Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2016

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Page 87 of 149

88 Landscape Architect and Specifier News o rd i n a n c e s (Continued from page 14) The 1990s saw more attention to tree preservation, protection and site clearing. Communities began to give tree credits to preserve trees on construction sites. Banned tree species became common, and many communities listed recommended trees. Arborists became more active in tree regulations, especially minimum canopy standards. Such standards are often based on shading requirements, canopy coverage percentage or caliper inches per acre. Urban forestry practices were coming into the codes with habitat preservation areas (HPA), tree protection areas (TPA) and critical root zone protection (CRZ) areas set aside. During this same era enhanced landscape requirements were added to the more comprehensive Land Development Regulations (LDRs) being widely adopted in Florida and a few other places. In some communities drive-through service areas were being recognized in regard to circulation, placement, car stacking and planting. It is amazing how too few communities even today regulate this most obtrusive land use through landscape codes. The 2000s are bringing sustainability into community landscape codes. Codes are being written now with objective technical standards, placing increasing emphasis on shade coverage, canopy calculations and increased habitat protection. Onsite stormwater management in the East and water conservation in the West are important trends. New digital tools and digital interactive means of code writhing are coming into use. Designed 'planting units' or 'equivalent planting units' are going beyond the 1970s plant material stamping paradigm or the point system developed in the 1980s as the basis of spatial design. These codes are bringing digital buffer technology calculators that allow the visioning of buffer design based upon quantity, spacing, plant size and growth potential over time. Pavement cooling, managing parking lot runoff, nonpoint pollutant reductions are other factors leading toward green parking lot design. Summing Up Contemporary municipal landscape codes date to the late 1950s. They began as private land covenants at Sea Pines Plantation in South Carolina. By the late 1960s, the basic requirements of the "design components" and "technical standards" had been hashed out and introduced in Palm Beach County Florida. Landscape codes thereafter have successively evolved during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and into the first decade of the 2000s. Each era introduced new ideas about landscape code technology and landscape law associated with zoning, land development or urban design. Should readers care to contact the author, get in touch by email at You may also call Abbey Associates Landscape Architecture at 225.766.0922. Urban landscaping regulations (ULRs) represent perhaps only 1% of all enacted landscape laws, but have the greatest potential for further growth. These "urbanizing" landscape codes bring about the reestablishment of nature within the most built up, densest parts of the city. One of the best in the nation is the Seattle Green Factor Measurement System. ULRs lead to stormwater landscape management (southwest Seattle roadside raingarden pictured), green parking lots, connected walkways, courtyards, green walls and planted rooftops. These new regulations allow nature to be an important part of the urban fabric of downtowns. IMAGE: SEATTLE IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY 2015-2020 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 3 3

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