaping may include any combination of plant materials provided they comply with Section 17.60.020.

3. Within the primary zone wildland-urban interface areas defined in Chapter 15.06, landscaping shall also comply with Section 17.60.035. (Ord. 1533 § 6 (Exh. 73) (part), 2017: Ord. 1410 § 4 (Exh. C) (part), 2010).

17.60.035 Landscaping in wildland-urban interface areas.

 A. Within the primary zone of wildland-urban interface areas, development shall provide defensible space consistent with the 2015 Wildland-Urban Interface Code as adopted in Chapter 15.06.

B. Landscaping within defensible space shall have the characteristics of fire-resistive vegetation described as follows:

1. Growth with little or no accumulation of dead vegetation (either on the ground or standing upright. Although green, both juniper shrubs and arborvitae accumulate large amounts of dead material).

2. Nonresinous plants (willow, poplar or tulip trees).

3. Low volume of total vegetation (for example, a grass area as opposed to a forest or shrub-covered land).

4. Plants with high live fuel moisture (plants that contain a large amount of water in comparison to their dry weight).

5. Drought-tolerant plants (deeply rooted plants with thick, heavy leaves).

6. Stands without ladder fuels (plants without small, fine branches and limbs between the ground and the canopy of overtopping shrubs and trees).

7. Plants requiring little maintenance (slow-growing plants that, when maintained, require little care).

8. Plants with woody stems and branches that require prolonged heating to ignite.

9. Plants selected are consistent with either:

a. Individual or community wildfire protection plans created through Firewise or other programs; or

b. “Fire-Resistant Plants for Home Landscapes: Selecting Plants That May Reduce Your Risk from Wildfire” prepared by Pacific Northwest Extension, Publication PNW 590, August 2006; or

c. Written Cascadia Conservation District recommendations; or

d. Recommendations by a qualified landscape architect or arborist acceptable to the administrator, with recommendations suited to Chelan County.

C. Within the primary zone of the wildland-urban interface areas, development shall employ noncombustible, fire-rated, or ignition-resistant materials and less flammable vegetation when using landscaping and other barriers to separate uses.

D. For developments within high or very high fire risk as defined in Chapter 15.06, the city may require development to prepare a vegetation management plan consistent with Appendix B of the 2015 Wildland-Urban Interface Code as adopted in Chapter 15.06.

E. Prohibited Plants in Defensible Space in Wildland Interface Areas. Plantings within required defensible space shall avoid pyrophytic plants due to high resin or oil content or other characteristics. Such plants include, but are not limited to:

1. Junipers, pines, firs, spruces, and arborvitae.

2. Cheatgrass.

Where pyrophytic plants exist within the required defensible space or are unavoidable, they shall be managed in accordance with a vegetation management plan consistent with Appendix B of the 2015 Wildland-Urban Interface Code prepared by an applicant to the administrator’s satisfaction to reduce fire risk. (Ord. 1533 § 8 (Exh. 93) (part), 2017).

17.60.040 Landscape site design standards.

A. Landscape Plans.

1. Landscape plans for landscaping on private property and landscaping within the public right-of-way required by this title shall show all proposed landscape improvements necessary to ensure conformance with applicable requirements herein. This includes the location, number, types, and sizes of trees, shrubs, ground cover, and other planting materials, soil augmentation and mulching, installation schedule, and irrigation plan.

2. The required landscape plan shall be prepared by a licensed landscape architect or Washington-certified professional horticulturist (CPH). Development sites less than twenty thousand square feet in area (this includes the entire lot or parcel or applicable portion of site being developed including buildings, parking and storage areas, landscaping, etc.) are exempt from this requirement.

B. Surface Parking Lot Landscaping.

1. Intent. To minimize potential negative impacts of parking lots on downtown’s visual character, pedestrian environment, local water quality conditions, and adjacent uses.

2. Parking Lot Perimeters.

a. For parking lots adjacent to public streets, use Type C landscaping at least six feet deep and no less than the minimum applicable building setback (whichever is more).

b. For parking lots along internal private roadways in commercial areas, provide a planting strip at least six feet wide with Type C landscaping.

c. For parking lots along internal lot lines use Type A, B, or C landscaping at least ten feet deep. The treatment may be modified by the director pursuant to compliance with other applicable standards.

3. Internal Parking Lot Landscaping.

a. Twenty square feet of planting area utilizing Type C landscaping is required for each parking space. Parking lots containing less than forty spaces are exempt from this standard.

b. At least one tree is required for every planting island within a parking lot.

c. All parking spaces shall be within fifty feet of a planting island with a tree.

d. Planting islands must be at least six feet wide to be used in planting area calculations.

e. Trees along internal parking lot pathways may be placed in tree grates, but the planting area will not count towards minimum planting area requirements.

f. Wheel stops, curbs or walkways shall be used to protect planting islands from vehicles.

g. Canopy type trees shall be utilized.

h. Rain gardens and swales may be integrated into required planting areas.

i. The director may approve and condition alternative landscaping designs that meet the intent of the standards.

C. Foundation Planting. All street-facing elevations must have landscaping along any exposed foundation. The landscaped area may be along the outer edge of a porch instead of the foundation. This landscaping requirement does not apply to portions of the building facade that provide access for pedestrians or vehicles to the building. The foundation landscaping must meet the following standards:

1. The landscaped area must be at least three feet wide.

2. There must be at least one three-gallon shrub for every three lineal feet of foundation.

3. Ground cover plants must fully cover the remainder of the landscaped area. (Ord. 1410 § 4 (Exh. C) (part), 2010).

17.60.050 Irrigation, maintenance, and enforcement.

A. Timing of Installation. The applicant shall install landscaping and screening required by this section consistent with the approved site plan or an approved modification thereto before the city issues an occupancy permit or final inspection for the development in question; provided, the director may defer installation of plant materials for up to six months after the city issues an occupancy permit or final inspection for the development in question if the director finds doing so increases the likely survival of plants.

B. Installation Standards. The applicant shall show and comply with the following:

1. Plant materials will be installed to current nursery industry standards.

2. Plant materials shall be properly supported to ensure survival. Support devices such as guy wires or stakes shall not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian movement.

3. Existing trees and plant materials to be retained shall be protected during construction, such as by use of chain link or other sturdy fence placed at the dripline of trees to be retained. Grading, topsoil storage, construction material storage, vehicles and equipment shall not be allowed within the dripline of trees to be retained.

C. Verification of the Installation of Landscape. Required planting/irrigation shall be installed within six months of the date of final construction permit approval or the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, whichever is later. For development sites twenty thousand square feet in area (this includes the entire lot or parcel or applicable portion of site being developed including buildings, parking and storage areas, landscaping, etc.) or larger, the applicant shall submit a copy of the approved landscape plan(s) with a letter signed and stamped by a Washington-licensed landscape architect or CPH certifying that the landscape and irrigation (if any) have been installed in accordance with the attached approved plan(s) and verifying that any plant substitutions are comparable to the approved plantings and suitable for the site. Any substituted plants shall be no smaller than those shown on the approved plan(s) and shall have similar characteristics in terms of height, drought tolerance and suitability for screening.

D. Maintenance Standards. All landscape areas shall be maintained in accordance with the following standards:

1. All landscaping shall be maintained with respect to pruning, trimming, mowing, watering, insect control, fertilizing, or other requirements to create a healthy growing condition and attractive appearance and to maintain the purpose of the landscape type. Vegetation shall be controlled by pruning, trimming or otherwise so that it will not interfere with the maintenance or repair of any public utility, restrict pedestrian or vehicular access, or obstruct sight distance at intersections.

2. Dead, diseased, stolen, vandalized, or damaged plants shall be replaced within three months with the plants indicated on the approved landscape plan.

3. All landscaped areas shall be maintained reasonably free of weeds and trash.

4. All required landscaping that is located within public rights-of-way shall be maintained by the abutting property owner.

E. Irrigation Standards. The intent of this standard is to ensure that plants will survive the critical establishment period when they are most vulnerable due to lack of watering.

All required landscaped areas in the city must comply with at least one of the following:

1. A permanent built-in irrigation system with an automatic controller will serve the landscape area in question, and the system will be installed and operational before the city grants an occupancy permit or final inspection for the development in question.

2. A temporary irrigation system will serve the landscape area in question; provided the applicant can successfully demonstrate that the proposed temporary irrigation system will provide sufficient water to ensure that the plant materials to be planted will survive installation and, once established, will survive without watering other than natural rainfall.

3. A permanent or temporary irrigation system will not serve the landscape area in question; provided:

a. The director finds the landscape area otherwise fulfills the requirements of this section; and

b. The applicant submits the following with the site plan application:

i. A statement from a Washington-licensed landscape architect or CPH certifying that the materials to be planted will survive without watering other than natural rainfall; and

ii. A plan for monitoring the survival of required vegetation on the approved site plan for at least one year and for detection and replacement of required vegetation that does not survive with like-kind material or other material approved by the director; and

iii. A statement from the applicant agreeing to install an irrigation system if the director finds one is needed to ensure survival of required vegetation, based on the results of the monitoring plan. (Ord. 1410 § 4 (Exh. C) (part), 2010).