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Thread: Landscaping regulations: trees in parking areas

  1. #1
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Landscaping regulations: trees in parking areas

    I am working on updating our landscaping and screening ordinance. Currently we require 1 tree per 10,000 sf of parking lot area. We are proposing to increase that to 1 tree per 6,000 sf of parking lot area. I am putting together a comparison of other cities. I am interested in all cities but cities with the same climate would be most effective. We are also proposing to increase the minimum planting area around each tree from 36 sf to 50 sf.

    Can you tell me what the requirements are in your areas relative to trees per parking lot area (or per parking space) and include the minimum planting area for each tree?

    I am in the eastern Nebraska/western Iowa area.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I'm sure I've posted these before, but here it is again:

    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner's Regs
    3.09 LANDSCAPING DESIGN STANDARDS
    a. The existing landscape of Londonderry is diverse, containing natural wooded environments, orchards and open fields, as well as wetlands and streams. New development should be respectful and sensitive to the dominant landscape character of Londonderry as a whole.
    b. The purpose of landscaping design standards in Londonderry are to:
    1. Preserve and enhance the character of Londonderry’s landscape
    2. Enhance the goals of the Master Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and the Orchard and Open Space Preservation Plan, and provide attractive settings for new development.
    3. Preserve and enhance local and regional open space resources such as, but not limited to, the apple orchards and the Musquash Conservation Area.
    4. Preserve the integrity of valuable historic resources, particularly stonewalls and dwellings and structures listed in the Heritage Commission's Cultural Resource Survey.
    5. Support and encourage the use of sustainable design principles and operating practices that preserve and enhance wildlife habitats, water quality, and overall health of the natural environment.
    6. Encourage the use of indigenous plant material to provide natural habitat and food sources and to maintain ecological diversity.
    7. Maintain a quality image of the public spaces within Londonderry and high property values for present and future development
    c. General Requirements:
    1. All required landscaping shall be located entirely within the lot, unless agreements have been made with the Town for landscaping in the road right-of-way.
    2. Native plants shall be used in appropriate locations, such that individual plants are selected for their ability to thrive in or adapt to the particular soil and light conditions they are placed in. (For a list of recommended native plants, see Appendix LS1: Notes on Native Trees and Shrubs and Their Use in Landscaping)
    3. Under no circumstances shall any plants be used that are recognized by the horticultural or agricultural industries as invasive, whether they are native or exotic (non-native). (For a list of known invasive plants, see Appendix LS2: Notes on Native Trees and Shrubs and Their Use in Landscaping)
    4. All plant material shall have a minimum winter hardiness for Zone 5B as determined by the American Standards for Nursery Stock.
    5. Minimum sizes for plant material, unless indicated elsewhere in these regulations or the Zoning Ordinance, shall be as follows:
    i. Deciduous shade trees: three inch caliper,
    ii. Deciduous ornamental trees: two inch caliper, and
    iii. Evergreen trees: six foot height.
    6. Landscaping shall be laid out in informal drifts rather than formal rows and shall undulate with site topography. Individual clusters of trees or islands of shrub beds are acceptable as long as the tree clusters and/or shrub islands overlap. Linear solutions shall be avoided wherever possible, unless existing landscaping is so arranged.
    7. The applicant may request that the Planning Board determine that existing vegetation is suitably located, sufficiently visually impervious, and vigorous enough to be substituted for landscaping material required by these regulations.
    8. Plant material located within 20 feet of any road or other paved area shall consist of species recognized by the nursery, horticultural and botanical industries as being tolerant of roadway deicing salts.
    9. Landscaping requirements for parking lots are located in Section 3.11f.
    10. Landscaping shall be maintained in good condition, and any dead vegetation shall be replaced within one year.
    11. No person shall deface, alter the location, of, or remove any stonewall which was made for the purpose of marking the boundary of, or borders, any road in the Town of Londonderry, except upon written consent of the Planning Board with written comments from the Heritage Commission.
    12. Landscaping shall be designed so that it does not interfere with sight distances at driveways.

    d. Preservation of Existing Vegetation
    1. Buildings, parking, loading docks, access roads, and other site elements shall be sited to preserve existing healthy mature vegetation and maintain natural topography to the maximum extent feasible.
    2. Healthy trees with a minimum 12 inch caliper, and existing wooded areas are recommended for preservation, particularly those trees located within setback areas where buildings cannot be constructed.
    3. Construction activities and site alterations shall not disturb the root zone of the trees designated for preservation. During construction, the applicant shall install and maintain tree protection fencing, or other protective measures approved by the Planning Board, located 12 inches off the drip-line of the trees to be protected. All no-cut zones shall be appropriately monumented and delineated on the site plan.
    4. The applicant shall be responsible to replace any trees designated to remain, which have been damaged, killed, or removed as a result of construction activities. The Planning Board requires replacement-in-kind, per caliper inch of deciduous trees and by height for evergreens. Two inch caliper deciduous trees and 4 foot tall evergreens shall be the minimum size used for replacement. For example, if a 24-inch caliper deciduous tree is damaged or killed during construction, the applicant shall replace the tree with six 4 inch caliper trees, or any other combination that adds up to 24 caliper inches. A 36-foot tall evergreen, for example shall be replaced with six 6 foot tall evergreen, or any other combination adding up to 36 feet.
    e. Screening
    1. Screening shall be a year-round visually impermeable barrier that may be existing, constructed, or a combination thereof.
    i. Existing screens may consist of natural topographic landforms, rock outcrops, or vegetation that is dense enough to be visually impermeable.
    ii. Constructed screens may consist of built screens, such as walls or fences, topographic screens, such as berms or landforms, vegetative screens consisting entirely of evergreen material, or a combination thereof.
    2. Screening is required to soften the visual impact of buildings, parking areas (see Section 3.11f), loading docks, trash disposal areas, exterior storage, and other unsightly areas associated with or generated by a particular development as viewed from a public right-of-way, residential zoning districts, and the principal entrances of buildings on abutting lots.
    3. The use of existing vegetation, topography, and natural features to comply with screening requirements is encouraged.
    4. Screening may be required, at the discretion of the Planning Board, along the entire front setback or only a part of it. Screening may also be required to extend beyond the minimum setback areas or further into the lot, particularly if the building is located beyond the minimum setback or if the lot configuration is such that the visibility into side or rear setbacks is unimpaired from the public right-of-way, residences, and principal entrances on abutting lots.
    5. A minimum of 50% of built screens which face the public right-of-way, residences, and principal entrances on abutting lots shall be softened with landscaping.
    6. Vegetative screens shall achieve a minimum of 75% vertical opacity to a height of 6 feet, year-round, within one year of installation. Screens shall not be located so as to impede vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
    f. Maintenance
    1. The owner of any lot shall be responsible for the maintenance of all landscaped open space, natural screens, and constructed screens within the lot. Landscaping shall be maintained in good condition such that planting shall be vigorous and in good health at all times and that the parcel shall present a healthy, neat, and orderly appearance, free from refuse and debris. Any dead vegetation that is part of the approved landscaping design shall be replaced within one year.
    2. Landscaping shall be maintained so that it does not interfere with sight distances at driveways.
    3. The Planning Board, at its discretion, may require a landscape maintenance and water management plan. The maintenance plan shall include, but not be limited to the following:
    i. Integrated Turf Management: mowing schedule, weed control, pest control, soil pH management, fertilizer plan, aeration/dethatching schedule, repair/replacement plan.
    ii. Shrub and Groundcover Management: mulch schedule, weed control, pruning where needed for visibility, preventative pest/disease management, repair/replacement plan.
    iii. Tree Management: mulch schedule, weed control, deadwood removal, pruning schedule, particularly for trees located next to walkways or roadways, fertilizing schedule, preventative pest/disease management, repair/replacement plan.
    iv. Water Systems Management: water source, system description, spring start-up, fall close-out, system testing schedule, repair/replacement plan. The applicant may install a permanent water supply system consisting of a sprinkler system and/or hose bibs placed at appropriate locations and intervals. Wherever possible, irrigation water shall be derived from sources other than the municipal water system, including “gray water,” re-used water, detained stormwater, roof drainage, or water from on-site wells. “Gray water” is water from sinks, showers, dishwashers, and washing machines. On-site cisterns may be installed to store water for irrigation.
    v. Rodent Control: design preventative measures, operational preventative measures, monitoring, schedule, remediative action plan.
    vi. Seasonal Maintenance: Spring clean-up plan, fall clean-up plan, disposal plans for leaves and plant debris, winter plowing plan, winter deicing plan.

    <SNIP>

    3.11 PARKING LOT DESIGN STANDARDS

    <SNIP>

    g. Mitigating the impacts of parking lots:
    1. As a supplement to the parking lot landscaping standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance, a minimum percentage of the overall interior area of a parking lot (as measured by the exterior perimeter) shall be dedicated to landscaped areas (to be included on the landscape plans) with ground cover, shrubbery, and trees, as appropriate, as follows:
    i. 10% on parking lots located in front of the principal building or on otherwise vacant lots.
    ii. 8% on parking lots located on the side of the principal building, set back from the front boundary line at least even with the front of the principal building.
    iii. 5% on parking lots which are located at the rear of the principal building and largely obscured from the road.
    2. Landscaping within parking areas shall provide visual and climatic relief from broad expanses of pavement and shall be designed to channel and define logical areas for pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
    3. Internal parking lot landscaping, as required by item 1, above, shall contain one deciduous shade tree for every 15 parking spaces. Trees shall be distributed throughout the parking lot as evenly as possible. Trees shall be set back at least 5 feet minimum from the face of the curb. Tree placement and parking lot lighting shall not conflict. Interior parking lot landscaping may be waived in truck parking areas provided they are screened and perimeter plantings, as described in items 5-7 below, are provided.
    4. All landscaped areas shall be protected from encroachment by vehicles by curbing, landscaping timbers, curb stops, or other acceptable means.
    5. Shade trees shall be provided around the perimeter of all parking areas at a minimum ratio of 1 tree per 20 feet of parking lot perimeter. In portions of parking areas where screening is required, shade trees shall be provided along the perimeter at a minimum ration of 1 tree per 50 feet of parking lot perimeter in addition to the required screening. Trees may be clustered or grouped, if desired, as long as clusters/groups are not more than 75 feet apart.
    6. All off-street parking areas located at the front or side of principal buildings or on vacant lots shall be screened from the public right-of-way with appropriate screening, as described in Section 3.09e, to provide at least 50% vertical opacity on average up to a height of 3-1/2 feet above grade, excluding sight distance areas at vehicular entrances and exits. If vegetation is used a hedge should be planted which is reasonably expected to reach this opacity and height within 1 year. If non-vegetative materials are used, appropriate ground cover, shrubs, and trees shall be planted (or retained) within the front area to soften the development.
    7. Screening from Residences: All off-street parking areas shall be screened from abutting residences or vacant lots in residential zoning districts (AR-I and R-III) located at the side or rear of the property with a wall, fence, vegetation or other means which provides at least 75% vertical opacity up to a height of six (6) feet above grade. If vegetation is used a hedge should be planted which is reasonably expected to reach this opacity and height within one year (see Section 3.09e).
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  3. #3
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Can you please add where these regs come from? I would like to site specific cities or counties in my report. Also, all I really need is a summary of the parking lot tree requirement and planting area.

  4. #4
         
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    Keith County (Rural/Recreational) uses the following for parking lot shade trees, recogize that we don't require paving for the lots.

    Parking lots with more than 50 parking spaces (as required by zoning regulations) – 1 shade tree (more than 30 feet at mature height) per 25 parking spaces

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CDT
    Can you please add where these regs come from? I would like to site specific cities or counties in my report. Also, all I really need is a summary of the parking lot tree requirement and planting area.
    Town of Londonderry, NH
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian dbarch's avatar
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    Don't have the exact regs. at hand, so I can't quote specifics, but several years ago I did a project in Jacksonville, FL. I thought their tree requirements were well thought out. They required a certain number of trees per square foot of surface parking (for shade) PLUS a certain number per linear foot of parking lot perimeter (for screening). It made the surface lots about as decent as they could be.
    Any JAX planners have the exact requirements?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    We use a point system.

    1 point of landscaping per parking space is required
    however, trees aren't required. Parking lot landscaping can be any combonation of shrubs and trees. 20 points are awarded for shade trees, 15 points for intermediate(ornamental), 15 for evergreen and 3 point for shrubs. Landscaping does not need to be in islands within the parking lot unless there are greater than 100 spaces, otherwise the landscaping can be provided around the permeter of the parking lot.

    Peoria, IL
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    This is great stuff, I hope I hear from more. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian brian_w's avatar
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    I wish we had better regulations ourselves, but we require that no parking space can be more than 90 feet from a landscaped area. This is in the Southeastern Wisconsin area. Probably similar climates I would assume?

    Best of luck to you!
    You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    Do you have access to an ordinance.com membership? Its a pay to view site, but has lots of ordinaces, though they are mostly for towns in the Northeast and California. There is also this site http://www.e-codes.generalcode.com/ which is free.

    While I'm all for more plantings in parking lots, be aware that many arborists and foresters consider 3x3 and 4x4 tree pits to provide insufficient soil volume. They recommend relegating plantings to larger islands or in long strips between bays. Trees tend to do better in those situations.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Boiker, interesting system. I need to think about that one. I despise the "one tree for each 50 front feet" landscaping style. Any serious negatives with your regs?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian CDT's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boilerplater
    Do you have access to an ordinance.com membership? Its a pay to view site, but has lots of ordinaces, though they are mostly for towns in the Northeast and California. There is also this site http://www.e-codes.generalcode.com/ which is free.

    While I'm all for more plantings in parking lots, be aware that many arborists and foresters consider 3x3 and 4x4 tree pits to provide insufficient soil volume. They recommend relegating plantings to larger islands or in long strips between bays. Trees tend to do better in those situations.

    I am trying to get some data on sufficient planting area. Presently we only require 36 square feet of plaing area per tree but my research has shown many communities require 8 foot width minimum, preferably in a 12 foot long bay. I hope to find landscaping data to back this up.

  13. #13
         
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    1 tree for every 20 parking spaces
    1 shrub for every 10 parking spaces
    No parking space farther than 50 ft from a tree planting area.
    Planting area no less than 162 square feet, min width of 6ft.
    No more than 50% of trees/shrubs may be deciduous
    Street yard =10ft min, One (1)tree per 100ft along street frontage.

    Conover, NC

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