City of Coldwater, MI
Branch County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
Whenever any yard (front, side or rear) of a use, other than a single or two-family residential use, is not designated for building, off-street parking, loading or unloading, or other purpose required pursuant to the zoning district requirements, such yard shall be landscaped with either approved natural materials or living plant materials, including grass. To this end, a detailed landscape plan showing the names, both common and botanical, location, spacing, planting and size of all plantings to be installed, and the location and type of all materials proposed to be included in the landscape treatment areas, shall be submitted as part of the site plan approved under the provisions of Chapter 1265, Site Plan Review.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
(a) 
All landscaping shall consist of approved natural materials or living plant materials.
(b) 
Existing significant trees, tree stands and natural vegetation shall be integrated into the landscaping plan to the extent possible.
(c) 
All existing and future landscaping and screening shall be maintained in a presentable condition and shall be kept free of refuse and debris. All existing and future plant and living materials shall be maintained in a sound, noxious weed-free, healthy and vigorous growing condition, and free of plant disease and insects.
(d) 
All landscaped areas shall be protected from the encroachment of vehicles.
(e) 
All parking lots shall provide and incorporate all of the following landscape items:
(1) 
Interior tree planting areas. Interior tree planting areas are defined to mean tree planting areas contained within or surrounded on at least two sides by parking lot areas. Interior tree planting areas shall be at least 80 square feet in size and no less than four feet in width. One canopy (deciduous) tree or conifer type tree shall be provided at a rate of one tree per eight parking spaces, however, at least one tree must be provided per interior planting area.
(2) 
Planting strips-rear and side. Planting strips are areas defined as any unpaved area along a side or rear property line, external to a parking area. Each side or rear yard planting strip shall be at least 100 square feet in size and no less than five feet in width. One canopy (deciduous) tree or conifer type tree shall be planted at a rate of one tree per eight parking spaces or one for every 30 lineal feet, whichever is greater. Ornamental trees may be provided at a rate of one tree per eight parking spaces or one tree per 20 lineal feet, whichever is greater. In addition, six deciduous or coniferous shrubs shall be provided for each 30 lineal feet.
(3) 
Right-of-way-front yard. Along the right-of-way lines of any street, road or highway, a front yard planting strip at least 10 feet in width shall be provided. Within the front yard planting strip at least one deciduous canopy tree or coniferous tree shall be provided for each 30 feet of frontage. Ornamental trees may be provided at a rate of one per 20 lineal feet of frontage. In addition, six deciduous or coniferous shrubs shall be provided for each 30 lineal feet of frontage. In addition to the required tree and shrubs, the remainder of the front yard planting strip shall be landscaped in grass, ground cover, and other natural landscape materials. Access drives from public rights-of-way through required front yard planting strips shall be permitted, but such drives shall not be subtracted from the lineal dimension used to determine the minimum number of plantings required.
(4) 
Trees and shrubs may be placed either symmetrically or asymmetrically throughout and around the parking area within planting strips and interior planting areas.
(5) 
Multiple interior planting areas may be grouped or combined.
(6) 
Interior tree planting areas and side and rear yard planting strips for multifamily residential and commercial activities shall be provided as follows:
Parking Lot Size
(spaces)
Planting Area to Parking Area
0 to 10
Side yard planting strips.
10 to 20
Side and rear yard planting strips.
21 to 40
Side and rear yard planting strips and one interior planting area per 4,500 square feet of paved parking area.
Over 40
Side and rear yard planting strips and one interior planting area per 4,000 square feet of paved parking area.
(7) 
Industrial projects shall not be subject to interior planting areas.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
The Planning Commission may permit a screening wall, at least 30 inches in height, in lieu of planting strips as provided above, when it determines that the parcel size and configuration are such as will make the provision of the minimum landscape area impractical or overly restrictive as to the development of the site. Such walls shall be of common or face brick or similar appearing material, or of a masonry material which is compatible with that of the principal building on the site.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
(a) 
Outside trash disposal containers shall be screened on all sides with an opaque fence or wall, and gate at least as high as the container, but no less than six feet in height, and shall be constructed of material, which is compatible with the architectural materials used in the site building or project.
(b) 
Landscaping shall be provided within three feet of the perimeter of the trash container on a minimum of three sides and shall consist of evergreen trees or large evergreen shrubs. The side facing the street or public right-of-way shall be screened at all times with dense opaque landscaping, or, as an alternative, with a masonry wall or a wooden privacy fence.
(c) 
Containers shall be consolidated to minimize the number of collection sites, and located so as to reasonably equalize the distance from the buildings or projects they serve.
(d) 
Containers and enclosures shall be located away from public view insofar as possible.
(e) 
Containers and enclosures shall be situated so that they do not cause excessive nuisance or offense to occupants of nearby buildings.
(f) 
Concrete pads of appropriate size and construction shall be provided for containers or groups of containers. Concrete aprons shall also be provided for bin loading.
(g) 
For storage of recyclable materials, the enclosure area and pad size shall be increased to amply accommodate the extra materials and their containers.
(h) 
Screening and gates shall be of a durable construction. Gates shall be made of wood or other durable material and shall be reinforced with a steel sub-structure.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
In addition to any landscape greenbelt and/or parking lot landscaping required by this section, 10% of the site area, excluding existing public rights-of-way, shall be landscaped. Such site area landscaping may include a combination of the preservation of existing tree cover, planting of new trees and plant material, landscape plazas and gardens and building foundation planting beds. Site area landscaping shall be provided to screen potentially objectionable site features such as, but not limited to, retention/detention ponds, transformer pads, air-conditioning units, and loading areas.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
(a) 
In the event that a development is to be completed in one or more future phases and/or banked parking is proposed, a landscape or ground cover plan for vacant future phases or banked future parking areas shall be required.
(b) 
Depending on the construction schedule filed with the site plan and or subdivision plat the requirements for landscaping and/or ground cover are as follows:
(1) 
All future phases and/or banked future parking that is scheduled to start construction one year or more from the approval date of the first phase of development shall be provided a ground cover such as grass or other appropriate ground cover approved by the Planning Commission. A ground cover plan for all future phases is to be filed and approved with the site plan for the first phase of development. Such future phases or parking areas shall be mowed at least once every two weeks during the growing season. In no such instance shall the future phase or parking area be allowed to grow up into weeds. The ground cover planting is to be complete within the current or next planting season, which ever occurs first.
(2) 
The applicant shall also submit a detailed preliminary landscape plan for all future phases and/or future banked parking areas with the site plan for the first phase of development. This is to ensure integration and compatibility with the landscape plan designed for the first phase of development.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
(a) 
A minimum distance of three feet from the backside of the curb and the proposed centerline of the landscape plantings shall be provided. Where vehicles overhang a landscape island or strip, a minimum distance of five feet from the backside of the curb and the proposed centerline of the landscape plantings shall be provided.
(b) 
All landscaped areas shall be protected with raised concrete curbs.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
The following minimum standards shall apply:
(a) 
Quality. Plant materials shall be of generally acceptable varieties and species, free from insects and diseases, hardy to Branch County, conform to the current minimum standard of the American Association of Nurserymen, and shall have proof of any required governmental regulations and/or inspections.
(b) 
Composition. A mixture of plant material, such as evergreen, deciduous trees and shrubs, is recommended as a protective measure against insect and disease infestation. A limited mixture of hardy species is recommended rather than a large quantity of different species to produce a more aesthetic, cohesive design and avoid a disorderly appearing arrangement.
(c) 
Berms. Berms shall be constructed with slopes not to exceed a 1:3 gradient. Berm slopes shall be protected with sod, seed, mulch or other form of natural living ground cover.
(d) 
Existing trees. The preservation and incorporation of existing trees is encouraged. Where existing trees are used to satisfy the requirements of this section, the following requirements shall apply:
(1) 
Paving or other site improvements shall not encroach upon the dripline of the existing tree(s) to be preserved.
(2) 
If existing plant material is labeled "To Remain" on site plans by the applicant or required by the City, protective techniques, such as, but not limited to, fencing or barriers placed at the dripline around the perimeter of the plant material shall be installed during construction. No vehicle or other construction equipment shall be parked or stored within the dripline of any plant material intended to be saved. Other protective techniques may be used provided such techniques are approved by the Planning Commission.
(3) 
In the event that healthy trees which are used to meet the minimum requirements of this Zoning Code or those labeled to remain are cut down, destroyed, damaged, filled or excavated at the dripline, as determined by the City, the contractor shall replace them with trees which meet Zoning Code requirements.
(e) 
Installation, maintenance and completion.
(1) 
All landscaping required by this Zoning Code shall be planted before obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy or the appropriate financial guarantee shall be placed in escrow in the amount of the cost of landscaping to be released only after landscaping is completed.
(2) 
All landscaping and landscape elements shall be planted, and earth moving or grading performed, in a sound workmanlike manner, according to accepted planting and grading procedures.
(3) 
The owner of property required to be landscaped by this Zoning Code shall maintain such landscaping in a strong and healthy condition, free from refuse, debris and insects. That is, the owner agrees to an ongoing seasonal maintenance program for all landscaping, and all materials used to satisfy the requirements of this Zoning Code which become unhealthy, diseased, damaged, or dead shall be replaced within one year (or the next appropriate planting period, whichever comes first) of the onset of the unhealthy condition, disease, damage, or death. All landscaped areas shall be provided with a readily available and acceptable water supply. Mulching up to the base of trees shall be prohibited.
[Ord. No. 738, passed 2-22-2010]
Where landscaping is required the following schedule sets forth minimum size and spacing requirements; for representative landscape materials:[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Size and Spacing Requirements Schedule is included as an attachment to this chapter.