Chapter 17.500


17.500.010    Purpose.

17.500.020    Landscape plans.

17.500.025    General landscaping requirements.

17.500.027    Buffer types – When required.

17.500.030    Installation and maintenance.

17.500.040    Drought-tolerant landscaping or xeriscaping.

17.500.050    Parking lot landscape and screening.

17.500.060    Building facade plantings.

17.500.070    Slope plantings.

17.500.080    Community themes.

17.500.010 Purpose.

This section shall establish landscaping standards for all development subject to the requirements for permitted, conditional use or performance based development, as well as landscaping standards for vegetation-based low impact development (LID) best management practices (BMPs). Single-family lots shall be exempt, except that landscaping required in Kitsap County Code shall be installed to specifications contained herein.

Refer to Chapter 17.700 “Appendix A – Parking Lots: Street Trees, Landscaping, Design” for graphical assistance.

(Ord. 540 (2016) § 49, 2016: Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.020 Landscape plans.

Landscape plans required for an application shall be prepared as set forth in this section.

A.    Landscape plans shall be neatly and accurately prepared, at a scale that will enable ready identification and recognition of information presented.

B.    The landscape plan shall show all existing landscaping to remain and be labeled accordingly.

C.    The landscape plan shall show existing vegetation to remain, including but not limited to mature trees, and be labeled accordingly. Site assessment of existing vegetation shall be performed in conformance with the Kitsap County Stormwater Design Manual.

D.    The landscape plan shall show how all disturbed areas are to be replanted, where landscaping is required, including the location and variety of all trees, shrubs and ground cover.

E.    The plan shall be accompanied by a plant schedule (list of plant materials used) which depicts the botanical name, common name, size at installation and spacing between individual plants shown on the plan.

F.    All plans shall include the following notations:

1.    Plant quantities shall be determined by required spacing.

2.    All planting beds shall receive ground cover throughout except as noted.

3.    All planting beds shall receive a minimum of two inches bark mulch.

G.    The landscape plan shall depict areas to be retained in natural vegetation and marked with the words “Native Growth Protection Easement, Existing Native Vegetation to Remain” and refer to the following notation, which is to be included on the landscape and site plans, or in the case of subdivisions, the final plat document.

The “Native Growth Protection Easement Note” is intended to protect a sensitive area or provide and preserve a vegetated buffer by means of restricting activities that affect the vegetation existing in that area. The easement shall be maintained to exclude nonnative invasive species. The statement, “Existing Native Vegetation to Remain” is intended to differentiate between native vegetation and naturalized, nonnative vegetation that naturally occurs through reseeding. Native vegetation is that which has existed in the region and was not introduced to the area by people. Examples include; Douglas fir, salal and alder. Naturalized vegetation is a species that was introduced to the area and has spread to the extent that it occurs and propagates itself without being directly planted by people. Examples include: Scotch broom, Himalayan blackberry and purple loosestrife.

H.    The landscape plan shall show buildings and structures, existing and proposed.

I.    The landscape plan shall show all existing and proposed access points.

J.    The landscape plan shall show all existing and proposed parking spaces and spaces shall be consecutively numbered.

K.    A schematic irrigation plan shall be provided showing irrigation zones and proposed irrigation methods within each zone.

L.    Irrigation requirements for drought tolerant (xeriscape) landscaping shall be as set forth in Section 17.500.040.

(Ord. 540 (2016) § 50, 2016: Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.025 General landscaping requirements.

In all cases where landscaping is required, a minimum of fifteen percent of the total site area shall be landscaped to the standards set forth in this chapter.

(Ord. 540 (2016) § 51, 2016: Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.027 Buffer types – When required.

The director may require different buffer types depending on the proposed use of the site and adjacent zones and/or uses. Vegetation-based LID BMPs may be utilized within buffers as long as the primary purpose of the landscaping or screening buffer is not compromised. These types of buffers shall include:

A.    Partial Screening Buffer. This type of landscaping is intended to provide partial visual separation of uses from streets and between compatible uses in order to soften the appearance of parking areas and building elevations.

1.    Roadside and Setback Area Buffer. Required along existing or planned roads and side and rear property lines within urban growth areas. The planting area shall encompass the required front setback area, and areas adjacent to side and rear property lines, and consist of:

a.    Evergreen and/or deciduous trees;

b.    Evergreen shrubs planted to screen parking areas, in an amount and configuration to screen parked cars;

c.    Ground covers as required;

d.    Bioretention and other drainage features, only when in a configuration that preserves the integrity of the roadside and setback area planting; and

e.    Existing vegetation, where feasible and appropriate.

2.    Separation Buffer. This type of landscaping is intended to create a visual separation that may be less than one hundred percent sight-obscuring between compatible land uses or zones.

Required along the perimeters of multifamily residential, commercial, industrial and public facility development which abut like zones or uses and consist of:

a.    Evergreen trees or a combination of approximately sixty percent evergreen and forty percent deciduous trees;

b.    Large shrubs planted between trees;

c.    Ground covers as required;

d.    A sight-obscuring fence may be required, if determined necessary by the department, to reduce site-specific adverse impacts to adjacent land uses.

B.    Solid Screening Buffer. This type of landscaping is intended to provide a solid sight barrier between totally separate and incompatible land uses such as residential and commercial or industrial uses. It is also intended to provide a sight barrier around outdoor storage yards, service yards, trash receptacles, mechanical and electrical equipment, etc.

1.    Required along the perimeters of multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, and public facility development, which abut different uses and/or zones. The buffer shall provide one hundred percent sight-obscuring screening between different uses or zones and shall consist of:

a.    Three offset rows of evergreen trees planted ten feet on center and ground cover; or

b.    A six-foot screening fence and two offset rows of evergreen trees planted ten feet on center, and ground cover.

2.    Required for residential subdivisions, commercial, industrial, or public facility development abutting a rural zone, a buffer of twenty-five to fifty feet of sight-obscuring, screening vegetation shall be provided. The director may modify this requirement after evaluating the effects of wind-throw or other safety concerns. In the event that the buffer will only contain high-branching trees which allow visibility through the buffer, a row of evergreen trees planted ten feet on center may be required along the highest point of the buffer.

3.    Required around the perimeter of storm drainage facilities, with the exception of vegetation-based LID BMPs, to provide sight-obscuring screening from adjacent properties and/or roadways, and consist of:

a.    A row of large shrubs and ground cover; and/or

b.    A row of evergreen trees planted ten feet on center and ground cover; and/or

c.    An evergreen vegetation buffer sufficient to provide screening; and/or

d.    Existing screening vegetation, where feasible and appropriate.

4.    Required around trash receptacles, mechanical and electrical equipment, and other similar above ground items, and consisting of evergreen shrubs adequate to screen a majority of the equipment or item while providing access to the item.

(Ord. 540 (2016) § 52, 2016: Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.030 Installation and maintenance.

Installation and maintenance of landscaping of developments shall be in accordance with the American Nursery Landscaping Association standards. Vegetation-based LID BMPs shall be in accordance with the Kitsap County Stormwater Design Manual.

A.    Plant materials shall be nursery stock or the equivalent quality and installed to industry standards or better.

B.    Landscape plant materials shall be staked to current industry standards or better. Stakes and guy wires shall not interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

C.    Minimum sizes at installation, except drought-tolerant landscape areas, which shall be subject to the size requirements in Section 17.500.040.

1.    Two-inch caliper street trees and other deciduous trees;

2.    Eight feet minimum height multi-stemmed trees (e.g., vine maple);

3.    Six feet minimum height coniferous/evergreen trees;

4.    Eighteen to twenty-four inches height for large and medium shrubs (over six feet at maturity); and

5.    Twelve to eighteen inches minimum height for small shrubs (three to six feet at maturity).

D.    Maximum Spacing.

1.    Street trees and other deciduous trees shall be spaced appropriate to their pattern, generally twenty-five to thirty feet on center for large trees.

2.    Coniferous/evergreen trees shall be spaced fifteen feet apart, unless they are within a screening buffer, where the maximum spacing shall be ten feet on center.

3.    Large shrubs shall be spaced five feet on center.

4.    Medium shrubs shall be spaced four feet on center.

5.    Small shrubs shall be spaced three feet on center.

E.    Ground covers shall be required in all planting areas, unless the entire bed is planted with shrubs that branch out so that they cover the surface of the ground. Ground cover shall be planted and spaced in a triangular pattern which shall result in complete coverage in two years. Bark and mulch shall not be considered as ground cover. Spacing shall be no greater than:

1.    One-gallon pots, twenty-four inches on center;

2.    Four-inch pots, eighteen inches on center;

3.    Two-and-one-quarter-inch pots, twelve inches on center; and

4.    Grass and sod areas to be one hundred percent.

F.    Native Growth Protection Easements. A site assessment permit shall be required prior to any vegetation removal. Authorized removal shall be as follows:

1.    Removal of Naturalized Species. Vegetation removal of naturalized species shall be by hand. No machinery shall be used, except for hand-held implements that do not disturb the native vegetation or soil;

2.    Other activities expressly allowed as a condition of approval.

G.    Danger Tree Removal. A site assessment permit shall be required prior to any danger tree removal. Removal of any trees shall be authorized by written approval from the county. Removed trees shall be replaced at a ratio of 3:1 (three new trees for each tree removed) unless otherwise specified in writing.

H.    Slopes in landscape areas shall not exceed 3:1 unless specifically approved by the director. Erosion control netting or alternative procedure may be required for slopes exceeding 3:1.

I.    Automatic irrigation systems shall be required for all landscape areas except for those designed and approved as drought-tolerant plantings. In unique circumstances, alternative methods of irrigation may be approved if specifically proposed as part of the landscape plan.

J.    All planting beds shall receive topsoil or soil amendments as needed to maintain the plants in a thriving condition. Soil amendments for vegetation-based LID BMPs shall comply with the standards set forth in the Kitsap manual.

K.    All planting beds shall receive a minimum of two inches of bark mulch, or approved substitute.

L.    Landscaping required under the provisions of this title shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition. Vegetation shall be maintained in a typical growth pattern and for its intended purpose. Vegetation-based LID BMPs shall be maintained as required by the Kitsap manual.

M.    Landscaping lost due to violations of this title, Title 12, or unforeseen natural events shall be replaced immediately with vegetation that is sufficient in size and spacing as required by this title, or the Kitsap Stormwater Design Manual, whichever is applicable.

N.    All landscaping required by this title shall be installed prior to the issuance of any final certificate of occupancy permit or prior to final inspection approval when a site development activity permit is required, unless installation is bonded (or other method), for a period not to exceed six months, in an amount equal to one hundred fifty percent of the cost of material and labor. Fees at the authorized rate shall be assessed for staff to manage the landscape bond.

O.    Wetland mitigation plantings shall not be considered part of the landscaping requirements.

(Ord. 540 (2016) § 53, 2016: Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.040 Drought-tolerant landscaping or xeriscaping.

Drought-tolerant landscaping (xeriscaping) is encouraged as a means of reducing the amount of water use. Xeriscaping reduces maintenance costs by reducing the amount of water used and by avoiding long-term maintenance of an irrigation system. Xeriscaping is especially encouraged on large sites and in those parts of a site separated from public streets and walkways. Drought-tolerant landscaping shall be installed and maintained as set forth in this section.

A.    There shall be provisions made for irrigation in the first two years following planting. This may include a temporary sprinkler system or an approved means of manual irrigation. Manual irrigation methods shall be detailed in a written plan, included as a note on the landscape plan and accompanied by a maintenance bond in an amount determined by the director.

B.    Minimum sizes at installation:

1.    One-and-one-half-inch caliper deciduous trees;

2.    Four-foot minimum height multi-stem trees;

3.    Four-foot minimum height coniferous/evergreen trees;

4.    Twelve inches minimum height for medium and large shrubs; and

5.    One-gallon pot size for small shrubs.

C.    Ground cover shall be required as in Section 17.500.030(E).

D.    All plants selected shall be species generally accepted as drought-tolerant in the industry.

(Ord. 540 (2016) § 54, 2016: Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.050 Parking lot landscape and screening.

A.     All surface parking lots, excluding underground or above ground parking garages, with more than fourteen stalls shall conform to Table 17.500.050.A. Landscaping shall be provided in the required front, side and rear setback area for surface parking lots and parking garages. One street tree shall be provided at the ends of each row of parking spaces. There shall also be a street tree provided for each fifteen spaces. Shrubs and ground cover shall be required in all landscape areas. Up to fifty percent of shrubs may be deciduous.

Table 17.500.050.A Required Landscape Area per Parking Space

Total Number of Parking Spaces

Minimum Required Landscape Area

15 to 50

15 square feet per parking space

51 to 99

25 square feet per parking space

100 or more

35 square feet per parking space

B.    Landscape Islands – Design.

1.    Landscape islands shall be a minimum of one hundred forty-four square feet and no more than five hundred square feet in size. Islands shall be designed so that trees will be planted a minimum of six feet from any hardscape surface. The maximum allowable size of five hundred square feet may be increased to allow for the preservation of existing trees and associated vegetation or to accommodate stormwater treatment/conveyance practices.

2.    Islands shall be provided in the following location:

a.    Landscaping islands shall be placed at the end of every parking row with a maximum spacing of at least one island for every fifteen parking spaces; and

b.    Any remaining required landscaping shall be dispersed throughout the parking lot interior to reduce visual impact.

3.    Permanent curbing shall be provided in all landscape areas within or abutting parking areas. Based on appropriate surface water considerations, other structural barriers such as concrete wheel stops may be substituted for curbing.

C.    Landscape Islands – Materials.

1.    Each planting area must contain at least one tree. Planting areas shall be provided with the maximum number of trees possible given recommended spacing for species type, and the estimated mature size of the tree.

2.    No plant material greater than twelve inches in height shall be located within two feet of a curb or other protective barrier in landscape areas adjacent to parking spaces and vehicle use areas.

3.    Motor Vehicle Overhang. Parked motor vehicles may overhang landscaped areas up to one foot when wheel stops or curbing are provided. Plants more than twelve inches tall are not allowed within the overhang area.

(Ord. 540 (2016) § 55, 2016)

17.500.060 Building facade plantings.

Building facade plantings are intended to provide visual relief for buildings and shall be required adjacent to all building walls except those adjacent to service areas or unless specifically exempted by the director. Building facade plantings shall be provided over two thirds (or greater) of the horizontal distance of the wall and consist of:

A.    A minimum four-foot-wide planting area containing shrubs and ground cover; and

B.    Trees within the planting area, or within tree gates set into a walkway, when determined necessary.

(Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.070 Slope plantings.

Slope plantings are intended to revegetate slopes (which do not require planting as any other required buffer) and shall consist of a mixture of plantings and seedling trees planted at an average spacing of ten feet on center. This shall not reduce the need for hydro-seeding required for erosion control or other purposes.

(Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)

17.500.080 Community themes.

Certain areas may have preferred planting schemes due to a community plan or other adopted design theme. Required landscape areas shall utilize plant materials and design concepts consistent with the local plan.

(Ord. 534 (2016) § 7(5) (App. E) (part), 2016)