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Town of Appomattox, VA
Appomattox County
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It is the intent of this article to promote the public necessity, convenience, general welfare, and good zoning practice by incorporating landscaping, screening, and buffering requirements into the site development plan process. The goals are to provide landscaping requirements that will ensure development consistent with the goals of the community development plan, reduce soil erosion, increase infiltration in permeable land areas to improve stormwater management, mitigate air, dust, noise, and chemical pollution, protect property values, and provide buffers between incompatible uses. It is further the intent of this article to preserve the existing natural vegetation as an integral part of the Town and to ensure that the Town continues to be an attractive place to live, work, and visit.
If any provision of the Zoning Ordinance regulating landscaping is declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of the Zoning Ordinance regulating landscaping and all such provisions shall remain in full force and effect.
A. 
The provisions of this article are applicable to the development or redevelopment of any property after the effective date of this article and located in an R-1, R-2, R-3, B-1, B-2, MHP-1, P-1 and M-1 Zoning District or to any use requiring a special use permit approval.
B. 
When an existing use is expanded, enlarged, or redeveloped, only those portions of the property subject to the expansion, enlargement, or redevelopment are subject to the provisions of this article.
C. 
It is not the intent of this article to regulate landscaping for single-family dwellings or two-family dwellings.
A. 
Landscaping within a sight distance triangle shall not include any evergreen trees, and shall not include shrubs exceeding three feet in height above the ground at maturity. Tree limbs in a sight distance triangle shall be raised to ensure visibility for motor vehicle safety.
B. 
When a calculation of the number of required trees and/or shrubs results in a fractional amount, the fraction shall be rounded up to the next whole number.
C. 
Existing vegetation within the development area is encouraged to be retained and may be used to meet all or part of the landscaping requirements. No tree or shrub less of than three-inch caliper shall be counted when utilizing existing vegetation.
D. 
All landscaped areas shall be covered with an appropriate ground cover, mulch, or decorative landscape stone. The use of gravel and/or riprap is discouraged.
E. 
All slopes shall be covered with an appropriate ground cover. The use of riprap as ground cover on slopes visible from the public right-of-way is discouraged.
F. 
All trees and/or shrubs used to satisfy this article shall be of native origin. No tree, shrub or ground cover contained on the invasive alien plant species of Virginia list as maintained by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) may be used to satisfy the requirements of this article.
A. 
A landscaping plan shall be required of all new development or redevelopment of property within the Town for commercial or industrial purposes. Multifamily residential dwelling developments shall be considered commercial for the purposes of this article.
B. 
A landscaping plan shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The location, size, height of planting, and botanical name of all required landscaping.
(2) 
The location, size, and botanical name of any existing vegetation proposed to be used to satisfy any portion of this article.
(3) 
The dimensions of all landscaped areas and islands.
(4) 
A planting schedule, including any fertilizer or soil amendment to be used.
(5) 
A general statement regarding the perpetual maintenance of the landscaping.
For freestanding signs, landscaping shall be required around the sign base. Landscape plantings shall be a minimum of one small shrub per 10 square feet of sign area. Plantings should be grouped creatively to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the freestanding sign structure.
All sides of multifamily, commercial, or industrial buildings which are visible from the public right-of-way or visible from an adjacent residential use type shall be landscaped with foundation plantings as follows:
A. 
One large shrub per 10 feet of building frontage.
B. 
Two small shrubs per 10 feet of building frontage.
C. 
Plantings are encouraged to be placed in creative groupings along the perimeter of the building.
D. 
Variances shall be granted if the Zoning Administrator finds unfavorable topography or other physical impairments of the parcel render compliance impractical.
A. 
Loading areas, refuse areas, storage yards, stormwater management facilities, HVAC equipment, water vaults, or other objectionable items shall be screened from view of any public right-of-way or any adjacent residential use type.
B. 
Stormwater management facilities intended to be displayed as a water feature or naturalized planting areas are exempt from screening requirements.
C. 
Screening may be accomplished by any combination of existing evergreen vegetation, walls, fences, earthen berms and/or new evergreen vegetation appropriate to screen the equipment or activity. The required height of screening at installation shall be sufficient to screen the equipment or activity.
D. 
The use of chain-link fence as the sole method of screening is prohibited.
A. 
In all instances where a commercial-use type, industrial-use type, multifamily-dwelling-use type, or parking area is located adjacent to any residential-use type, a vegetative evergreen buffer shall be established on the property for which said buffer is required.
B. 
Where required, the buffer area shall be a minimum of 20 feet in width extending along the entire length of the development area and shall generally be required along the property line unless topographic or other considerations would make it more effective located back from the property line.
C. 
The vegetative buffer shall consist of a staggered row of evergreen trees. Shrubs may be used as supplemental filler if necessary. The evergreen tree material shall be a minimum of four feet in height at the time of planting. The evergreen tree line shall be planted in rows 15 feet apart and staggered 10 feet on center. An earthen berm may be used as well. The earthen berm shall vary in height and width and shall be curvilinear in form and provide a gentle tie-in with the existing grade. On average, the height of the earthen berm should be three feet in height.
D. 
Existing vegetation may be used to satisfy this requirement. Supplemental evergreen material may be needed to meet the buffering requirements. The need for additional evergreen material shall be at the discretion of the Zoning Administrator.
E. 
No proposed building, building addition, structure, parking area or other physical land improvement shall be located in the buffer area.
A. 
The planting of trees and shrubbery shall be installed in accordance with the standard landscaping specifications of the Virginia Society of Landscape Designers and/or the Virginia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
B. 
Landscaping required by this article shall be planted during an opportune planting season, and shall be in place and in good condition prior to occupancy, or the owner/developer may provide a guarantee in a form acceptable to the Town that ensures installation. Said guarantee shall be equal to the cost of the installation remaining to be installed. A bona fide cost estimate on company letterhead issued by a recognized landscaping firm or nursery shall be provided along with the guarantee as verification of the guarantee amount.
C. 
All landscaping included in the guarantee shall be installed, inspected, and approved within six months of acceptance of the guarantee.
D. 
If during times of severe drought or water emergency, the owner/developer may request in writing an extension of the time period allowed for planting any required landscaping. The Zoning Administrator may permit the delayed installation at his/her discretion. Upon declaration of the end of said drought or water emergency, the owner/developer shall be required to install the required landscaping within six months.
Required landscaping shall remain alive and in good condition in perpetuity. The property owner shall be responsible for the ongoing protection and maintenance of all required landscaping in a manner consistent with the approved site development plan.
Upon written request, the Town Council may approve an alternative layout to the required landscaping, provided that the spirit and intent of this chapter are preserved and the goals of this article are assured.