Chapter 19.130


Article I. Purpose and Approvals

19.130.010    Purpose.

19.130.020    Applicability.

19.130.030    Required review and approval.

19.130.040    Submittal requirements.

19.130.050    Permits.

19.130.060    Alternative landscape option.

Article II. Performance and Maintenance Assurances

19.130.070    Certificate of occupancy issued after work completed or guarantee provided.

19.130.080    Performance guarantee.

19.130.090    Maintenance guarantee.

Article III. Landscape Development and Irrigation System Standards

19.130.100    Applicability.

19.130.110    Plant material.

19.130.120    Irrigation.

19.130.130    Earth berming and mounds.

Article IV. Existing Site Vegetation

19.130.140    Retention of existing site vegetation.

19.130.150    Significant trees and vegetation defined.

19.130.160    Required plans and review.

19.130.170    Site clearing.

19.130.180    Protection techniques.

19.130.190    Replacement and restoration of significant trees.

Article V. Landscaping Required for Site Development

19.130.200    General requirements.

19.130.210    Street frontage and parking lot perimeter landscape development.

19.130.220    Interior parking lot and interior site landscape development.

19.130.230    Perimeter landscaping on interior lot lines – Buffering requirements.

19.130.240    Landscape types.

Article VI. Maintenance of Landscape Development

19.130.250    Maintenance of landscape development.

Article I. Purpose and Approvals

19.130.010 Purpose.

A. The intent of this chapter is to provide landscape development, site buffering, and maintenance requirements for all proposed and existing developments in order to:

1. Maintain and protect property values;

2. Enhance the appearance of the development;

3. Improve the character of the City;

4. Reduce erosion;

5. Provide pervious surfacing areas to recharge subsurface aquifer, reduce quantity of stormwater runoff, and provide for cleansing of on-site surface water prior to re-entering the City’s watercourses;

6. Maintain or replace existing vegetation;

7. Provide screening between incompatible land uses;

8. Moderate the microclimate;

9. Minimize noise, glare, and other negative impacts;

10. Protect and enhance watercourses, riparian habitat, and associated wildlife;

B. It is also the intent of this chapter to provide landscaping regulations in conformance with the policies of the Comprehensive Plan, including:

1. Establish design standards and site improvement criteria for commercial and industrial developments (Policy UD 1.3.0.);

2. Expand the use of green belts and natural buffer zones to protect residential areas from commercial and industrial areas which are environmentally detrimental to nearby residential neighborhoods (Policy UD 1.5.0.);

C. The landscape standards in this chapter are minimum requirements. When it is determined by the City that additional landscaping is needed to mitigate, screen, buffer a development from its surroundings, or comply with the spirit of this chapter, additional landscaping may be required. (Amended by City request, 1/11; Ord. 2074 § 8.1(A), 1995).

19.130.020 Applicability.

All development or redevelopment proposals, except single-household residences, shall submit landscape development plans, irrigation plans, and tree preservation/retention/replacement plans for review and approval. (Ord. 2074 § 8.1(B), 1995).

19.130.030 Required review and approval.

The Planning Department, or its designated representative, shall review the proposed landscaping, irrigation and/or tree plans for compliance with the standards prescribed by this chapter and any other applicable portions of the Code and conditions of project approval.

Each applicable project shall have on file landscape, irrigation, and tree plans, as necessary, reviewed and approved by the Planning Department or their designated representative prior to issuance of any building permits. (Ord. 2074 § 8.1(C), 1995).

19.130.040 Submittal requirements.

A. All landscape and irrigation plans shall be prepared in conformance with the submittal requirements of this section and shall be clearly legible, to scale, reproducible and must demonstrate knowledge of local plant material.

B. Plans shall be at a scale of one inch equals 20 feet or one inch equals 30 feet unless otherwise approved. All landscape and irrigation plans submitted shall be prepared at the same scale to match the site development plan scale and fit on a maximum sheet size of 24 inches by 36 inches.

C. Landscape development plans shall identify the botanical and common name of each plant material, caliper, height, or container size of all plant material, and the quantity and location and/or spacing of any plant material proposed. In addition, landscape plans shall identify areas where the use of nonliving landscape material is proposed.

D. All vegetation retained per Article IV of this chapter (Existing Site Vegetation) shall be accurately mapped with each significant tree identified by botanical name and caliper size.

E. Irrigation plans submitted for review shall comply with MTMC 19.130.120(B).

F. Three sets of landscape and irrigation plans shall be submitted for review and approval, and each time revisions are necessary. Plans shall be on blueline or other acceptable copy medium. The approved landscape and irrigation plans shall be submitted on permanent reproducible file (mylar) prior to issuance of a permit for landscape and/or irrigation.

G. As built plans are required whenever the installed improvements differ sufficiently from the approved plans, as determined by the Planning Department or their designated representative. As built landscape and irrigation plans shall be submitted on a permanent reproducible film (mylar) prior to final acceptance of the installed improvements. (Ord. 2074 § 8.1(D), 1995).

19.130.050 Permits.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to install any landscaping or irrigation system, as required by ordinance, or cause the same to be done without first having obtained the appropriate permit from the Planning Department.

A. An engineering construction permit is required for landscape and irrigation system work. A separate electrical permit is required for irrigation system wiring.

The fee for such permit(s) shall be in accordance with the ordinance governing engineering and electrical permits in effect at the time application is made.

B. Exempted Work.

1. Maintenance of required landscape areas.

2. Replacement of plants or plant material which are dead or damaged.

Note: Living trees that were retained or living plant material indicated on the approved plans shall not be removed without first obtaining permission from the Planning Department or their designated representative.

3. Repair or replacement of faulty or damaged irrigation system if extent of replacement does not exceed 20 percent of existing system. (Ord. 2074 § 8.1(E), 1995).

19.130.060 Alternative landscape option.

The applicant can submit for consideration a landscaping plan that differs from the specific criteria set forth in this chapter if the proposed landscaping complies with the stated purpose and intent of this chapter and represents a landscape development which, at the option of the Planning Department or their designated representative, is considered equal to or exceeds that which could have been achieved by strictly following the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 2074 § 8.1(F), 1995).

Article II. Performance and Maintenance Assurances

19.130.070 Certificate of occupancy issued after work completed or guarantee provided.

Prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy, all landscape and irrigation installation work shall be completed per approved plans and operational or the necessary performance guarantees provided. An acceptable maintenance guarantee shall be on file. (Ord. 2074 § 8.2, 1995).

19.130.080 Performance guarantee.

Any landscape and irrigation work, incomplete at the time of request for occupancy, that does not constitute a safety or health hazard, may be assured by the submittal of a performance guarantee as provided for in the City’s current ordinance establishing acceptable types of guarantees.

The applicant must submit a written request to the City detailing specific circumstances that warrant a delay in completion of required project improvements and a cost estimate for all incomplete landscape and irrigation work to be verified by the Planning Department.

At its option, the City may accept the performance guarantee and establish a completion time line, not to exceed six months, from the date of issuance of the certificate of occupancy. (Ord. 2074 § 8.2(A), 1995).

19.130.090 Maintenance guarantee.

A maintenance guarantee, as specified in the City’s current ordinance establishing acceptable types of guarantees, shall be provided by the developer/owner for all completed landscaping and irrigation required by the City for any development project.

The maintenance guarantee shall be in an amount equal to 20 percent of the total landscape construction costs and shall be in effect for at least two full growing seasons (March through October).

The maintenance guarantee must be on file with the City prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the development project, except for those items for which a performance guarantee has been excepted by the City. (Ord. 2074 § 8.2(B), 1995).

Article III. Landscape Development and Irrigation System Standards

19.130.100 Applicability.

The standards in this article shall apply to all required landscape areas. (Ord. 2074 § 8.3, 1995).

19.130.110 Plant material.

A. Selection and Installation. The selection of landscape plant materials from the “Landscape Development Guide” is encouraged. This guide is available from the Planning Department and amended from time to time. All plant material shall be selected and installed in conformance with current American Association of Nurserymen standards.

B. Size Requirements, General.

1. Street Trees. All trees planted adjacent to streets or in street right(s)-of-way shall be located in accordance with the City of Mountlake Terrace roadway standards. Street trees are to be spaced an average distance of 35 feet on center or as specified in adopted design standards for specific zoning districts, with the Engineer making a final determination of location based on specific site and frontage conditions. Deciduous street trees shall have a minimum caliper of two inches measured six inches above ground level and have a clear trunk for at least six feet above grade. Evergreen street trees shall be a minimum of 10 feet in height and planted well outside any required sight area triangle, spaced a maximum of 30 feet on center.

2. Trees, Other. Deciduous or broad leaf evergreen trees shall have a minimum caliper of one and one-half inches measured six inches above ground level. Evergreen trees shall be a minimum of six feet in height. All trees shall be set back a minimum of three feet from the face of any curb, sidewalk, building, or other structure.

3. Shrubs. Shrubs shall be selected to provide variety in height and texture, enhance the architectural design, and attractively screen views of parked vehicles and noncompatible site land uses. Installed shrubs shall have a minimum height of 21 inches. Depending on variety and intended use, other shrub stock sizes may be allowed or required.

4. Ground Cover. Living ground cover, other than grass, shall be installed so that it meets the coverage requirement of the applicable landscaping type (MTMC 19.130.240). Spacing shall be sufficient to achieve 75 percent ground coverage in a three-year period as designed by a certified landscape specialist, or according to the following standard:

a. Two-inch pots: 12 inches on center (o.c.);

b. Four-inch pots: 18 inches o.c.;

c. One-gallon container: 30 inches o.c.

5. Lawn Grasses and Low Impact Development Native Seed. Coverage shall be provided with either seed or sod. Seed must germinate and demonstrate 100 percent coverage, or coverage in accordance with native seed manufacturer specifications, prior to final acceptance of such landscaped areas. (Ord. 2729 § 20, 2018; Ord. 2702 § 2, 2016; Ord. 2074 § 8.3(A), 1995).

19.130.120 Irrigation.

A. General. An approved irrigation system with an automatic time clock activating mechanism shall be installed for all landscaped and turf areas in any multi-household project containing five or more units, any planned unit development (PUD), and developments in any district which require more than 10 parking stalls.

All other projects shall provide sufficient hose bibs or quick couplers on site located such that any portion of the project site is within 75 feet of a hose bib or quick coupler.

An irrigation system installed for any other development or for a single-household residence shall provide an acceptable backflow prevention device. A plumbing permit is required for the installation and inspection of the backflow prevention device.

B. Irrigation Plan Requirements. An irrigation plan, drawn to the same scale as the landscape development plan, shall be submitted which contains, as a minimum, the following information:

1. Size and location of water meter(s);

2. Static water pressure from City’s water main;

3. Service line type, size, and length;

4. Type and location of drain(s), coupler(s), shut-off and control valve(s), controller(s), and backflow prevention device(s);

5. Spacial layout of piping;

6. Main and lateral pipe size(s) and type(s);

7. Performance chart showing type, series, and hydraulic characteristics of sprinkler heads;

8. Hydraulic circuit analysis chart showing volume flow per valve.

C. Performance and Inspections.

1. The irrigation system layout shall reflect good design principles, minimize water usage and waste, and meet the watering needs of the specific plant materials used. Coverage shall be 100 percent or head-to-head coverage.

2. Minimum depth of burial for piping shall be 18 inches for main line(s) and 12 inches for all lateral line(s).

3. Two on-site inspections will be conducted to assure compliance with approved plans and adequate performance.

a. The first inspection will concern itself with adequate depth of burial for piping, pipe sizing, and system layout as designated on approved plans.

b. The second inspection will be a performance test for coverage with recommended changes and adjustments to be completed before final approval.

4. An electrical inspection of irrigation wiring by the Building Department is required.

5. The owner shall be responsible to have all backflow prevention devices and double check valve assemblies inspected and tested by a certified backflow device tester or cross-connection control specialist at the time of initial installation, whenever the device is repaired, and at least once a year. A copy of the report shall be submitted to the City. The device shall be repaired, overhauled, or replaced whenever found to be defective. (Ord. 2074 § 8.3(B), 1995).

19.130.130 Earth berming and mounds.

Landscape development may include gently mounded areas with a maximum slope of three to one and a preferred slope of four to one. All mounds and berms must meet Engineering Details and Specifications for grading. Slopes of mounds and berms shall blend into the adjacent terrain, unless stabilized by a retaining wall or curbing. (Ord. 2792 § 22, 2021; Ord. 2074 § 8.3(C), 1995).

Article IV. Existing Site Vegetation

19.130.140 Retention of existing site vegetation.

A. Purpose. The retention of significant trees and vegetation in the City as required by this section is important and necessary to maintain and protect property values, to enhance the visual appearance of the City, to preserve the natural wooded character of the Pacific Northwest, to promote utilization of natural systems, to reduce the impacts of development on the storm drainage system, and to provide a better transition between the various land uses permitted in the City.

B. Requirement. To the greatest extent possible, existing significant trees that do not constitute a safety hazard shall be retained on site. Significant vegetation shall not be removed, damaged, or disturbed in any way (other than general maintenance), irrespective of requirements in other sections of this title, except as approved by the City under the replacement provisions of this section and the clearing and grading provisions of Chapter 15.05 MTMC, or other governmental agency with jurisdiction. A qualified arboriculturist or urban forester shall be retained by the applicant to inventory all trees on the subject property and, as necessary, make recommendations for protection, retention, and preservation or removal of trees on site. A copy of such report and recommendations shall be submitted to the City as part of the site development plan application and review process. (Ord. 2712 § 2, 2017; Ord. 2702 § 3, 2016; Ord. 2304 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2074 § 8.4(A), 1995).

19.130.150 Significant trees and vegetation defined.

A. Significant Trees. “Significant tree” means any tree other than black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), cottonwood (Populous freemontii), native alder (native Alnus only), native willow (native Salix only), or Lombardy poplar (Populous nigra), having a trunk diameter of six inches or greater as measured four feet off the ground, or any coniferous tree at least 10 feet in height.

B. Significant vegetation shall include any vegetation located in a wetland or water body or within a required setback/buffer, excluding noxious weeds and vegetation such as blackberry vines and nettles. (Ord. 2712 § 3, 2017; Ord. 2702 § 4, 2016; Ord. 2304 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2074 § 8.4(B), 1995).

19.130.160 Required plans and review.

A. For any proposed site development plan where any significant trees or significant vegetation exists, the applicant shall submit a significant vegetation inventory plan as follows:

1. A drawing to the same scale as the site development plan or the landscape development plan;

2. The location, caliper size, botanical name and condition, including the likely remaining healthy life span, of all significant existing trees as defined by MTMC 19.130.150, and the location of all wetland and water body setback buffers, including the location and botanical name of any significant vegetation as defined by MTMC 19.130.150;

3. The existing and proposed contours;

4. Identification of trees and vegetation proposed for retention or removal; and

5. Recommended tree protection techniques to be employed before, during, and after land alteration and construction to ensure the continued healthy life of retained trees and vegetation.

B. Significant vegetation inventory plans shall be prepared by an aboriculturist or urban forester unless otherwise approved by the city in writing;

C. The City shall review proposed significant vegetation inventory plans in conjunction with site development plans and approve or require modification or revisions of any of the proposed plans in order to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, significant trees are retained on site, unless such trees present a safety hazard, based on their condition or location; and

D. Recommendations made by an arborist or urban forester as part of the approved significant vegetation inventory plan are to be strictly followed by the applicant/developer/owner throughout the life of the project. (Ord. 2304 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2074 § 8.4(C), 1995).

19.130.170 Site clearing.

A. No site clearing or significant tree or vegetation removal shall occur on any lot prior to approval of a proposed significant vegetation inventory plan when such plan is required.

B. When a significant vegetation inventory plan is required, no building permits for site work including, but not limited to, clearing, grading, or demolitions shall be issued until:

1. An approved significant vegetation inventory plan is on file with the Planning Department; and

2. A site inspection has verified the installation of the appropriate tree and vegetation protection mechanisms.

C. A stream and/or wetland buffer zone shall not be disturbed in any way or manner that is inconsistent with Chapter 16.15 MTMC.

D. For any site proposed to be developed or cleared and which contains 10 or more significant trees that are in good condition, based on the approved significant vegetation inventory plan, at least 20 percent of such trees must be retained.

E. Any tree or vegetation removal, site clearing, or site alteration undertaken that does not meet these conditions will be subject to site rehabilitation, as determined by the City, and may be subject to penalties as provided for by this chapter and other applicable codes.

F. Must comply with MTMC 16.20.080(D) (Clearing and Grading Permit). (Ord. 2729 § 21, 2018; Ord. 2712 § 4, 2017; Ord. 2702 § 5, 2016; Ord. 2304 § 1, 2001; Ord. 2074 § 8.4(D), 1995).

19.130.180 Protection techniques.

In order to provide the best possible conditions for the retention of significant trees and vegetation, the applicant shall comply with the site-specific recommendations made by a qualified arboriculturist or urban forester. A copy of the recommendations shall be submitted to the City for review and acceptance and be on file with the Planning Department.

In all other cases, the following requirements shall apply. Any exception to these requirements shall be approved in writing by the Planning Department.

A. No filling, excavating, stacking, storing of any equipment, or compacting of the earth in any way shall be permitted within the area defined by the drip line of any tree to be retained, except for filling or excavating as recommended by an arborist and approved by the City. The drip line corresponds to the circle that would be drawn on the soil around a tree or shrub directly under its outermost branch tips; and

B. No impervious surface material may be installed within the area defined by the drip line of any tree to be retained, except as recommended by an arborist and approved by the City; and

C. When the grade level around a tree to be retained is raised, a rock wall or well shall be constructed along the drip line as necessary; and

D. Branches and roots may be pruned as necessary according to accepted industry standards; and

E. Removal of noxious weeds from approved retention areas shall be done in a manner that limits disruption of the root system and avoids injury to the bark of the trees and vegetation to be retained; and

F. Protective barricades shall be provided around the tree(s) to be protected, placed no closer to the trunk of the tree than the drip line of the tree (the outermost edge of the tree’s crown), and as otherwise described in the Stormwater Manual adopted under Chapter 16.20 MTMC. Protective barricades shall be made of sturdy fencing and post materials that shall be in place during all construction and grading activities occurring within 25 feet of the tree(s).

If, at the discretion of the City, it appears tree protection practices employed during site development are insufficient to protect retained trees, the applicant may be required to implement other specific tree protection techniques at that time. (Ord. 2712 § 5, 2017; Ord. 2702 § 6, 2016; Ord. 2074 § 8.4(E), 1995).

19.130.190 Replacement and restoration of significant trees.

A. For each and every tree or vegetation area designated for retention according to an approved significant vegetation inventory, site development plan, building permit or clearing and grading permit that is removed, damaged, or destroyed at any time throughout the life of the project in violation of the approved plans, permits or this title, the City may require replanting with up to three times the number of trees that were removed from, or damaged, or destroyed on the subject site. Replacement trees shall be of any approved species, mutually agreed upon by the applicant and staff, at least three inches in diameter measured six inches above grade for deciduous trees, and a minimum of 12 feet in height for evergreen.

B. In addition to tree and other plant material replacement as specified in subsection A of this section, the City may impose penalties for removal of trees in violation of the approved plan or permit pursuant to Chapter 19.140 MTMC. (Ord. 2712 § 6, 2017; Ord. 2702 § 7, 2016; Ord. 2074 § 8.4(F), 1995).

Article V. Landscaping Required for Site Development

19.130.200 General requirements.

A. Landscaping, consisting of at least grass or other live ground cover, shall be provided for all developed and undeveloped portions of a proposed development or redevelopment project site not specifically landscaped to meet the perimeter, interior, or buffering requirements described in the following sections.

B. In all cases, rockeries, retaining walls, and other similar landscape elements shall not count toward meeting any required planting area widths or planting area percentages.

C. No required landscape area may be disturbed or intruded into by any use or structure except as permitted in MTMC 19.130.220(A)(9).

D. Plant material selection and spacing shall be in conformance with the applicable landscape type required for any area required to be landscaped. Refer to MTMC 19.130.240 for a review of landscape types. See MTMC 19.130.210, 19.130.220, and 19.130.230 to determine which landscape type is the appropriate one to use.

E. Special Location Provisions. Plant material and fences may be placed in the street right-of-way, behind the sidewalk line, subject to approval of the City Engineer and/or a required right-of-way use permit. Such plantings shall not count toward satisfying any required landscaping but may nonetheless be part of a site’s LID development requirements.

Plantings and fences shall not obstruct access to water meters or fire hydrants, overhang pedestrian use areas so as to impede pedestrian passage in any way, or interfere with the sight area triangle (MTMC 19.120.290). (Ord. 2712 § 7, 2017; Ord. 2702 § 8, 2016; Ord. 2074 § 8.5(A), 1995).

19.130.210 Street frontage and parking lot perimeter landscape development.

A. Street Frontage Landscaping. With the exception of commercial frontage in BC Downtown, all site development proposals abutting a street right-of-way shall, between the right-of-way and any site improvements, provide as a minimum a Type I landscaping strip five feet in width.

For the SDD C/R district, a 12-foot pedestrian activity area shall be provided between face of curb and face of building with Public Works Director’s approval. The landscape area may include pedestrian paths.

For BC Downtown, the commercial frontage and pedestrian activity area shall include such amenities as street trees, benches, waste receptacles and flower containers. For every commercial frontage, at least one irrigated planter area not less than 30 square feet shall be provided. As long as the corner sight triangle is not obscured, it may be placed anywhere in the 12 feet face of curb to face of building minimum area whether in the right-of-way or on private property. The area, if any, between the right-of-way and the front line of the building shall be finished and serve as driveway/pedestrian area or landscaping, marquees, or similar, that extend up to five feet over the sidewalk to protect pedestrians from the elements for 70 percent of the facade.

The width of necessary access ways from the public rights-of-way to the parking lot, or to service the parking or other vehicular use areas, may be subtracted from the lineal dimension used to calculate the number of street trees required.

B. Commercial Frontage Landscaping. On frontages designated as commercial, landscaping shall conform with the approved street landscape plan in the ISTEA/56th Street Beautification plan when buildings are adjacent to the pedestrian activity area. Continuous planting beds will not be required in areas providing for safe walking. Raised planters shall be encouraged.

If parking is provided between the pedestrian activity area and the face of the building, landscaping shall be required to screen parking. Otherwise, the area shall be designed to encourage pedestrian movement.

Commercial Frontage Landscape Standards to Screen Parking

Number of Parking Stalls

Minimum Width of On-site Planting Area When On-site Parking is Located Between the Pedestrian Activity Area and the Building

1 – 25

5 feet

26 or more

10 feet

C. Perimeter Landscaping for Parking Lots.

1. Parking lots fronting on street right(s)-of-way shall provide Type I landscaping in the required planter width area between the parking area and the right-of-way.

2. The following planter width requirements shall apply:

Street Frontage Landscape Planter Width

Zoning District

Number of Parking Stalls

Suggested Width of Perimeter Planting Adjacent to Street Right(s) of Way

Commercial and Industrial Districts (BC, GC, F/T, LI/OP, SDD C/R)

    0 – 75

    76 – 250

    251 – 500

    Over 500

    5 feet

    10 feet

    15 feet

    20 feet

All Other Districts except Single-Household Residential (RS)*

100 or less more than 100

    10 feet

    15 feet

*Parking areas for public facilities, schools, religious facilities, performing arts centers, public recreation facilities, and membership organizations, shall comply with these requirements when located in RS zones.

(Ord. 2105, 1996; Ord. 2074 § 8.5(B), 1995).

19.130.220 Interior parking lot and interior site landscape development.

The following interior landscape development shall be provided in addition to perimeter landscape development:

A. All parking lot and open vehicular use areas shall meet the following requirements for interior lot development:

1. Density. Planting areas shall constitute at least 10 percent of the parking and vehicular use area in all commercial districts and 15 percent of the parking and vehicular use area in all other developments, except for single-household residential developments;

2. Planting Islands. Planting islands shall be placed between every 10 parking stalls and on the ends of any parking aisle with 10 or more parking stalls. Planting islands include peninsular projections from perimeter landscape areas;

3. Planter Area Width. The minimum width of any required planting islands shall be five feet. Triangular planter islands must average a minimum of five feet in width for the full length of the planter area. Planting islands between parking bays shall have a minimum interior width of eight feet, including vehicle overhang;

4. Minimum Area. Interior parking lot planting islands shall be a minimum of 65 square feet in size;

5. Location of Plantings. All interior parking lot planting areas shall be located between parking bays, parking stalls, or the end of parking columns. The landscaping may be peninsular or island type. No landscape planting which occurs between the parking area and a building or recreation area shall be counted toward satisfying the requirements;

6. Maximum Contiguous Area. Required interior parking lot landscaping is to be distributed evenly throughout the vehicular use area. Landscape areas in excess of the minimum requirements may be clustered or consolidated as desired;

7. Required Plantings in Landscape Islands. As a minimum, Type I landscaping shall be provided in landscape islands with a minimum of one tree for each 150 square feet or fraction thereof of required and provided landscape areas associated with vehicular use areas. Any remaining areas shall be landscaped as specified by subsection B of this section or the applicable landscape type (MTMC 19.130.240);

8. Parked Vehicle Overhang. A curb or other wheel stop shall be provided wherever vehicles may overhang landscaped areas. Maximum overhang for parked vehicles is limited to two feet, six inches for standard stalls and compact stalls, including the curb or wheel stop. Landscaping, within any vehicle overhang area, is limited to low-growing live ground covers (including grass);

9. Pedestrian Access. Parking lots in any commercial or industrial zone shall accommodate pedestrian access openings through continuous planting areas by providing, as a minimum, a four-foot-wide pathway every fourth parking stall. Pedestrian pathways shall not be required in planting areas where pedestrian traffic is unlikely to occur; e.g., through perimeter planting areas directly opposite the building structure or where planting areas are perpendicular to the building structure;

10. Alightment Area. Any parking stall abutting a planter island on the driver or passenger side of the vehicle shall provide an additional 18 inches of stall width above the minimum stall width requirement to provide a place for alighting passengers to step other than in the planting bed. The additional width shall be striped separate from the parking stall; and

11. Light standards within a parking area are to be located in landscape planters. If tree placement interferes with light coverage requirements, alternative lighting shall be considered, such as mounting down-lighting, or up-lighting a larger tree.

B. Interior lot landscape development, other than that required for perimeter and interior parking lot landscaping, shall be provided as follows. All planting areas shall be a minimum of five feet in width.

1. Planting areas located between the vehicular use area and an interior lot sidewalk shall be landscaped with Type I landscaping;

2. A Type II landscape planting strip shall be required between any vehicular use area, sidewalk, or right-of-way and any on-site buildings when the building facade has a mean elevation greater than 20 feet in height or is more than 50 feet long; and

3. All other areas on a subject site or building lot that are not specifically designated for parking, structure siting, storage, or to meet landscaping requirements shall be planted, as a minimum, with 100 percent coverage with turf or 75 percent coverage with other living ground cover within three years. (Ord. 2712 § 8, 2017; Ord. 2702 § 9, 2016; Ord. 2074 § 8.5(C), 1995).

19.130.230 Perimeter landscaping on interior lot lines – Buffering requirements.

A. The landscape development standards of this section are in addition to other requirements of this chapter.

B. To reduce incompatible characteristics of abutting properties with different land use classifications, the minimum designated width and landscape type that applies on interior property lines, shall be according to the following table:


Interior Lot Line Landscape Type and Width

Adjacent to Land Use District

Land Use District of Proposal1






BC Downtown





Single-Household Residential (RS)3


Type V 12 feet

Type V 12 feet

Type V 15 feet

Type V 15 feet

Type V 20 feet

Type V 20 feet

Type V 20 feet

Type V 15 feet

Low Density (RML) & Medium Density Residential (RMM)


Type III 10 feet

Type IV 12 feet

Type IV 15 feet

Type IV 15 feet

Type IV 15 feet

Type V 20 feet

Type IV 20 feet

Type V 15 feet

Mobile Home Park (MHP)


Type III 10 feet

Type III 10 feet

Type IV 12 feet

Type IV 12 feet


Type V 20 feet

Type IV 12 feet

Type IV 12 feet

General Commercial (CG) & Community Business (BC)


Type IV 12 feet

Type IV 12 feet

Type III 5 feet

Type III 5 feet

Type III 5 feet

Type III 8 feet

Type III 5 feet

Type III 5 feet

BC Downtown








Type IV 15 feet

Type III 12 feet

Freeway/Tourist (F/T)


Type III 12 feet


Type III 5 feet

Type III 5 feet



Type III 12 feet

Type III 12 feet

Light Industrial/Office Park (LI/OP) Public Facilities and Services (PFS)


Type IV 15 feet

Type IV 15 feet

Type III 5 feet



Type I

5 feet

Type I

5 feet


Special Development District (SDD R)


Type III 15 feet

Type III 15 feet

Type III 5 feet

Type III 5 feet


Type I

5 feet


Type III 12 feet

Special Development District Commercial Residential (SDD C/R)





Type III 5 feet



Type IV 10 feet


1. Development in the Recreation/Open Space (REC) land use district shall provide lot line landscape buffers based on Planning Commission recommendations for each case. For development in a Special Development District (SDD), refer to Chapter 19.80 MTMC for landscape buffer requirements.

2. Schools, religious facilities, performing arts centers, public recreational facilities and membership organizations, located in a RS, RMM, or RML zone, shall provide a Type III planting strip, 10 feet in width, on any interior property line. When located in any other zone, landscaping shall be provided as noted in accordance with the chart.

3. Landscape buffering requirements shall apply to both adjacent single-household residential zoned property and adjacent single-household residential land uses.

4. Subject to approval by the Planning Commission, the interior lot line landscaping area requirements for BC, CG and LI/OP zoned properties that abut BC, CG or LI/OP zoning designations may be satisfied by providing equivalent planting area and materials elsewhere on site, for example, increased street frontage or interior parking lot landscaping.

(Ord. 2702 § 10, 2016; Ord. 2074 § 8.5(D), 1995).

19.130.240 Landscape types.

The intent of the landscape type and the minimum requirements for each are described below. For minimum required plant sizes see MTMC 19.130.110 (Landscape Development Standards).

A. Type I – Open Area Landscaping.

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

2. Description. Type I landscaping shall consist of deciduous trees spaced a maximum of 35 feet on center in a continuous planting bed; a maximum of 75 feet on center with segmented planting areas; and low-lying shrubs with a maximum height of 36 inches and live ground cover that, combined with shrubbery, provides at least 75 percent coverage of the landscaped area within two years. Up to 25 percent of the required landscape area may utilize nonliving landscape material in place of the otherwise required living ground cover. As a minimum, planting areas shall have a width of five feet and one tree for every 150 square feet or fraction thereof of applicable landscaped area.

Evergreen trees may be used on a limited basis and only when planted outside any sight area triangle with a maximum spacing of 30 feet on center.

When located between sidewalks and parking lots in nonresidential zones, Type I landscaping shall not require a continuous planting bed. Planting beds of at least 30 square feet shall be provided with one dimension at least five feet. Five-foot-wide pedestrian walks shall be provided for access to sidewalk, transit, and businesses. Five-foot-wide pedestrian walks through landscaped areas may be provided every 35 feet. Stepping stones through planting areas may be provided to minimize damage to plantings.

B. Type II – Ornamental Landscaping.

1. Purpose. Type II landscaping is intended to provide visual relief and shade to building facades and add to the overall quality of a development by softening the effect of site buildings and structures upon the landscape.

2. Description. Type II landscaping shall consist of coniferous and deciduous trees planted an average of 30 feet on center in beds at least five feet in width, along with evergreen and deciduous shrubs and live ground cover forming an effective screen so as to cover over 75 percent of the landscape area within two years. Up to 25 percent of the required landscape area may utilize nonliving landscape material in place of the otherwise required living ground cover.

C. Type III – Visual Buffer.

1. Purpose. Type III landscaping is intended to provide visual separation of incompatible uses from streets, main arterials, and along property lines.

2. Description. Type III landscaping is made up of evergreens or a mixture of evergreen and deciduous (no greater than 80 percent deciduous) trees. Maximum spacing shall be 20 feet on center for evergreen trees and 35 feet on center for deciduous trees. Shrubs and live ground covers shall provide for at least 100 percent coverage of landscaped area within a two-year period. An earthen berm may be used with low shrubbery in place of more level terrain with medium-sized shrubbery. Up to 25 percent of the required landscape area may utilize nonliving landscape material in place of the otherwise required living ground cover.

D. Type IV – Moderate Screening.

1. Purpose. Type IV landscaping is intended to create a strong visual separation between incompatible uses.

2. Description. Type IV landscaping shall be made up of evergreen trees planted a maximum of 15 feet on center, along with medium-sized shrubs and live ground cover to form an effective visual barrier a minimum of six feet in height within five years. Up to 25 percent of the required landscape area may utilize nonliving landscape material in place of the otherwise required living ground cover. Deciduous trees up to 25 percent of the tree requirement are encouraged to add seasonal and textural variation. Either an earth berm or a six-foot high sight-screening fence shall be used. When the earth berming alternative is chosen, medium-sized shrubs shall be spaced four and one-half feet on center. When the fence option is selected, medium-sized shrubs shall be placed six feet on center. Actual plant spacing is influenced by selected plant species and size, in conjunction with the alternative selected and is subject to final approval by the City.

E. Type V – Solid Screening.

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

2. Description. As a minimum Type V landscaping shall consist of a double row of evergreen trees (with rows offset) spaced 15 feet triangulated on center, an earth berm, a minimum height of two and one-half feet, and shrubs and live ground cover to provide an effective visual barrier a minimum of six feet in height within three years. As an alternative to earth berming, a six-foot high sight-screening fence may be incorporated into the landscaping. Up to 25 percent of the required landscape area may utilize nonliving landscape material in place of the otherwise required living ground cover.

(Ord. 2074 § 8.5(E), 1995).

Article VI. Maintenance of Landscape Development

19.130.250 Maintenance of landscape development.

All required landscape development and turf areas as designated on the approved landscape plan shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition, free of weeds, trash, or debris throughout the life and use of the development. Dead, damaged, diseased, or missing plant material or turf shall be repaired or replaced as necessary to comply with the intent of the approved plans and this chapter.

Refer to MTMC 19.130.090 for requirements for maintenance guarantees. (Ord. 2074 § 8.6, 1995).