Chapter 38 - Landscape Ordinance

21 December 2017

CHAPTER 38

 

LANDSCAPE ORDINANCE

 

ARTICLE I.    GENERAL

 

Sec. 38-01.      Intent.  The terms and provisions of this ordinance are intended to accomplish the following public purposes:

 

A.        To encourage the planting and protection of healthy trees, shrubs and groundcover and provide for the replacement (or replanting) of same when losses occur during necessary construction and development.

 

B.         To generally enhance and protect the quality of life and general welfare of the City and its residents.

 

C.        To preserve and enhance the historical, physical and aesthetic environment of the City.

 

D.        To aid in the control of storm water runoff, the stabilization of soil by the reduction of erosion and sedimentation and the replenishment of groundwater supplies, thereby protecting the Kankakee River and its tributaries.

 

E.         To enhance air quality by the removal of carbon dioxide, generation of oxygen and the filtering of air pollutants.

 

F.         To reduce noise by providing buffers and screens.

 

G.        To reduce energy consumption through the shade and windbreak effect of trees and other plant material.

 

H.        To preserve and enhance food supplies and habitat for birds and other wildlife.

 

I.          To protect and increase property values.

 

J.          To prevent the clearing of land without replacement of valuable ecosystem.

 

Sec. 38-02       Scope and Enforcement.

 

A.        The provisions of this ordinance shall apply generally and uniformly to all areas within the City of Kankakee except as specifically provided.

 

B.         The provisions of this ordinance shall be cumulative and consistent with provisions of other ordinances of the City of Kankakee and of the Statutes of the State of Illinois, and to the extent consistent shall be applied and enforced simultaneously. Whenever inconsistent, the provision resulting in the maximum protection, preservation and planting of trees and other plant material shall govern, except where limited by law.

 

C.        It is intended in particular that the provisions of this ordinance shall be applied cumulatively and simultaneously with the provisions of the City’s Zoning Ordinance and that no permits, variances or other approvals pursuant to such ordinances and codes shall be granted without also complying with the applicable provisions of this ordinance.

 

D.        The provisions of this ordinance shall apply to all commercial, public, industrial, institutional and private development, with the exception of single and multiple family private dwellings; except where noted. These provisions shall also apply to all such development and rebuilding occurring after the effective date of this ordinance and any development that has not yet received final plat approval.

 

E.         Whenever an existing use or structure on a lot shall be replaced or expanded, the development shall be subject to the provisions of this ordinance provided that the expansion exceeds twenty-five percent of the gross floor or lot area of the existing development or where the cost of improvements exceeds the value of the existing structure by fifty-percent. Existing value shall be determined by the value of the building as stated in the most recent tax bill, as provided by the owner. Owner shall also furnish the estimated costs of improvement.

 

F.         All requirements specified in this ordinance are minimum specifications. The provision of landscaping in excess of the ordinance is encouraged. Landscape plans that exceed the  minimum specifications but vary from it in configuration may be considered.

 

G.        All conforming and legally non-conforming developments which are in existence on the effective date of this ordinance are strongly encouraged to comply with the standards set forth in these regulations within five years of said date.

 

Sec. 38-03       Definitions.

 

Buffer.  A combination of physical space and vertical elements such as plants, fences or walls, the purpose of which is to separate and screen incompatible land uses from one another.

 

Canopy.  The shaded cover created by spreading branches of a large deciduous tree.

 

Commercial grade shredded hardwood mulch.  A dark brown, finely shredded wood product supplied to landscapers and garden centers for the purpose of mulching landscaped beds. This would not include the shredded, fresh wood from tree trimming or removal that is commonly available from municipalities and park districts.

 

Commercial strip. A strip of landscaping along the main thoroughfarein front of a building.

 

Common name.  The moniker by which a plant is most likely to be known locally, such as “honey locust.”

 

Deciduous.  A woody plant that sheds its leaves annually.

 

Evergreen.  A woody plant with foliage that persists and remains for more than two consecutive seasons.

 

Foundation shrubbery.  Woody plants, evergreen or deciduous, used to soften and hide the foundation of a building or wall.

 

Groundcover.  Plants other than turf grass used to cover large areas of planting beds. May be woody or herbaceous, evergreen or deciduous, but generally spreading in nature and not exceeding twenty-four inches in height.

 

Habitat.  The natural elements of an ecosystem including food, shelter and nesting material from plants.

 

Herbaceous.  Of plants with soft (not woody) top growth that generally dies back in winter (i.e...herbaceous perennials such as Hosta). Some herbaceous plants are evergreen or semi-evergreen in winter, retaining leaves until new growth appears in spring, such as Liriope.

 

Hose bib. A spigot or connection for a watering apparatus on a building or otherwise located on the property.

 

Landscaped area.  An area that is covered by living plant material.

 

Latin name.  A scientific name composed of the genus, species and cultivar or variety (where applicable) of a plant.

    

            Maintenance area.  Areas on the out lot or around the building that are used for trash, equipment or storage, excluding sheds and buildings.

 

Male clone.  For the purposes of this ordinance, a woody plant that is propagated asexually, rather than sexually, thereby insuring male plants that do not bear fruit.

 

Mulch.  Non-living organic material used in landscapes to retard moisture loss, control weeds and erosion and keep soil temperatures consistent for plant roots.

 

Nuisance weed trees.  Fast growing trees that become invasive through seed dispersal, suckering and underground runners. Such trees that become an economic and physical liability to nearby property owners thus the term “nuisance.”

 

Perimeter strip. A continuous landscaped strip along all public right of ways, not including alleys.

 

Shade tree.  A deciduous woody plant, usually with a single stem, that exceeds fifteen feet in height and provides shade when in leaf.

 

Shrub.  A woody plant, deciduous or evergreen, characterized by multiple stems and branching from the base, usually not more than twelve feet in height at maturity.

 

Understory.  Assemblages of naturally lower growing, woody and evergreen species which grow or exist below the canopy of trees.

 

Turf grass.  Cool season grasses such as fescue, rye and bluegrass, seeded or sodded, to create a lawn that is mowed and kept free of invasive plants.

 

Vines.  For the purpose of the ordinance, vines shall be defined as woody plants that cling to surfaces by means of aerial rootlets, twining or other tropic mechanisms of stem or petiole.

 

Sec. 38-04       Requirements.

 

A.        Buffer Strips. Landscaped buffer strips shall be used in all instances of incompatible use. Incompatible use will be considered to exist when any new commercial, industrial, public or institutional development is sited along shared property lines or alleyways with existing residential properties, schools, places of worship, daycare facilities and parks, even in the event that these properties lie outside the corporate boundaries.

 

1.         Landscaped buffer strips shall consist of at least one of following three options:

 

(a)        A ten foot wide, heavily planted strip consisting of three planting layers: canopy, understory and groundcover. The strip shall be continuous along the shared property line or right of way and include shade trees at twenty-five foot intervals, an understory of deciduous or evergreen shrubs planted in clusters of three or more and spaced at four foot intervals and a groundcover planting of herbaceous plant material over remaining bed surface; or,

 

(b)        A five foot wide bed along a solid surface wall, six foot minimum height, running continuously along the shared property line or right of way. Said wall must be planted with foundation shrubbery and vines to cover. Walls may be constructed of wood or masonry and may not be constructed of plastics or composites; or,

 

(c)        A fifty foot wide planting of turf grass or groundcovering plant material running continuously along the shared property line or right of way, with shade trees planted at twenty-five foot intervals.

 

B.         Perimeter Strips.  Landscaped perimeter or commercial strips shall be planted in all parking areas in excess of five hundred square feet, as follows:

 

1.         Perimeter landscaped parking strips shall be used continuously (excepting cut-ins) along all public right of ways, not including alleys, unless a continuous landscaped commercial strip at least ten feet deep, planted with canopy, understory and groundcovering plants is substituted along the main thoroughfare In any case, a minimum of fifteen percent of the parking area shall consist of landscaped parking strips.

 

2.         Internal islands of landscaped parking strip shall be used at a minimum of seven and one-half percent of the vehicular use area, not including perimeter strips, of any parking lot in excess of thirty-thousand square feet. The landscaped area shall be designed, dispersed and located within and around the vehicular use areas to enhance the appearance and safety of the vehicular use area.

 

3.         Perimeter landscape strips must be a minimum of five feet wide and consist of shade trees planted at twenty-five foot intervals, an understory planting of deciduous or evergreen shrubs or shade trees planted at twenty-five foot intervals and a ground-covering plant layer of turf grass or other herbaceous ground-covering plant material.

 

4.         Internal landscaped islands shall be a minimum of one parking space in width and length and consist of a minimum of one shade tree and an under-story planting of deciduous or evergreen shrubs or a minimum of one shade tree and a ground-covering plant layer of turf grass or other herbaceous ground-covering plant material.

 

5.         A commercial strip, when used instead of continuous perimeter strips shall be at least ten feet deep and run continuously along the main thoroughfare (excepting cut-ins) and consist of shade trees planted at twenty-five foot intervals, deciduous or evergreen shrubbery in clusters of three or more, planted no less than ten feet apart and turf grass or ground-covering plants in the remaining bed surface.

 

6.         Landscaped strips consisting only of trees and shrubs, and not herbaceous ground-covers or turf, shall be mulched at a depth of six inches with commercial grade shredded hardwood mulch.

 

7.         When tree spacing at twenty-five foot intervals is called for, it is assumed that a twenty-five foot bed will require two trees and that two smaller beds, separated by cut-ins, will be measured contiguously.

 

C.        Materials. All landscape plant material used in the above outlined areas must be purchased and sized in accordance with The American Standard for Nursery Stock (most recent addition).

 

1.         In addition, plant material to be installed must be selected for appropriateness to climate, soil types and suitability to use area. (See tables in Article II, Plant Selection)

 

2.         Plant material to be installed must be healthy, free of insects, disease and significant physical damage.

 

3.         A landscape plan shall be required, from either the developer or landscaper, as part of the development process and include the following:

 

(a)        A scale drawing.

(b)        Proposed structures and pavement.

(c)        Proposed landscaped areas, showing location of all plant material and a list of plant material, using Latin and common names, quantities and sizes.

(d)        Location of hose bibs and irrigation systems.

 

D.        Maintenance.

 

1.         Landscape care shall be the responsibility of the owner, tenant or their agent and include the following:

 

(a)        Landscaping shall be maintained in good condition so as to present a neat, healthy and orderly appearance and shall be kept free of weeds and dead plant material.

 

(b)        Any diseased, dead or dying plant must be removed and replaced with a plant of comparable size and quality, when possible.

 

(c)        Watering must be done in a manner that allows plants to become established and prevents plants from dying; except during times that watering may be prohibited by local order.

 

(d)        The City shall have the right to prune any tree or shrub on private property when it interferes with visibility of any traffic control device or sign: or when it creates a hazard to life or property.

 

(e)        The City shall have the right to cause the removal of any tree or shrub on private property that harbors insects or diseases that pose a potential threat to the tree population of the City as determined by the City arborist.

 

2.         Maintenance areas used for storage and trash must be enclosed by a solid wall of no less than six feet in height and covered by a planting of woody vines. Vines shall be used at a minimum spacing of one vine for every ten feet of surface width. Walls may be constructed of wood or masonry and may not be constructed of plastics or composites. Walls that are seated on concrete or asphalt, and provide no possibility for planting must be constructed of masonry.

 

3.         A minimum of one hose bib for every ten-thousand square feet of developed lot shall be provided and a hose bib must be located no more than one-hundred feet from any landscaped area.

 

4.         Nuisance weed trees, as outlined in Article II (see table of unacceptable trees) of this ordinance, shall be removed when such trees exceed a height of ten inches, pursuant to the BOCA International Property Maintenance Code, Section 302.4. This specific provision of this ordinance shall also apply to all commercial, public, industrial, institutional and private developments (excepting single and multiple family dwellings) existing within the City of Kankakee on the date said ordinance is adopted.

 

E.         Retention, Natural Areas and Streams.  It shall be the responsibility of the owner/developer or their agents of any development not having final approval on the date this ordinance is adopted to use reasonable care in protecting any wetland, stream or retention area which may be adversely affected by said development. The following minimum requirements must be met:

 

1.         Landscaping shall be provided around the perimeter of all retention/detention ponds in the “above high water” areas. Naturalistic plantings of plants adapted to temporary flooding will be planted below “high water level.” (See Sec. 38-02)

 

2.         Such naturalistic plantings will be comprised of a minimum of twenty plants per every one-hundred linear feet of perimeter, measured at mid level.

 

3.         Any proposed development adjacent to the Kankakee River, its tributaries or drainage ditches which flow into the Kankakee River, which would result in paved areas in excess of five-thousand square feet shall be required to mitigate the effects of runoff by one of the following:

 

(a)        Grading the lot to prevent run-off of storm water into the River, its tributaries or drainage ditches.

 

(b)        Planting an integrated buffer strip, no less than ten feet in width and running the length of the lot along the River side, its tributaries or ditch side with trees, shrubs and groundcovers at the same density required for buffer strips in Sec. 38-04.

 

ARTICLE II.    PLANT SELECTION

 

 

TABLE 1.  TREES, RECOMMENDED

 

Latin Name

 

Common Name

 

Size

 

Comments

 

Acer campestre

 

Hedge Maple

 

small to med.

 

all soils, sun

 

Acer ginnala

 

Amur Maple

 

small to med.

 

all soils, sun to part shade

 

Acer nigrum

 

Black Maple

 

large

 

all soils, sun to part shade

 

Acer rubrum

‘Red Sunset’

 

Red Maple

 

large

 

no heavy clay, sun to part shade

 

Acer saccharum

 

Sugar Maple

 

large

 

no heavy clay, sun

 

Alnus glutinosa

 

Alder

 

large

 

wet soils, naturalizing, sun to part shade

 

Amelanchier x grandiflora

 

Serviceberry

 

small

 

adaptable, 4 seasons

 

Betula nigra

 

River Birch

 

med. to large

 

moist to wet soils

 

Betula pendula

 

White Birch

 

med.

 

bronze birch borer

 

Carpinus betulus

 

European Hornbeam

 

med.

 

excellent landscape tree

 

Carpinus caroliniana

 

Blue Beech

 

med.

 

all soils, sun to part shade

 

Celtis occidentalis

 

Hackberry

 

med. to large

 

all soils, sun to part shade

 

Cercis canadensis

 

Redbud

 

small  

 

no heavy clay, sun

 

Cornus alternifolia

 

Pagoda Dogwood

 

small

 

sun to part shade

 

Cornus kousa

 

Chinese Dogwood

 

small

 

sun to part shade

 

Cornus mas

 

Cornelian Dogwood

 

small

 

all soils, sun

 

Chionanthus virginicus

 

Fringe Tree

 

small

 

all soils, sun to part shade

 

Crataegus crus‑galli

 

Cockspur Hawthorne

 

small to med.

 

all soils, sun

 

Crataegus phaenopyrum

 

WashingtonHawthorne

 

small

 

all soils, sun

 

Fagus grandifolia

 

American Beech

 

large

 

no heavy clay, sun to part shade

 

Fagus sylvatica

 

European Beech

 

large

 

all soils, sun to part shade

 

Fraxinus americana

 

White Ash

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

 

Green Ash

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Ginkgo biloba

(male clones)

 

Ginkgo

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis

 

Honey Locust

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Gymnocladus dioecus (male clones)

 

Kentucky Coffee

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Liriodendron tulipifera

 

Tulip Tree

 

large

 

naturalizing, sun

 

Liquidamber styraciflua

 

Sweet Gum

 

large

 

sun

 

Magnolia soulangiana

 

Magnolia

 

small

 

under used

 

Magnolia stellata

 

Star Magnolia

 

small

 

sun

 

Malus hybrids

 

Crab Apple

 

small to med.

 

all soils, sun

 

Pyrus calleryana

 

Callery Pear

 

med. to large

 

all soils, sun

 

Quercus alba

 

White Oak

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Quercus bicolor

 

Swamp White Oak

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Quercus elipsoidalis

 

Hill's Oak

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Quercus macrocarpa

 

Bur Oak

 

large

 

heavy soils, sun

 

Quercus muehlenbergii

 

Chinquapin

 

large

 

heavy soils, sun

 

Quercus palustris

 

Pin Oak

 

large

 

no alkaline soils, sun

 

Quercus prinus

 

Chestnut Oak

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Quercus robur

 

English Oak

 

med. to large

 

all soils, sun

 

Quercus rubra

 

Red Oak

 

large

 

best in sand, sun

 

Quercus vellutina

 

Black Oak

 

large

 

sand, sun

 

Syringa reticulata

 

Japenese Lilac

 

med.

 

all soils, sun

 

Taxodium distichum

 

Bald Cypress

 

large

 

moist soils, surface roots, sun

 

Tilia americana

 

Basswood

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

Tilia cordata

 

Little Leaf Linden

 

med. to large

 

all soils, sun, beetle damage

 

Tilia x euchlora ‘Redmond

 

Redmond Linden

 

large

 

all soils, sun

 

 

TABLE 2.  TREES ACCEPTABLE, BUT NOT RECOMMENDED

 

Latin Name

 

Common Name

 

Size

 

Comments

 

Acer platanoides

 

Norway Maple

 

large

 

surface roots

 

Acer saccharinum

 

Silver Maple

 

large

 

surface roots

 

Aesculus hippocastanum

 

Horsechestnut

 

 

large

 

leaf scorch, fruit

 

Catalpa speciosa

 

Catalpa

 

large

 

messy, fruit

 

Cornus florida

 

Flowering Dogwood

 

small

 

anthracnose

 

Juglans nigra

 

Black Walnut

 

large

 

toxins, messy

 

Carya ovata

 

Shagbark Hickory

 

large

 

messy, fruit

 

Platanus occidentalis

 

Sycamore

 

large

 

messy

 

Prunus serotina

 

Black Cherry

 

large

 

short lived, messy

 

Robinia pseudoacacia

 

Black Locust

 

large

 

short lived, messy

 

Ulmus parvifolia

 

Lacebark Elm

 

large

 

Japanese beetle damage

 

 

TABLE 3.  TREES, NOT ACCEPTABLE

 

Latin Name

 

Common Name

 

Size

 

Comments

 

Acer negundo

 

Boxelder

 

medium

 

insects, messy

 

Ailanthus altissima

 

Tree of Heaven

 

large

 

weedy

 

Elaegnus angustifolia

 

Russian Olive

 

small

 

diseases

 

Populus alba

 

White Poplar

 

medium

 

weedy, messy

 

Populus deltoides

 

Cottonwood

 

large

 

messy

 

Populus nigra ‘Italica’

 

Lombardy Poplar

 

medium

 

short lived

 

Morus alba

 

White Mulberry

 

large

 

weedy, messy

 

Morus rubra

 

Red Mulberry

 

large

 

weedy, messy

 

Salix alba

 

Weeping Willow

 

large

 

roots, messy

 

Salix matsudana tortuosa

 

Curly Willow

 

medium

 

roots, messy

 

Ulmus pumila

 

Siberian Elm

 

large

 

Japanese beetle damage

 

Ulmus rubra

 

Slippery Elm

 

large

 

messy, beetle damage

 

 

TABLE 4.  SHRUBS RECOMMENDED

 

Latin Name

 

Common Name

 

Size

 

Comments

 

Amelanchier canadensis

 

Serviceberry

 

large

 

fall color, sun or part shade

 

Berberis thunbergii

 

Barberry

 

small

 

sun

 

Buxus microphylla

 

Boxwood

 

small to med

 

use hardy cultvars

 

Calycanthus floridus

 

Carolina Allspice

 

large

 

excellent under‑used large shrub

 

Caryopteris clandonensis

 

Bluebeard

 

small

 

dies back to ground

 

Clethra alnifolia

 

Summersweet

 

small

 

part shade

 

Coryllus avellana

and cultivars

 

Filbert

 

med to large

 

part shade, naturalizing

 

Cotoneaster apiculatus

 

Cotoneaster

 

small

 

catches trash

 

Deutzia hybrids

 

Deutzia

 

small

 

under used

 

Exochorda x macrantha

 

Pearlbush

 

small to med

 

sun, under used

 

Fothergilla gardenia

 

Dwf. Fothergilla

 

small

 

likes acid soils

 

Fothergilla major

 

Fothergilla

 

med

 

likes acid soils

 

Hamamelis x intermedia

 

Witch Hazel

 

large

 

part shade

 

Hamamelis vernalis

 

Vernal Witch Hazel

 

large

 

part shade

 

Hydrangea arborescens

 

Smooth Hydrangea

 

med

 

not drought tolerant, afternoon shade

 

Hydrangea paniculata

 

Hardy Hydrangea

 

med to large

 

shallow roots

 

Hydrangea quercifolia

 

Oakleaf Hydrangea

 

med

 

part shade, rough winter texture

 

Hypericum frondosum

 

St. John's Wort

 

small

 

cut back hard to maintain

 

Ilex crenata

 

Japanese Holly

 

small

 

likes acid soils

 

Ilex glabra

 

Inkberry

 

small

 

likes acid soils

 

Ilex x meservae

 

Blue Holly

 

med

 

requires acid soils

 

Itea virginica

 

Sweetspire

 

med

 

part shade

 

Kerria japonica

 

Japanese Kerria

 

med

 

part shade, drought tolerant

 

Kolkwitzia amabilis

 

Beautybush

 

large

 

adaptable, large

 

Ligustrum species

 

Privet

 

med to large

 

fragrant

 

Philadephus virginalis

 

Mock Orange

 

large

 

fragrant

 

Physocarpus opulifolius

 

Ninebark

 

med

 

sun, good soils

 

Potentilla fruticosa

 

Bush Cinquefoil

 

small

 

requires regular pruning

 

Rhododendron hybrids

 

Rhododendron

 

med to large

 

shallow roots, part shade

 

Rhus glabra

 

Smooth Sumac

 

large

 

naturalizing

 

Rhus aromatica

 

Fragrant Sumac

 

spreading

 

great woody groundcover

 

Rhus typhina

 

Shining Sumac

 

small

 

naturalizing, requires sandy soil

 

Ribes alpinum

 

Alpine Currant

 

med

 

part shade

 

Rosa hybrids

 

Rose

 

med

 

use hardy, shrub types

 

Salix alba

 

Red Stem Willow

 

med

 

thin regularly to maintain

 

Salix caprea

 

French Pussy Willow

 

small

 

sun, cut back hard

 

Salix integra

 

Japanese Willow

 

med to large

 

cut back hard, sun for color

 

Salix purpurea and cultivars

 

Arctic Willow

 

small to med

 

naturalizing, shade or sun

 

Spirea japonica

 

Spirea

 

med

 

cut back hard to maintain

 

 Spirea nipponica

‘Van Houte