10.126 Design Standards

See List of Arborist Recommended Shrubs for specific uses.  Check with the city arborist prior to using a shrub for a landscape use.
An applicant shall comply with at least two of the following design standards:

     
(a)     Enhanced perimeter buffers.  An applicant may enhance the perimeter landscape buffer strip to a minimum average width equal to or greater than 15 feet.
  • Discussion:  Enhanced buffers apply to mandatory perimeter buffers with residential adjacency only.  

(b)     Street buffers.  An applicant may provide a landscape buffer strip along public street frontage. The landscape buffer strip must:
          (1)     be provided along the entire adjacent public street frontage, exclusive of driveways and accessways at points of ingress and egress to the lot; and
          (2)     have a minimum width of 10 feet or 10 percent of the lot depth, whichever is less.


(c)      Screening of off-street parking.  An applicant may provide screening for all parking lots on the building site or artificial lot, whichever is applicable, from all adjacent public streets in accordance with the following paragraphs.
          (1)     The screening must be voluntary (not required by ordinance).
          (2)     The screening must extend along the entire street frontage of the parking lot, exclusive of:
               (A)     driveways and accessways at points of ingress and egress to and from the lot; and
               (B)     visibility triangles.
          (3)     The screening must be at least three feet in height.
          (4)     Underground parking is considered to be screened for purposes of this subsection.
Elk Grove, CA image from landscape ordinance.

(d)     Enhanced vehicular pavement.  An applicant may provide enhanced pavement.  This pavement must be at least 25 percent of all outdoor vehicular pavement area on the lot.  The same pavement cannot satisfy both Subsections (d) and (e).  (Note:  All vehicular pavement must comply with the construction and maintenance provisions for off-street parking in this chapter.)

(e)     Permeable vehicular pavement.  An applicant may provide permeable enhanced pavement.  This pavement must be at least 25 percent of all outdoor vehicular pavement on the lot.  The same pavement cannot satisfy both Subsections (d) and (e).  (Note: All vehicular pavement must comply with the construction and maintenance provisions for off-street parking in this chapter.)

(f)     Pedestrian facilities.  An applicant may provide publicly accessible special pedestrian facilities and features such as plazas, covered walkways, fountains, lakes and ponds, seating areas, and outdoor recreation facilities.  These facilities and features must occupy at least five percent of the lot area.


(g)     Foundation planting strip.  An applicant may plant large shrubs along the foundation of the main building.  The planting area for the shrubs must be a minimum of three feet in width and extend along at least 50 percent of the portion of the foundation that faces a street.  The shrubs must be spaced no more than six feet apart measured from trunk to trunk.
  • Discussion:  Suggestion has been made to provide multiple options to the design of the foundation planting.  1) Plant evergreen plant materials along the foundation of the main building with a balanced visual buffer of the foundation as viewed from the street.  2) Plant a combination of low groundcover and evergreen plant materials that meet the intent of the ordinance with 'water-wise' landscaping plans provided by a landscape architect or other qualified professional. Refer to the irrigation ordinance.

(h)     Understory preservation.  The applicant may preserve existing healthy understory.  The preserved understory must occupy at least five percent of the lot area.
  • Provide for understory preservation and restoration.
  • Discussion:  Suggestion was made to allow an applicant to retain or create a habitat for native plants or wildlife that may include a pond for wildlife and plant restoration. The understory must be maintained in a healthy condition. New habitat must be designed by a landscape architect or other qualified professional. 

(i)     Enhanced pedestrian walkways.  The applicant may provide enhanced pedestrian walkways.  These walkways must consist of enhanced pavement intended for pedestrian use and occupy at least five percent of the lot.  (Ord. Nos. 19455; 20496; 22053)

Additional design standards for consideration:
  • Provide for increased surface planting areas for large trees on surface parking lots.  Calls for expansion of minimum parking lot requirement.
  • Provide for a “tree save area” retaining a minimum of 20% of the lot’s tree canopy.  Provides landscaping incentive for tree protection.
  • Provide for “green roofs”.  Provides credit for green roof construction.
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Philip Erwin,
Jul 28, 2011, 12:07 PM
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