Chapter 18.07
LANDSCAPING REGULATIONS

Sections:

18.07.010    Purpose.

18.07.020    Landscape plan approval.

18.07.030    Failure to complete required landscaping – Inspection.

18.07.040    General landscape requirements for all zones.

18.07.050    Types of landscaping.

18.07.060    Landscaping regulations for specific districts.

18.07.070    Maintenance of landscaping.

18.07.010 Purpose.

A. The provisions of this chapter are to provide minimum standards for landscaping in order to maintain and protect property values and enhance the general appearance of the town in all zoning districts.

B. The planning director shall have the authority to waive specific requirements or impose additional requirements in unique or special circumstances to ensure the fulfillment of the stated purpose of this chapter and to allow for flexibility and innovation of design. Special circumstances or unique conditions should be reviewed with the planning director prior to submittal of a landscape plan. Examples of special conditions might include:

1. Preservation of unique wildlife habitat;

2. Preservation of natural or native areas;

3. Compliance with special easements;

4. Renovation of existing landscaping;

5. Unique site uses;

6. Unique site characteristics or site constraints. (Ord. 2018-13 § 4 (Exh. B), 2018; Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.07.020 Landscape plan approval.

A. A building permit shall not be issued until the landscaping plan has been approved;

B. At the time of development plan review, the planning director shall review specific landscape requirements with the owner or his representative. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.07.030 Failure to complete required landscaping – Inspection.

A. Failure to complete all of the required landscaping or any part of it within six months of the building occupancy, issuance of the certificate of occupancy or the building director’s final inspection shall constitute a zoning violation.

B. It shall be the responsibility of the project manager or business owner to contact the planning director upon completion of the landscaping work and request an inspection.

C. The planning director may inspect the landscaping upon request of the project manager or business owner or at any time after the six-month expiration date. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.07.040 General landscape requirements for all zones.

The general landscape requirements of this section shall apply in all zones, except for permitted detached single-family residential and duplex development.

A. All parking areas of over 20,000 square feet shall have a minimum of 10 percent of the parking area, maneuvering area and loading space landscaped as a means to reduce the barren appearance of the lot and to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff. Fifty percent of the perimeter landscaping, required adjacent to property lines, may be calculated as part of the 10 percent figure.

B. All ingress or egress easements which provide corridors to the subject lot, not adjacent to a public right-of-way, shall be considered the same as a public right-of-way. Landscape requirements for easement corridors shall be the same as those required adjacent to public rights-of-way.

C. All outside storage areas shall be screened by fencing and landscaping a minimum of five feet in depth unless it is determined by development plan review that such screening is not necessary because stored materials are not visually obtrusive. The five-foot deep landscaped area can occur within the street right-of-way abutting the property line.

D. All portions of a lot not devoted to building, future building, parking, storage or accessory uses shall be landscaped in a manner appropriate to the stated purpose of this chapter.

E. All required landscaping areas shall extend to the curbline or the street edge. A crushed rock path in lieu of landscaping may be required where appropriate as determined by the planning director.

F. Required landscape areas which are inappropriate to landscape due to the existence of rail lines or other features shall be relocated, first, to another lot line, or second, to an equal-sized area in another portion of the lot, to be determined by the planning director upon review with the owner or developer.

G. Bark mulch, gravel or other nonvegetative material shall only be used in conjunction with landscaping to assist vegetative growth and maintenance or to visually complement plant material. Nonvegetative material is not a substitute for plant material.

H. Required landscape areas shall be provided with adequate drainage.

I. Slopes shall not exceed a three-to-one ratio (width to height), in order to decrease erosion potential and assist in ease of maintenance.

J. The perimeter of all parking areas which abut residential zones or uses shall be landscaped to a minimum depth of three feet with type II landscaping unless otherwise provided by this chapter. A six-foot high solid wood or equivalent fence is also required. Substitute fencing, including, but not limited to, chainlink fence with slats, may be approved by the planning director upon application of the developer and adjacent residential property owners when such fencing shall provide buffering consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter. The term “adjacent residential property,” for purposes of this section, shall mean abutting property, and lots immediately adjacent to abutting property, and shall not mean property across a public road.

K. Landscaping shall not conflict with the safety of those using adjacent sidewalks or with traffic safety. Safety features of landscaping shall be discussed at the time of development plan review, if necessary. Quantity, arrangement and types of plants installed shall be appropriate to the size of the required landscape area and purpose of planting area as noted in EMC 18.07.050 pertaining to types of landscaping.

L. All trash containers shall be screened from abutting properties and streets by a 100 percent sight-obscuring fence or wall and appropriate landscaping.

M. Landscaping shall be placed outside of sight-obscuring or 100 percent sight-obscuring fences unless it is determined by the planning director that such arrangement would be detrimental to the stated purpose of this chapter.

N. A minimum of one tree shall be provided for each 100 square feet of required landscape area.

O. Landscape plans shall be completed by a landscape architect. (Ord. 2018-13 § 4 (Exh. B), 2018; Ord. 99-11 § 8, 1999; Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.07.050 Types of landscaping.

A. Type I: Solid Screen.

1. Purpose. Type I landscaping is intended to provide a solid sight barrier to totally separate incompatible uses.

2. Description. Type I landscaping shall consist of evergreen trees or tall shrubs with a minimum height of six feet at planting, which will provide a 100 percent sight-obscuring screen within two years from the time of planting; or a combination of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs backed by 100 percent sight-obscuring fence.

B. Type II: Visual Screen.

1. Purpose. Type II landscaping is intended to create a visual separation that is not necessarily 100 percent sight-obscuring between incompatible uses.

2. Description.

a. Type II landscaping shall be evergreen or a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees with large shrubs and ground cover interspersed with the trees. A sight-obscuring fence will be required unless it is determined by development plan review that such a fence is not necessary. The plantings and fence must not violate the sight area safety requirements at street intersections.

b. Evergreen trees shall be an average height of six feet at planting. Deciduous trees shall be the following sizes based on their spacing:

i. One-inch caliper: 10 feet on center;

ii. Two-inch caliper: 20 feet on center;

iii. Three-inch caliper: 30 feet on center;

iv. Three-and-one-half to five-inch caliper: 40 feet on center.

c. Ground cover shall be of sufficient size and spacing to form a solid cover within two years from the time of planting.

C. Type III: Visual Buffer.

1. Purpose. Type III landscaping is intended to provide visual separation of uses from streets and main arterials and between compatible uses so as to soften the appearance of streets, parking lots and building facades.

2. Description.

a. Type III landscaping shall be evergreen and deciduous trees planted not more than 30 feet on center interspersed with shrubs and ground cover. Where used to separate parking from streets, plantings must create a visual barrier of at least 36 inches in height at a time of planting and form a solid screen two years after planting. The planting shall not violate the sight area safety requirements at street intersections or driveways.

b. Evergreen trees shall be an average height of six feet at planting. Deciduous trees shall be the following sizes based on their spacing:

i. One-inch caliper: 10 feet on center;

ii. Two-inch caliper: 20 feet on center;

iii. Three-inch caliper: 30 feet on center;

iv. Three-and-one-half to five-inch caliper: 40 feet on center.

C. Ground cover shall be of sufficient size and spacing to form a solid cover within two years after the time of planting.

D. Type IV: Low Cover.

1. Purpose. Type IV landscaping is intended to provide visual relief where clear sight is desired or as a complement to larger, more predominant planting materials.

2. Description. Type IV landscaping shall consist of a mixture of evergreen and deciduous shrubs and ground cover, to provide solid covering of the entire landscaping area within two years of planting and to be held to a maximum height of three and one-half feet (see definition of ground cover).

E. Type V: Open Area Landscaping.

1. Purpose. Type V landscaping is primarily intended to visually interrupt large open spaces of parking areas.

2. Description.

a. Type V landscaping shall consist of trees planted with supporting shrubs or ground cover. Each landscape area shall be of sufficient size to promote and protect growth of plantings, with a 100-square-foot minimum (see EMC 18.07.040(A)).

b. Evergreen trees shall be an average height of six feet at planting. Deciduous trees shall be the following sizes based on their spacing:

i. One-inch caliper: 10 feet on center;

ii. Two-inch caliper: 20 feet on center;

iii. Three-inch caliper: 30 feet on center;

iv. Three-and-one-half to five-inch caliper: 40 feet on center.

c. Ground cover shall be of sufficient size and spacing to form a solid cover within two years from the time of planting.

d. Grass is an acceptable ground cover for all areas. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.07.060 Landscaping regulations for specific districts.

Landscaping regulations for specific zoning districts are as follows:

A. Single-Family Residential Development in the SF-1, SF-2 and SF-3.

1. Front yard, as follows:

a. Landscaping shall be provided across the entire front yard.

b. Landscaping shall be provided between the entire area of the building foundation(s) and the further of: (i) the back of sidewalk; or (ii) the back of curb; or (iii) the edge of right-of-way. The proposed landscaping shall be of sufficient numbers/volume to cover the entire front yard landscaping area; within one growing season for vegetation.

c. Landscaping materials shall consist of a minimum of two of the following natural components: turf grass, bushes, trees, landscaping bark, or landscaping rock.

d. If a tree(s) is planted as one of the two required natural components, evergreen trees shall be a minimum of six feet in height at planting and deciduous trees shall be a minimum one-and-one-half-inch caliper as measured four feet from the ground at planting.

e. Landscape areas shall be provided with adequate drainage.

2. Landscaping Plan. Single-family residential landscape plans may be completed by the landowner or a landscape architect.

3. Non-single-family residential development shall comply with the landscaping regulations determined appropriate by the planning director.

B. Medium- and High-Density Multifamily Residential, MF-1 and MF-2.

1. A minimum of 10 feet of landscaping shall be provided abutting a public right-of-way;

2. Open green area shall occupy no less than 25 percent of the area of the lot;

3. The side and rear perimeters of properties shall be landscaped to a minimum depth of 10 feet;

4. A minimum of five feet of foundation landscaping shall be placed along the perimeter of any structure. Foundation landscaping consists of shrubbery or some other combination of landscape materials that helps to reduce the visual bulk of structures and buffer dwelling units from light, glare and other environmental intrusions;

5. Detached single-family residential and duplex development shall only be required to comply with the landscaping standards of subsection A of this section, and, if applicable, subsection H of this section.

C. Downtown Commercial District, C-1.

1. A minimum of three feet of landscaping to screen off-street parking areas, placement of which shall be reviewed by the planning director.

2. Street trees may be required in accordance with the downtown beautification plan.

D. General Commercial, C-2.

1. The side perimeter of property abutting a residential district shall be landscaped to a minimum width of 10 feet.

2. A planting strip not less than three feet in depth shall be provided along all property abutting public rights-of-way.

3. A minimum of three feet of landscaping to mask street and parking area shall be provided.

4. Street trees may be required as specified by the planning director.

E. Industrial District, I.

1. Front Yard. The front 10 feet shall be improved with appropriate permanently maintained landscaping.

2. Side Yard. At least five feet of the side yard shall be landscaped with permanently maintained landscaping.

F. Mixed-Use District, MU.

1. In addition to all other applicable standards, the landscaping standards of subsection D of this section (C-2) shall apply.

2. Detached single-family residential and duplex development shall only be required to comply with the landscaping standards of subsection A of this section, and, if applicable, subsection H of this section.

G. Aerospace District, AP.

1. In addition to all other applicable standards, the landscaping standards of EMC 18.04.185 (AP) and subsection D of this section (C-2) shall apply.

2. Detached single-family residential development shall only be required to comply with the landscaping standards of subsection A of this section, and, if applicable, subsection D of this section.

H. Airport Overlay Zone.

1. In addition to the landscaping requirements of the underlying zone, properties located within the airport overlay zone may be subject to the supplemental landscaping requirements of EMC 18.04.187.

I. Planned Unit Development, PUD. In addition to all other applicable standards, the landscaping standards of EMC 18.04.190(C)(8) (PUD) shall apply. (Ord. 2018-13 § 4 (Exh. B), 2018; Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).

18.07.070 Maintenance of landscaping.

A. Required. Whenever landscaping is or has been required in accordance with the provisions of this title or any addition or amendments to this title, or in accordance with the provisions of any previous code or ordinance of the town, the landscaping shall be permanently maintained in such a manner as to accomplish the purpose for which it was initially required.

B. Notice of Violation. The planning director or his 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 his last known address.

C. Action Upon Noncompliance.

1. 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 15 days after the date of such notice if the notice is returned to the town by the post office department because of inability to make delivery thereof, provided the notice was properly addressed to the last known address of the owner or agent, the planning director or his designated representative is hereby authorized and empowered to cause the required maintenance to be done and provide for payment of the cost thereof, with the cost to be collected or taxed against the property affected as provided in this section.

2. Nothing in this section shall prevent the planning director or a designated representative from taking action as provided in EMC 18.09.070.

D. Charge for Maintenance by Town to Be Included in Tax Bill. When the town has performed landscape maintenance or has paid for such maintenance, the actual cost thereof, plus accrued interest at the rate of eight percent per annum from the date of the completion of work, if not paid by such owner prior thereto, may be charged to the owner of such property on the next regular tax bill forwarded to such owner by the town, and if so charged shall be due and payable by the owner at the time of payment of such bill.

E. Lien for Payment of Charges. If the full amount due the town is not paid by such owner within 30 days after performance of the maintenance as provided for in subsection C of this section, then, in that case, the planning director (or the director’s designated representative) may cause to be recorded in the office of the town clerk a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was done, and the legal description of the property on which the work was done. The recording of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien and privilege on the property, and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus court costs, if any, until final payment has been made. The costs and expenses shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes and further shall be subject to a delinquent penalty of eight percent per annum if the costs and expenses are not paid in full on or before the date the tax bill upon which the charge appears become delinquent. Sworn statements recorded in accordance with the provisions of this subsection shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and that the work has been done properly and satisfactorily, and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement plus interest constitutes a charge against the property designated or described in the state-

ment and that the charge is due and collectible as provided by law.

F. Alternative Methods of Collection of Charges. In addition to or in lieu of the provision of subsections D and E of this section, the town may, at its option, commence a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction to collect for any charges incurred by the town for performance of maintenance as provided in subsection C of this section. (Ord. 94-06 § 2, 1994).