Chapter 17.56


17.56.010    Purpose

17.56.020    Location, Height, and Plant Standards

17.56.010 Purpose

The positioning, location, type of plant material, screening, and other landscape elements should allow for natural surveillance from within buildings, from outdoor locations on the site, from adjacent buildings and from the public rights-of-way. Landscaping and screening should complement efforts to define public, semi-public, and private areas. Natural access control can be achieved by emphasizing natural strategies that integrate behavior management through the design of space and the choice of plant materials. Dense plantings of thorny plant materials can provide a formidable barrier which is difficult to penetrate. Security is enhanced when walkways, entrances to buildings, and exits from buildings are open and permit a view to and from the surrounding neighborhood and adjacent sites. The more open the view of a space is, the less likely that space will be used for the commission of a crime. (Ord. 03-1033 § 11)

17.56.020 Location, Height, and Plant Standards

A.    Windows.

1.    Plants (trees, shrubs, etc.) shall be no higher than sill height within five (5) feet in front of windows, except for street trees located within the City’s designated City Center.

2.    Trees shall not be placed within five (5) feet in front of windows except where required for facade landscaping under SMC 15.445.100.

3.    It is recommended that barrier plants be placed below and to the sides of windows, except within six (6) feet of a walkway or children’s play area.

B.    Doorways/Entrances.

1.    No plants or trees shall be higher than three (3) feet within six (6) feet of a doorway or entrance.

C.    Walkways.

1.    Unless otherwise specified under Chapter 15.445 SMC, only low groundcover plants less than three (3) feet high shall be used within six (6) feet of walkways.

2.    Trees may be permitted in this area; provided, that they are pruned up to five (5) feet above the ground.

3.    Plants that exceed three (3) feet that have stalks less than two (2) inches in diameter and still allow for visual surveillance may also be used in this area.

4.    Walkway standards apply; provided, that the walkway is not adjacent to a building facade that requires facade landscaping.

D.    Barrier Plants.

1.    Barrier plants should be used below and to the sides of windows and adjacent perimeter walls, fences, and other building walls where desirable.

2.    Barrier plants discourage pedestrian through-traffic, therefore some types of barrier plants may exceed three (3) feet and still be approved.

E.    Trees. Trees are required to be pruned from the ground up to a height of five (5) feet to provide for visibility and surveillance, with the following exceptions:

1.    Deciduous trees fifteen (15) feet or less in height.

2.    Conifers (evergreens) twenty (20) feet or less in height. (Ord. 16-1007 § 33; Ord. 03-1033 § 11)