Chapter 18.72   LANDSCAPE REQUIREMENTS

Sections:


18.72.010   Intent.

A.

It is the intent of this chapter to:

1.

Protect natural habitats, air quality, and groundwater recharge;

2.

Improve the appearance of the community;

3.

Provide shade and wind protection;

4.

Reduce storm water discharge;

5.

Conserve water supplies; and

6.

Provide buffering and/or screening of potentially incompatible land uses.

B.

This chapter is intended to help achieve these purposes by:

1.

Retaining trees and other significant native vegetation, without reducing development densities from those indicated in the comprehensive plan;

2.

Requiring landscaping as specified;

3.

Reducing the need to irrigate by retaining and encourage the use of native vegetation; and

4.

Requiring that landscapes be adequately maintained and irrigated.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.72.020   Landscape plan.

A.

A landscape plan that shows the landscape improvements required by this chapter shall be prepared and submitted for approval under the site plan review procedures of this title.

B.

Exemption. Landscaping standards do not apply to residential uses within the, R4 and R6 zones, except that all undeveloped areas of exempt properties shall be landscaped and continually maintained or retained in a natural undisturbed state.

C.

Landscaping plans for any residential project of greater than twelve dwelling units or any commercial or industrial development of greater than ten thousand square feet in building area or one-half acre of site size shall be prepared by a professional landscape architect licensed in the State of Washington or by a Washington state nurseryman;

D.

New landscaping materials shall include species native to the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest or non-invasive naturalized species that have adapted to those climatic conditions, in the following amounts: seventy-five percent of groundcovers and shrubs; and fifty percent of trees.

E.

At least sixty percent of new landscaping materials shall consist of drought-tolerant species.

F.

Existing vegetation may be used to augment new plantings to meet the standards of this chapter.

G.

The director may waive or reduce any requirement(s) of this chapter if:

1.

The remodel of an existing building results in the expansion of floor area that is ten percent or less of the existing floor area; or

2.

An expansion of a use results in no modifications (except normal maintenance and repair of the structure) to the outdoor area of the site.

H.

Alternative Landscaping Plan. The requirements of this chapter may be modified to encourage better landscaping design as follows:

1.

A request for approval of an alternate landscaping shall be submitted and accompanied by a landscape plan as required above;

2.

An application for an alternative landscaping plan shall include a description of the superior site development that an alternative landscape design will produce, including identification of the specific public benefit to be gained.

3.

An alternative plan shall only be approved during site plan review if supported by written findings of public benefit and that the total area of landscaping shall be equal to or exceed that created by adherence to the standard requirements of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.72.030   Landscaping requirements.

Proportion of landscape areas: a portion of the land surface of new development shall include the following site landscaping:

A.

The minimum portion of a site which must be a landscaped area or maintained as native vegetation depends on the zone district as follows:

1.

R4 and R6: thirty percent;

2.

MDR8: thirty percent;

3.

NC, CC: twenty percent;

4.

Light industrial/business park: twenty-five percent;

5.

Industrial: ten percent.

B.

All required setback areas shall be landscaped unless other activities are authorized by this title.

C.

All portions of a site not devoted to buildings, parking and loading, or outdoor storage areas as permitted in this title shall be landscaped.

D.

Critical areas, public parks, and land designated as open space shall not count toward this requirement. All other lands, including lands devoted to meeting other requirements of this chapter, shall count toward this requirement.

E.

A portion of the required percentage of landscape areas may be met by leaving land in its natural state including not disturbing grade and native vegetation, providing that the provisions of this chapter are otherwise satisfied.

F.

Landscaping requirements for non-residential site perimeters and parking lots:

1.

Street Trees. At time of street construction, or time of development of the adjoining land, street trees and related landscaping shall be provided in medians and parking strips within the street right-of-way in accordance with the city's public works standards. Street trees shall be:

a.

Provided at least one per thirty lineal feet of frontage;

b.

Located within the street right-at-way;

c.

Of the same species as other street trees in the same streetscape or as otherwise specified on a city-approved street tree planting plan;

d.

Spaced to accommodate sight distance requirements for driveways; and

e.

At least three-inch caliper DBH (diameter at breast height) at the time of planting.

2.

Buffering of non-residential uses abutting residential zones: for non-residential uses, all required side and rear yard areas shall be landscaped with densely planted, evergreen vegetation to provide full visual screening of any adjacent residentially-zoned properties to a height of four feet at time of planting and at least eight feet high at maturity. Minimum planting width is equal to the required yard setback.

3.

Parking areas:

a.

All parking areas for multi-family and non-residential uses shall include a minimum six foot wide perimeter of landscaping, including trees, groundcover and shrubs, to provide full visual screening to a minimum height of forty-two inches at maturity; trees shall be planted at no more than twenty-five foot intervals.

b.

The interior of all parking lots with twelve or more stalls shall include landscape islands comprising not less than ten percent in area of the total parking lot exclusive of required perimeter landscaping. Individual islands shall not be less than one hundred fifty square feet in area and not separated by more than one hundred twenty lineal feet in any direction from another island. Landscaping of these islands shall consist of trees, shrubs and groundcovers.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.72.040   Maintenance and irrigation.

To the extent necessary to remain healthy and attractive, all non-native landscaping shall be watered, weeded, pruned, freed of pests, and replaced if necessary. Shrubs near parking lots or driving lanes shall be cropped to prevent blockage of vision necessary for safe driving. Shrubs shall not be allowed to grow so as to block public sidewalks or required pedestrian walkways.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)

18.72.050   Landscape plan modification.

Procedures applicable to modification to an approved landscape plan, or appeal of a denial of landscape plan, shall follow the procedures of Chapters 18.08 and 18.16.

(Ord. No. 909, § 2 (Exh. A), 6-18-2009)