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City of Franklin, WI
Milwaukee County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Landscaping Required. Landscaping is required for on-lot landscaping, street bufferyards, peripheral bufferyards, and in off-street parking areas and in areas where vegetative mitigation (see § 15-4.0103 of this Ordinance) is required. The area and/or length of each, as required herein must be measured in order to determine the amount of landscaping required.
B. 
Exemptions and Modifications. All developments shall meet the provisions of this Division except as specifically exempted below:
1. 
Residential Development on Existing Lots of Record in the A-1, R-1, R-1E, R-2, R-3, R-3E, R-4, R-5, R-6, R-7, and VR Districts. Residential development on existing lots of record in the A-1, R-1, R-1E, R-2, R-3, R-3E, R-4, R-5, R-6, R-7, and VR Districts as of the date of the adoption of this Ordinance.
2. 
Additions to Existing Buildings Where the Total Floor Area is not Increased More than 10%. Additions to existing buildings where the total floor area is not increased more than 10% of the existing total floor area.
3. 
Additions to Buildings Which Increase Overall Building Area From 10 to 50%. Additions to buildings which increase their overall building area from 10 to 50% shall conform to the landscaping standards set forth in this Division reduced by up to 30%.
4. 
Floodplain and Wetland Areas. Areas located within the FW, FC, FFO, and SW Districts are exempt from the landscaping requirements set forth in this Division.
C. 
Bufferyards to Ameliorate Nuisances Between Certain Adjacent Zoning Districts. A bufferyard is a combination of a setback and a visual buffer or barrier, and is a yard or area together with the planting and/or landscape structure required thereon. The amount of land, the type of planting, and the amount of planting specified for each bufferyard requirement of this Ordinance are designed to ameliorate nuisances between certain adjacent zoning districts. Bufferyards are also designed to ensure a desired character along public streets and roads.
D. 
Bufferyards Required to Separate Different Zoning Districts. Bufferyards shall be required to separate different zoning districts from each other. Bufferyards function to eliminate or minimize potential nuisances such as dirt, litter, noise, glare of lights, signs, and unsightly buildings or parking areas, or to provide spacing to reduce adverse impacts of noise, odor, or danger from fires or explosions.
A. 
Standard Plant Units. All landscaping requirements are stated in terms of the number of standard plant units required. This Section defines the standard plant unit and its definitions of this Section. The following Table 15-5.0302 specifies the plant unit requirements.
Table 15-5.0302
Minimum Number of Standard Plant Units
Multi-Family
Type
Planting Size
Minimum Quantity
Canopy/Shade Tree
2.5 inch caliper
1.5 per dwelling unit
Evergreens
4 feet tall
1 per dwelling unit
Decorative Trees
1.5 inch caliper
1 per dwelling unit
Shrubs
3 feet tall
3 per dwelling unit
Commercial, Office, Institutional and Similar Uses
Type
Planting Size
Minimum Quantity
Canopy/Shade Tree
2.5 inch caliper
1 per 5 provided parking spaces
Evergreens
4 feet tall
1 per 5 provided parking spaces
Decorative Trees
1.5 inch caliper
1 per 5 provided parking spaces
Shrubs
3 feet tall
1 per 5 provided parking spaces
Manufacturing (Industrial)
Type
Planting Size
Minimum Quantity
Canopy/Shade Tree
2.5 inch caliper
1 per 10 provided parking spaces
Evergreens
4 feet tall
1 per 10 provided parking spaces
Decorative Trees
1.5 inch caliper
1 per 10 provided parking spaces
Shrubs
3 feet tall
1 per 10 provided parking spaces
B. 
Definitions and Conditions. The following definitions and conditions shall apply to the application of Table 15-5.0302.
1. 
Canopy/Shade trees are deciduous trees, evergreens are coniferous trees, and decorative trees are flowering and/or fruit bearing trees, normally growing to full growth shorter than a shade tree.
2. 
The number of plantings required per parking space shall be rounded to the next highest range. For example, 52 spaces in a commercial development shall require 11 shade trees, not 10.
3. 
The minimum number of plantings shall be five per property for each type.
4. 
In the event a use does not provide an amount of parking commensurate with the use (i.e., service station), then the minimum amount of landscaping shall be 20 shade trees per acre, 20 evergreen trees per acre, 10 decorative trees per acre, and 30 shrubs per acre. Each acre shall be divisible, rounded to the next number of plantings (i.e., 1.68 acres = 34 shade trees).
5. 
In the event decorative trees and/or shrubs are not appropriate for a development, then those types may be replaced by the following schedule:
a. 
One shade tree for every one required decorative tree.
b. 
One shade tree or evergreen for every two required shrubs.
6. 
In the event evergreens are not appropriate for a non-multi-family development, then each required evergreen may be replaced by a shade tree, but not greater than 70% replacement.
7. 
Upright growing arborvitae may be used as an evergreen, given the same minimum planting size.
8. 
Bush-type arborvitae may be used as a shrub, given the same minimum planting size.
9. 
See § 15-11.0103 for the definition of caliper.
C. 
Bufferyard. When development abuts or is across a street from a residential zoning or use, or a less intense use such as a church or school, the following bufferyard requirements apply:
1. 
The minimum quantity of plantings required in Table 15-5.0302 increases by 20%.
2. 
Emphasis shall be on placing the increased amount of plantings within the bufferyard, except where preservation of existing plant material does not allow additional plantings.
3. 
Evergreens and arborvitae are required within the buffer yard with a minimum planting height of six feet.
D. 
Credit for Preserved Existing Plant Materials. Every attempt shall be made to preserve existing plant materials, in which case the following applies.
1. 
In a non-bufferyard, existing shade trees, evergreens, and decorative trees over six feet in height shall replace one equivalent type of required planting.
2. 
In a bufferyard, existing shade trees, evergreens and decorative trees over six feet in height shall replace 1/2 equivalent type of required planting.
3. 
In both a non-buffer and bufferyard; existing shrubs over five feet in height shall replace one required shrub planting.
4. 
Plantings to be preserved shall be shown on the submitted landscape plan, including exact location, size and type.
E. 
Alternative Minimum Landscape Surface Ratio. Use of the Alternative Minimum Landscape Surface Ratio shall require a minimum caliper of three inch shade trees, a minimum caliper of two inch decorative trees and a minimum size of six foot evergreens, along with an increase by 20% of the minimum quantity of plantings required by Table 15-5.0302. If a bufferyard is present, then the required quantity increases by 30%.
F. 
Species of Plantings. To encourage a variety of year-round colors and planting of native vegetation, and to prevent destruction of the landscaping through disease, the following species mix is required for each planting type.
Provided Plantings
Minimum Number of Different Species
Minimum Number of Each Species Planted
5 to 11
2
2
12 to 20
3
4
21 to 30
4
5
31 to 40
4
6
41 to 50
4
8
51 and above
4
10
1. 
No one species shall exceed 35% of species planted within a planting type, with three or more species required.
2. 
At least two species of shade trees must be native to the City, such as Ash, Elm, Sugar Maple, Red Oak, Basswood or Walnut.
G. 
Ground Cover. All areas not covered by buildings or paving shall be covered with landscaping.
1. 
Open areas not covered by plantings shall be covered by grass, low growing ground cover, or other landscape materials, except where existing natural vegetation of the site makes the growing of grass impossible. The use of grass as ground cover onflat open areas is necessary. The use of growing, low maintenance ground coveron slopes is encouraged.
2. 
All parking lot landscaped islands shall be covered by grass. The use of stone, wood chips, or other non-grass material to cover a parking lot landscaped island shall be prohibited.
3. 
The type of ground cover to be used shall be shown on the Landscape Plan, and the cost of the ground cover shall be included with the submitted estimated landscape costs.
H. 
Placement. Generally, placement of all types of plantings shall be dispersed across the entire site at discretion of developer, with the following minimum guidelines:
1. 
Hardiest species of plantings (including those engineered for high traffic areas) shall be placed in the highest vehicular and pedestrian traffic areas.
2. 
Native species of shade trees shall be placed away from the highest vehicular and pedestrian traffic areas.
3. 
Plantings shall be located so as not to obscure vehicle sight lines.
4. 
Plantings shall be located so future growth is not over a sidewalk or parking/drive area.
5. 
Plantings shall be located to soften tall and long building walls.
6. 
Emphasis of plantings within buffer yards.
7. 
Any fruit bearing trees shall be located away from parking/drive areas.
I. 
The Landscape Plan. The Landscape Plan shall include preparer's name, date of preparation, a base site plan that matches the site plan submitted for approval, showing planting locations and existing plantings to be preserved, the Landscape Surface Ratio percentage, a planting schedule of common name, botanical name, planting size, and calculations showing how the plan exceeds the minimum quantity. Landscape Plans shall be submitted with initial application and for building permit, or as a condition of approval of an application as may otherwise be specifically set forth in the Ordinance, excepting that an applicant must at a minimum file a preliminary landscape plan generally depicting the landscaping for the site at the time of initial application filing. Landscape Plans must be approved by the Plan Commission.
A. 
Physical Containment of Landscaped Areas. All landscaped areas located within or adjacent to a parking area, or adjacent to a public street or sidewalk, shall be designed to contain landscape materials and to prevent vehicular encroachment (i.e., through use of continuous concrete curbing, railroad ties, headers, or depressed construction).
B. 
Artificial Landscape Materials. Artificial trees, shrubs, turf, or plants shall not be permitted as landscaping.
C. 
Groundcover. The use of landscape fabrics under all areas landscaped with non-living materials, except those areas set aside for stormwater retention/detention, is recommended to prevent weed growth.
D. 
Irrigation. A permanent, on-site, outdoor water supply (underground or drip irrigation, hose bibs, etc.) that provides complete coverage to all new living landscaped areas is required. Watering systems shall be designed to water landscaped areas efficiently and avoid irrigation of adjacent parking areas and access drives, sidewalks, buildings, and public streets. If hose bibs are used, they must be located within 100 feet of any landscaped area.
E. 
Location. New vegetation shall be selected, planted, and maintained so that at maturity it will not interfere with utility lines, snow storage areas, vehicular parking, pedestrian circulation, traffic sight visibility at driveways and street intersections, and will not cause damage or upheaval of sidewalks and pavement.
F. 
Installation.
1. 
Timing of Installation. Landscaping and watering devices shall be installed in accordance with the approved landscape plan prior to issuance of a Zoning Compliance Permit or commencement of operations. The City will have the right to refuse approval of any project not meeting the provisions of this Section.
2. 
Return of Financial Surety. When it is determined that the landscaping and watering systems have been installed in accordance with the approved plans, the City shall return the surety to the applicant.
G. 
Maintenance.
1. 
Responsibility for Maintenance.
a. 
Maintenance of all landscaping shall be the responsibility of the owner, lessee, heirs, assigns, agents, homeowners' association, or other liable entity of the property and shall consist of regular watering, pruning, mowing, fertilizing, removal and replacement of irrigation systems, and architectural features.
b. 
The owner or liable entity in control of any private premises shall at all times maintain the premises free of litter and weeds.
2. 
Landscape Phasing. Future building pads within a phased development shall be maintained in a dust-free condition vegetated with groundcover.
3. 
Plant Replacement. Any plant materials included in an approved landscaping plan that do not survive a plant establishment period of two years after installation shall be replaced with plant material(s) of the same or like species of equal size within the next planting season, but in any event, within six months of the plant's demise. Said replacement shall be made by the property owner or, in the case of landscape plant materials located within a landscape easement under the control of a homeowners' association, the homeowners' association shall be responsible for said replacement.
H. 
Plant Material Species Mixture. All landscape plant materials selected shall be adequately mixed so that no singular species exceeds 40% of the total planting requirements. Said mixture shall include the use of both hardwood and softwood species types if deciduous materials are specified.
A. 
Minimum Landscaping Requirements for Residential and Nonresidential Off-Street Parking Areas and Lots. Each residential and nonresidential off-street parking lot shall contain landscaping within the parking lots and adjoining entrance drives and circulation drives.
B. 
Existing Vegetation May Count Toward the Provision of Minimum Off-Street Parking Landscape Requirements. Existing trees that can be preserved, where grading does not cut them off from a reasonable supply of water and where the area under the canopy remains undisturbed, shall count toward the minimum off street parking landscape requirements. For plantings that are preserved within parking lot islands, the islands shall be a minimum of 300 square feet in area.
C. 
Curbs, Barriers, and Overhangs Required to Contain Landscape Areas. The curb or barrier around landscape areas may be utilized as a wheel-stop provided the area of vehicle overhang does not exceed two feet and does not damage or interfere with the landscaping. Where vehicle overhangs abut required landscape areas, a minimum five-foot wide planting area is required for a single vehicle overhang, and an eight-foot wide planter for a double vehicle overhang is required. Vehicle overhang into the public right-of-way is not permitted.
D. 
Uses Not Permitted in Required Landscaped Areas. Parking (except where vehicle overhang is permitted), buildings, and display of equipment or vehicles are not permitted in required landscaped areas.
E. 
Required Landscape Materials Not to Constitute a Driving Hazard. To ensure that landscape materials do not constitute a driving hazard, trees used to landscape parking islands shall have a clear trunk height of six feet; mature shrubs, groundcover, or other landscaping material shall not exceed three feet in height. The landscaped area within these planters may be used to satisfy, to the extent provided, the landscaping requirements.