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Thread: Parking lot landscaping

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Parking lot landscaping

    Right now im designing a parking lot for Comm and Industrial lots, im wonding what area it takes to put in some trees.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    The drip line will vary according to the species, cultivar, variety, height and spread of a tree. However, for planting plans, I have used a plant symbol for a shade tree with a diameter of 25'.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  3. #3
    I try to avoid trees in the main parking fields and anywhere the drip edge will extend over the pavement. This is the result of two things: 1) parking lots are an incredibly harsh environment for trees that is 2) made more so by indignant customers/employees who find the birds, nesting in said trees, have crapped all over their precious cars.

    Your experience may be different.
    Je suis Charlie

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I try to avoid trees in the main parking fields and anywhere the drip edge will extend over the pavement. This is the result of two things: 1) parking lots are an incredibly harsh environment for trees that is 2) made more so by indignant customers/employees who find the birds, nesting in said trees, have crapped all over their precious cars.

    Your experience may be different.
    Interesting take gedunker. Typically most municipalities here in california require landscaping, and specifically trees to shade a parking lot at full maturity to a) provide shade to cars and reduce visual effect of a parking lot b) reduce the heat island effect. As with nick said drip line will vary between species. It is a good idea to place these trees in planting boxes when using a diagonal parking pattern, or the preference in a planting strip with a minimum width of 4 feet but a preferred width of 6 feet. If done correctly, you can even place pedestrian paths (minimum 4.5 feet for ada requirements) between planters to create a pedestrian paths within the lot. Again, depending on use and how many spaces you need to generate should dictate the spaces you need and the type of planting boxes u should use. good luck.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  5. #5
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Front Range, CO
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    294

    Parking lots need trees. Cover that pavement.

    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I try to avoid trees in the main parking fields and anywhere the drip edge will extend over the pavement. This is the result of two things: 1) parking lots are an incredibly harsh environment for trees that is 2) made more so by indignant customers/employees who find the birds, nesting in said trees, have crapped all over their precious cars.

    Your experience may be different.
    Gaaah !!! This is horrible! (sorry gedunker). For so many reasons.

    I like to pretend this is my area of expertise (green infra), and GI code is my presentation cycle last year and this year; I'm webcasting in Mar and going to Dallas in Apr to talk about this very topic, waiting on word for conference submissions later this year. None of my recommendations for parking lots and roadsides have such a regime of bare, ugly, heat-trapping pavement.

    Bottom line fact is, stormwater and UHI and LL O3 are mitigated by canopy over parking lots. PW folks and agencies responsible for AQ attainment are capturing this fact as we speak, and many seminars have already happened to tease the details of this fact out for practice. Aesthetically trees increase willingness-to-pay and distance traveled to businesses as well, and businesses having nearby nature have happier & more productive employees.

    So, you want 100 ft2 and ~250 ft3 of surface (non-paved) and volume for medium-canopy trees for decent survivorship, which is roughly equal to a parking space to be safe to avoid car damage (6 feet is too narrow to avoid car door strikes). Many places are incorporating stormwater in the pavement and makes surface ft2 easier to do.

    Since your ITE standards are likely overparked, at the end of your aisle, it is easier to take 2 spaces and connect them, giving you plenty of room for 1 large canopy and 1 med canopy tree (med to south), and minimum every 12 spaces gets a tree island/peninsula. Every 8 spaces is ideal, but hard to get. Many places (esp in CA) are asking for 50% canopy coverage in 15 years over parking lots, so this is not some radical idea from greenenvironazijobhaturz. It is good sense to cover pavement

    -----

    PM me for further detail and I'll send you some of my presentation notes - landscaping standard work that I've done for this topic.

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    We are focused on providing "refuge" in parking lots in our regulations.

    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

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Aug 2008
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    I suspect different regions in the US have varying requirements about trees in parking lots, but here in Florida, they are primarily required. Many codes require up to 50 percent of planted trees be shade trees. The codes here tend to also focus on visual and climatic relief, and typically require minimum planting strip widths or areas to allow for the growth of the tree.

    There are also many codes here in Florida that require tree preservation of existing protected trees (such as Live Oaks), and further, where trees are to be removed, they must be mitigated for at a 1:1 or 1:3 ratio, depending on the species (Live Oaks typically 1:1).

    Further, as part of managing water quality in the state, green space is an absolute necessity to provide adequate means to store and filter surface runoff, as well as provide for adequate protection from erosion.

    With all this being said - it's not that common in Florida to have seas of parking spaces with little to no islands in new development. Older existing development may have these features, but current codes typically do not allow "wall-to-wall" paving. Finally, in many cases where additions are proposed to existing buildings, or where parking lots are expanded at existing sites, many municipalities will seek to have the lots brought into compliance with current code standards.

    Personally - I have always felt that lots in FL populated with beautiful shade trees have a much better "feel" to them. If I drove a $50K car (or thought my car was that special <g>), I'd simply pick a spot where a tree didn't cover.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Ontario
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    1) Im having trouble with you Americans using imperial (maybe I should apply for an internship n the states)

    2) Here in Ontario landscaping is important because is cuts down on the heat island effect and helps with aesthetics.

    As for the bird thing, well I guess its too bad for them, just wash ur car.

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