Chapter 17.385


17.385.010    Purpose.

17.385.020    Landscape plans.

17.385.025    Landscaping requirements.

17.385.027    Buffer types – When required.

17.385.030    Installation and maintenance.

17.385.040    Drought-tolerant landscaping.

17.385.050    (Repealed)

17.385.060    Building facade plantings.

17.385.070    Slope plantings.

17.385.080    Community themes.

17.385.010 Purpose.

This section shall establish landscaping standards for all development subject to the requirements for permitted, conditional use or performance based development. Single-family plats shall be exempt, except that landscaping required as a condition of plat approval shall be installed to specifications contained herein.

(Ord. 415 (2008) § 161, 2008: Ord. 367 (2006) § 106, 2006: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.385.020 Landscape plans.

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

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

B.    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.

C.    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.

D.    All plans shall include the following notations:

1.    Plant quantities to be determined by required spacing.

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

E.    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 which affect the vegetation existing in that area. The statement, “Existing Native Vegetation to Remain” is intended to differentiate between native vegetation and naturalized, non-native vegetation which 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, Himalaya Blackberry and Purple Loosestrife.

(Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.385.025 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 Chapter 17.385.

(Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.385.027 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. These types shall include:

A.    Landscaping Buffer.

1.    Required along existing or planned roads within urban growth areas. The planting area shall encompass the required front setback area 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.    Bioswales and other drainage features are allowed, only when in a configuration that preserves the integrity of the roadside planting; and

e.    Retention of natural vegetation, where feasible.

2.    Required along the perimeters of multi-family residential (ten dwelling units an acre or more), commercial, and industrial/business center development which abut like zones or uses. Installation shall vary in numbers and types of vegetation and structures depending on the proposed use and surrounding zones. Trees, shrubs, ground covers and/or fencing are to be provided as required.

B.    Screening Buffer.

1.    Required along the perimeters of multi-family residential (ten dwelling units an acre or more), commercial, and industrial/business center development abutting different uses and/or zones. The buffer shall provide sight-obscuring screening between different uses or zones and shall consist of:

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

b.    A six-foot screening fence and a single row of evergreen trees planted ten feet on center, and ground cover.

2.    Required for residential subdivisions or commercial 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 to provide sight-obscuring screening from adjacent properties and/or roadways, and consist of:

a.    A row of large shrubs and ground cover;

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.

4.    Retention of screening vegetation, where feasible.

5.    Other vegetation types and/or configurations that meet the intent of this screening buffer may be approved by the director.

(Ord. 415 (2008) § 162, 2008)

17.385.030 Installation and maintenance.

Installation and maintenance of landscaping of developments shall be in accordance with the American Nursery Landscaping Association standards.

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.

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 trees;

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

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

6.    Drought-tolerant landscape areas shall be subject to the size requirements in Section 17.385.040.

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 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 (bark and mulch shall not be considered as ground cover) are 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. Spacing shall be as follows:

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.    Vegetation removal in native growth protection easements is limited to the following cases:

1.    Hand removal of naturalized species. No machinery is to be used, except for hand-held implements which do not disturb the native vegetation or soil;

2.    Falling of trees which may present a danger to life or property. Removal of said trees is to be done only with written approval from the county. To solicit said approval, a letter and photograph or detailed plot plan of the area, with all trees to be removed marked on the photo or plan, shall be submitted to the department of community development; and

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

G.    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.

H.    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.

I.    All planting beds shall receive topsoil or soil amendments as needed to maintain the plants in a thriving condition.

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

K.    Landscaping required under the provisions of this title shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition.

L.    Landscaping lost due to violations of this title or unforeseen natural events shall be replaced immediately with vegetation that is sufficient in size and spacing as required by this title.

M.    All landscaping required by this title shall be installed prior to the issuance of any final certificate of occupancy permit, unless specifically approved by the director and 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.

N.    Wetland mitigation plantings are not considered to be a part of the landscaping requirements.

(Ord. 415 (2008) § 163, 2008: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.385.040 Drought-tolerant landscaping.

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 trees;

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

5.    One-gallon pot size for small shrubs.

C.    Ground cover is required as in Section 17.385.030(E).

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

(Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

*    Editor’s Note: The list of drought-tolerant plants for landscaping may be obtained from the department of community development.

17.385.050 (Repealed)*

*    Editor’s Note: Former Section 17.385.050, “Landscape-buffer types,” was repealed by § 164 of Ord. 415 (2008). Section 4 (part) of Ord. 216 (1998) was formerly codified in this section.

17.385.060 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. 415 (2008) § 165, 2008: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.385.070 Slope plantings.

Slope plantings are intended to re-vegetate 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. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.385.080 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. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)