Landscape Ordinance – Chicago

Date: 12 Jan 2009 | posted in: environment | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In July 1999 significant amendments were added to Chicago’s landscape ordinance, making it stricter. For instance any new parking lot of 3,000 square feet or more was required to install landscape islands and trees within the lot. New parking lots of 1,200 square feet or more that are visible from a public right-of-way were required to surround themselves with 2-to-4 foot hedges. In addition, a shade tree must be planted for every 25 feet of new building frontage in most commercial and residential neighborhoods. In addition, the city has embarked on a tree-planting campaign, with the intention of planting 500,000 more trees over the next five years.

Originally established in 1991, this ordinance was installed as part of Mayor Daley’s commitment to the beautification of Chicago. It requires builders of new or substantially renovated commercial or large residential buildings to incorporate landscaping into their plans; single family homes, two and three flats are exempt.

This plan helps to reduce air and noise pollution, protects the soil, cools the air and increases the aesthetic attractiveness of the surroundings. The Department of Zoning co-administers the Landscape Ordinance with the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Bureau of Forestry and has caused the planting of more than 2,000 new trees and 8,000 new shrubs; plans have been approved for an additional 6,000 new trees and over 33,000 new shrubs. The ordinance presently is being re-written because of updates and revisions.

The purpose of this collection of new regulations was twofold: first, to boost energy conservation by reducing the “heat island” effect of the city during the summer months; and second, to create “an attractive city of tree-lined streets and boulevards, greener neighborhoods and enhanced property values.”

The cumulative effect of the new requirements has been transformative. According to one observer:

“Now, few boulevards in the world can match the flower-bedecked splendor of Michigan Avenue, and public beauty is spreading like a contagion down every street in the Loop and into the neighborhoods. No corner gas station is safe from decorative lampposts and baskets of drooping geraniums. No surface parking lot can escape a border of wrought-iron fencing and leafy canopies of newly planted trees.” (Steve Berg, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, September 10, 2000)

According to Noah Szafranic, a landscape architect with the Chicago Department of Zoning, the ordinance has had the effect of bringing people out of doors. It has also improved the appearance of most of Chicago’s neighborhoods, some of which previously looked quite desolate.

See the text of the 1999 amendment to the Chicago landscape ordinance below.

More Information:


Text of 1999 amendments to the Chicago landscape ordinance

AMENDMENTOF TITLES 10 AND 17 OF MUNICIPAL CODE OF CHICAGO (CHICAGO ZONING ORDINANCE) BY IMPOSITION OF ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS REGARDING ARCHITECTURAL LANDSCAPING AND FENCING.

The Committee on Zoning submitted the following report:

CHICAGO, July 21, 1999.

To the President and Members of the City Council:

Reportingfor your Committee on Zoning, for which a meeting was held on July 15, 1999, I beg leave to recommend that Your Honorable Body pass one ordinance transmitted herewith amending various sections of the Municipal Code of Chicago dealing with the Landscape Ordinance. This ordinance, referred to as Application Number MA-55, was corrected and amended, receiving unanimous approval of the committee.

At this time I move that this report be immediately passed.

Respectfully submitted,

(Signed) WlLLIAM J. P. BANKS,

Chairman.

Onmotion of Alderman Banks, the said proposed substitute ordinance transmitted with the foregoing committee report was Passed by yeas and nays as follows :

Yeas – Adenine Granato, Haithcock, Tillman, Preckwinkle, Lyle, Beavers, Dixon, Beale, Pope, Balcer, Frias, Olivo, Burke, Thomas, Coleman, Peterson, Murphy, Rugai, Troutman, DeVille, Munoz, Zalewski, Chandler, Solis, Ocasio, Burnett, E. Smith, Carothers, Wojcik, Suarez, Matlak, Austin, Colom, Banks, Giles, Allen, O’Connor, Doherty, Natan~s, Daley, Hansen, Levar, Schulter, M. Smith, Moore, Stone – 46.

Nays – None.

Alderman Beavers moved to reconsider the foregoing vote. The motion was lost.

The following is said ordinance as passed:

Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Chicago:

?SECTION1. Section 10-32-050 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language in brackets and inserting the language in italics, as follows:

Section 10-32-050 Care of Parkway.

?Theowners or person in control of property contiguous to the parkway shall be responsible for watering and fertilizing parkway trees required to be installed pursuant to Section 194A-5.13 of the city’s zoning code[for a period of five years following installation] and for routine care of the parkway lawn. Routine care of the parkway lawn shall include periodic watering, weeding and mowing. The owner or person in control of property contiguous to the parkway shall replace any parkway trees required to be installed pursuant to 194A-5.13 of the city’s zoning code in the event of the death of any such trees resulting from the failure to water or fertilize as required herein [during a period of five years following installation].

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SECTION2. Section 10-32-220 of The municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended in subsection 1 by adding the following language in italics:

Section 10-32-220 Required Parkway Trees – Planting Standards.

(1) Each parkway tree shall have a minimum caliper of two and one-half inches or a minimum of four inches within the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue) as measured at a point of six inches above grade level and shall be levied and shall be balled and burlapped. Curbs and low railings shall be installed around parkway planters (i.e. a raised planting area constructed to contain soils, plants and trees)within the Central Area for the purpose of protecting landscaped areas from heavy pedestrian traffic consistent with recommendations in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

Where the deputy commissioner of the bureau of forestry determines it is not feasible to install parkway trees due to inadequate sidewalk widths or other limiting conditions, he/she may require the installation of sidewalk planters of a size and type described in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. The sidewalk planters installed in lieu of parkway trees shall be provided in an amount equal to no less than two square feet of planter area per linear foot of lot areas measured at the front lot line or the front and side lot lines on corner lots.

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(5)All parkway trees shall be installed and maintained in compliance with the following requirements: 1) tree grates shall be required where tree are planted in sidewalk openings; 2) black lava rock mulch shall be required in trees pits below trees grates and shall be installed to a level flush with the bottom of the tree grate; 3) curbs and low railings to protect plantings shall be required on busy pedestrian retail and commercial streets within the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue)consistent with recommendations in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

The soil volume and composition for required parkway trees or planters shall meet the following requirements: 1) soils shall have a three foot minimum depth; 2)planting areas shall have a minimum of 24 square feet of surface area with no dimension less than three feet; 3) soil composition (soil types, acidity and organic content) and soil percolation rates shall follow the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. The deputy commissioner may require the addition of structural soil below sidewalk slabs in order to permit root growth beyond a small pit or sidewalk cut in those circumstances where the new construction involves the replacement of existing sidewalks.

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SECTION3. Section 5.13 of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by adding the following new subsection E, as follows:

Section 5.13 Tree Planting In The Public Way.

E. The owner of any zoning lot undertaking or allowing the construction upon, improvement to, or use of any property to which the provisions of this section apply, shall install and maintain parkway trees within that portion of the public parkway contiguous to said zoning lot in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 10-32 of the Municipal Code, as amended and with the following requirements: 1) tree grates shall be required where tree are planted in sidewalk openings; 2) black lava rock mulch shall be required in tree pits and shall be installed to a level flush with the bottom of the tree grate; 3) curbs and low railings to protect plantings shall be required on busy pedestrian retail and commercial streets within the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue)consistent with recommendations in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

The soil volume and composition for required parkway trees or planters shall meet the following requirements: 1) soils shall have a three foot minimum depth; 2)planting areas shall have a minimum of 24 square feet of surface area with no dimension less than three feet; 3) soil composition (soil types, acidity and organic content) and soil percolation rates shall follow the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

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SECTION 4. Article 5 of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by adding the following new Section 5.21, as follows:

Section 5.21 Trash Storage And The Screening/Enclosure Of Trash Facilities.

AII applications for zoning certificates for new residential, business, commercial or manufacturing uses shall designate on the site plan or plot plan required by Section 1 1.5. an area for the storage of trash compactors, dumpsters and/or trash collection bins.

The site plans for multi-family elevator housing or business, commercial or manufacturing development or the substantial rehabilitation of such developments (i.e. where rehab costs exceed 50 percent of the building’s replacement costs) shall illustrate plans for the enclosure/screening of dumpsters and trash collection bins. Trash compactors shall be exempt from the enclosure and screening requirements. Trash compactors shall be required for any new residential business, commercial or manufacturing use that generates 50 or more cubic yards of garbage per week as provided in Title 7, Chapter 7-28, Section 7-28-225 of the Municipal Code of Chicago.

The screening or enclosure of dumpsters or trash bins required by this section may be achieved by designating an enclosed space for trash facilities within a principal building or within an accessory structure such as a garage. When trash facilities are not enclosed within a principal or accessory structure, they shall be screened on all sides by six-foot tall masonry walls except for that side furnished with an opaque, lockable gate. The screening walls required by this section shall be planted with vines.

* * * * *

SECTION5. Section 7.12(8)(c) of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language in brackets and inserting the language in italics, as follows:

* * * * *

(i)Side/Rear Lot Line Screening. All vehicular use areas larger than 1,200 square feet situated on a lot with side or rear lot Lines contiguous to any property within a residence district or which is improved with a hospital, rest or nursing home, church, community center, school, college or similar institutional use, shall be effectively screened along such side or rear lot lines by a wall, fence or hedge of not less than five nor more than seven feet in height. Any fence shall be masonry or wood, it shall be planted with vines, and under no circumstances shall chain-link fencing be permitted.

(ii)(a) Front Yard Required. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance (thereby prohibiting the location of parking areas within said yard), all permitted vehicular use areas which contain 1,200 square feet or more shall

be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view of such vehicular use areas from all contiguous streets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. Such screening shall be located between the perimeter of the vehicular use area and the front lot line. The remainder of the required front yard shall be landscaped. The landscaping within this front yard shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree for every 25 feet of frontage. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this ordinance, the front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon the required front yard up to a minimum distance of[one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half] two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(b) Front Yard Not Required. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, all vehicular use areas which contain 1,200 square feet or more shall be setback not less than[five] seven feet from the front lot line and corner lot line and shall be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view of such vehicular use areas from all contiguous streets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, located within the setback or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation of or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. The remainder of the setback shall also be landscaped. The landscaping within this setback shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree for every 25 feet of frontage.The front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon the setback up to a maximum distance of [one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half] two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(c)Fencing Required. An ornamental fence shall be required to be installed along the perimeter of vehicular use area along those lot lines adjacent to public streets (but not alleys) or the front yard of residential districts. The required fencing fronting a public street shall be installed behind the landscaped yard area and a minimum of five feet from the front property line. The required fences shall be limited to a height of no more than five feet above grade unless the zoning administrator determines that the fence is necessary for security purposes in which case the fence shall be a minimum of six feet in height.

Any preexisting vehicular use areas shall be required to have ornamental fencing installed behind any existing hedges or, where no hedges exist, at the property line based on the following schedule:

  • Vehicular use areas within the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue) by January 1, 2002.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with 30, 000 square feet or more by January 1, 2004.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with more than 1,200 square feet but less than 30, 000 square feet by January 1, 2006.

(iii)Interior Lot Landscaping. All lots containing vehicular use areas of 3,000 square feet or more shall be landscaped in accordance with the following requirements I

  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to five percent for vehicular use areas between 3,000 and 4,500 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to seven and one-half percent for vehicular use areas of 4,501 to 30,000 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to 10 percent for vehicular use areas of more than 30, 000 square feet.

(1)The area of landscaping required shall be equal to five to 10 percent of the total area of the vehicular use areas on such lot, as specified above. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance, the total area shall be exclusive of the first [five] seven feet of such yard, measured from the front lot line. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, the landscaped area shall be exclusive to any area devoted to the required [five] seven foot setback from contiguous streets as provided by subsection (ii)(b)hereof. In all cases, the landscaped area shall be exclusive of any areas designed or intended to accommodate the overhang of parked vehicle bumpers. 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 areas. Existing plant material may be counted towards satisfaction of this requirement.

(2) One tree of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper or four inches in the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road, and Ashland Avenue), measured six inches above the ground, shall be planted for each [250] 125 square feet of landscaped area required by subsection (iii)(l) above. Existing trees of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper that are preserved within or along the perimeter of the vehicular use area may be counted towards satisfying the requirements of this subsection. Each two and one-half inch caliper tree preserved shall be deemed equivalent of one required tree.

(3) Each separate landscaped island or area shall contain a minimum of 165 square feet, shall have a minimum dimension of eight feet in any direction and shall include at least one tree. Trees shall be required within the interior planting islands of any vehicular use area exceeding 4, 500 square feet. The trees required to be planted within interior landscaped areas shall be canopy trees consistent with the species recommended in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

The soil volume and composition for trees required within interior planting islands shall have a two-foot minimum depth and topsoil shall be backfilled and mounded as described in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. The soil composition (soil types, acidity and organic content) and soil percolation rates shall follow the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

(iv)Design Standards. All required and landscaped islands and areas shall be protected from vehicular encroachment by curbs or wheel stops. All trees shall be trimmed to assure that no tree limb or portion thereof extends below the level of six feet above the ground.

(v)Installation and Maintenance. All landscape materials required by this section shall be installed i~ accordance with standard practices of horticultural professionals and in good and workmanlike manner and shall be maintained by the property owner in good condition. All applicants for landscape plan approval shall file a maintenance schedule and a scope of maintenance work with the zoning administration a form consistent with the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. Any damaged or dead trees shrubs or ground cover shall be replaced promptly. Maintenance of landscaped areas shall include continuous operations of removal of weeds; mowing; trimming; edging; cultivation; reseeding; plant replacement; appropriate fertilization; spraying; control of pests, insects and rodents by nontoxic methods whenever possible; watering (a working hose bib connected to an active water supply must be available within 100 feet of perimeter landscaped areas); or other operations necessary to assure normal plant growth. The obligation for continuous maintenance shall be binding on the applicant for landscape plan approval, to any subsequent owners of the property or any other parties having a controlling interest in the property.

To insure compliance with the requirements of the Chicago Landscape Ordinance, all applicants for zoning and building permits shall post the required plantings along with a written description of the maintenance requirements on site in a conspicuous place upon the exterior of the zoning lot for the time period that construction work is ongoing and until all landscaping is completed and approved.

(12)Multi-level parking garages shall comply with the screening requirements of Section 11.11A-4 of this ordinance. In addition, to the site plans and drawings required by Section 11.11A-4, all multi-level parking garages (except fully enclosed garages) shall submit a landscape plan to the commissioner of the department of planning and development illustrating the landscaping of any yard required by Section 11.11A-4 and illustrating the proposed use of perimeter planters, hanging baskets, flower boxes, planting trellises and/or roof-top gardens. Consistent with the coal of screening and enclosing garages, the commissioner may require: 1) the planting of vines at the base of any multi-level garage; 2) the installation of perimeter planters on at least every other floor of garages using natural ventilation; 3) the installation of perimeter planters on rooftops used for parking with such rooftop planters designed and constructed consistent with the standards illustrated in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

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SECTION6. Section 8. 11(6)(b) of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language in brackets and adding the language in italics, as follows:

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(i)Side/Rear Lot Line Screening. All vehicular use areas larger than 1,200 square feet situated on a lot with side or rear lot lines contiguous to any property within a residence district or which is improved with a hospital, rest or nursing home, church, community center, school, college or similar institutional use, shall be effectively screened along such side of rear lot lines by a wall, fence or hedge of not less than five nor more than seven feet in height. Any fence shall be masonry or wood, it shall be planted with vines, and under no circumstances shall chain-link fencing be permitted.

(ii)(a) Front Yard Required. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance (thereby prohibiting the location of parking areas within said yard), all permitted vehicular use areas which contain 1 ,200 square feet or more shall be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view of such vehicular use areas from all contiguous streets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. Such screening shall be located between the perimeter of the vehicular use area and the front lot line. The remainder of the required front yard shall be landscaped. The landscaping within this front yard shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree for every 25 feet of frontage. Not withstanding the other provisions of this ordinance, the front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroaching upon the required front yard up to a maximum distance of [one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half] two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(b)Front Yard Not Required. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, all vehicular use areas which contain 1,200 square feet or more shall be setback not less than [five] seven feet from the front lot line and corner lot line and shall be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view of such vehicular use areas from all contiguous streets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, located within the setback or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation of or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. The remainder of the setback shall also be landscaped. The landscaping within this setback shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree for every 25 feet of frontage.The front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon setback up to a maximum distance of [one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half] two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(c)Fencing Required. An ornamental fence shall be required to be installed along the perimeter of vehicular use areas along those lot lines adjacent to public streets (but not alleys) and the front yard of residential districts. The required fencing fronting a public street shall be installed behind the landscaped yard area and a minimum off five feet from the front property line. The required fences shall be limited to a height of no more than five (5) feet above grade unless the zoning administrator determines that the fence is necessary for security purposes in which case the fence shall be a maximum of six (6)feet in height.

Any pre-existing vehicular use areas shall be required to have ornamental fencing installed behind any existing hedges or, where no hedges exist, at the property line based on the following schedule:

  • Vehicular use areas within the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue) by January 1, 2002.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with 30, 000 square feet or more by January 1, 2004.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with more than 1,200 square feet but less than 30,000 square feet by January 1, 2006.

(iii)Interior Lot Landscaping. All lots containing vehicular use areas of 3,000 square feet or more shall be landscaped in accordance with the following requirements:

  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to five percent for vehicular use areas between 3, 000 and 4, 500 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to seven and one-half percent for vehicular use areas of 4,501 to 30,000 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to 10 percent for vehicular use areas of more than 30, 000 square feet.

(1)The area of landscaping required shall be equal to five to 10 percent of the total area of the vehicular use areas on such lot, as specified above. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance, the total area shall be exclusive of

the first [five] seven feet of such yard, measured from the front lot line. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, the landscaped area shall be exclusive to any area devoted to the required [five] seven foot setback from contiguous streets as provided by subsection (ii)(b)hereof. In all cases, the landscaped area shall be exclusive of any areas designed or intended to accommodate the overhang of parked vehicle bumpers. 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 areas. Existing plant material may be counted towards satisfaction of this requirement.

(2) One tree of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper or four inches in the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue), measured six inches above the ground, shall be planted for each [250] 125 square feet of landscaped area required by subsection (iii)(l) above. Existing trees of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper that are preserved within or along the perimeter of the vehicular use area may be counted towards satisfying the requirements of this subsection. Each two and one-half inch caliper tree presented shall be deemed equivalent of one required tree.

(3) Each separate landscaped island or area shall contain a minimum of 165 square feet, shall have a minimum dimension of eight feet in any direction and shall include at least one tree. Trees shall be required within the interior

planting islands of any vehicular use area exceeding 4,500 square feet. The trees required to be planted within interior landscaped areas shall be canopy trees consistent with the species recommended in the Guide to the Chicago

Landscape Ordinance.

The soil volume and composition for trees required within interior planting islands shall have a two foot minimum depth and the topsoil sha~2 be backfilled and mounded as described in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. The soil composition (soil types, acidity and organic content) and soil percolation rates shall follow the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

(iv)Design Standards. All required and landscaped islands and areas shall be protected from vehicular encroachment by curbs or wheel stops. All trees shall be trimmed to assure that no tree limb or portion thereof extends below the level of six (6) feet above the ground.

(v)lnstallation and Maintenance. All landscape materials required by this section shall be installed in accordance with standard practices of horticultural professionals and in good and workmanlike manner and shall be maintained by the property owner in good condition. All applicants for landscape plan approval shall file a maintenance schedule and the scope of maintenance work with the zoning administration a form consistent with the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. Any damaged or dead trees, shrubs or ground cover shall be replaced promptly. Maintenance of landscaped areas shall include continuous operations of removal of weeds; mowing; trimming; edging; cultivation; reseeding; plant replacement; appropriate fertilization; spraying; control of pests, insects and rodents by nontoxic methods whenever possible; watering (a working hose bib connected to an active water supply must be available within 100 feet of perimeter landscaped areas) or other operations necessary to assure normal plant growth. The obligation for continuous maintenance shall be binding on the applicant for landscape plan approval, to any subsequent owners of the property, or other parties having a controlling interest in the property.

To insure compliance with the requirements of the Chicago Landscape Ordinance, all applicants for zoning and building permits shall post the required plantings along with a written description of the maintenance requirements on site in a conspicuous place upon the exterior of the zoning lot for the time period that construction work is ongoing and until all landscaping is completed and approved.

* * * * *

(8)Multi-level parking garages shall comply with the screening requirements of Section 11.11A-4 of this ordinance. In addition to the site plans and drawings required by Section 1 I. 1 1A-4, all multi-level parking garages (except fully enclosed garages) shall submit a landscape plan to the commissioner of the department of

planning and development illustrating the landscaping of any yard required by Section 11.11A-4 and illustrating the proposed use of perimeter planters, hanging baskets, flower boxes, planting trellises and/ or roof-top gardens. Consistent with the goal of screening and enclosing garages, the commissioner may require 1) the planting of vines at the base of any multi-level garage; 2) the instal2ation of perimeter planters on at least every other floor of garages using natural ventilation; 3) the installation of perimeter planters on rooftops used for parking with such rooftops planters designed and constructed consistent with the standards illustrated in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

* * * * *

SECTION7. Section 9.11(6)(b) of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language in brackets and adding the language in italics, as follows:

* * * * *

(i)Side/Rear Lot Line Screening. All vehicular use areas larger than 1,200 square feet situated on a lot with side or rear lot lines contiguous to any property within a residence district or which is improved with a hospital, rest or nursing home, church, community center, school, college or similar institutional use, shall be effectively screened along such side or rear lot Lines by a wall, fence or hedge of not less than five nor more than seven feet in height. Any fence shall be masonry or wood, it shall be planted with vines and under no circumstances shall chain-link fencing be permitted.

(ii)(a) Front Yard Required. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance (thereby prohibiting the location of parking areas within said yard), all permitted vehicular use areas which contain 1,200 square feet or more shall be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view of such vehicular use areas from all contiguous streets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. Such screening shall be located between the perimeter of the vehicular use area and the front lot line. The remainder of the required front yard shall be landscaped. The landscaping within this front yard shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree for every 25 feet of frontage. Not withstanding the other provisions of this ordinance, the front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon the required front yard up to a maximum distance of[one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half] two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(b)Front Yard Not Required. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, all vehicular use areas which contain 1,200 square feet or more shall be setback not less than [five] seven feet from the front lot line and corner

lotline and shall be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view of such vehicular use areas from all contiguous streets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, located within the setback or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation of or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. The remainder of the setback shall also be landscaped. The landscaping within this setback shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree for every 25 feet of frontage. The front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon setback up to a maximum distance of [one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half) two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(c)Fencing Required. An ornamental fence shall be required to be installed along the perimeter of vehicular use areas along those lot lines adjacent to public streets (but not alleys) and the front yard of residential districts. The required fencing fronting a public street shall be installed behind the landscaped yard area and a minimum of five feet from the front property line. The required fences shall be limited to a height of no more than five feet above grade unless the Zoning Administrator determines that the fence is necessary for security purposes in which case the fence shall be a maximum of six feet in height.

Any preexisting vehicular use areas shall be required to have ornamental fencing installed behind any existing hedges or at the property line based on the following schedule:

  • Vehicular use areas within the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cennak Road; and Ashland Avenue) by January 1, 2002.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with more than 30, 000 square feet by January 1, 2004.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with more than 1,200 square feet but less than 30, 000 square feet by January 1, 2006.

(iii)Interior Lot Landscaping. All lots containing vehicular use areas of 3,000 square feet or more shall be landscaped in accordance with the following requirements:

  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to five percent for vehicular use areas between 3,000 and 4,500 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to seven and one-half percent for vehicular use areas of 4,501 to 30,000 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to 10 percent for vehicular use areas of more than 30, 000 square feet.

(l)The area of landscaping required shall be equal to five to 1 O percent of the total area of the vehicular use areas on such lot, as specified above. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance, the total area shall be exclusive of the first [five] seven feet of such yard, measured from the front lot line. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, the landscaped area shall be exclusive to any area devoted to the required [five] seven foot setback from

contiguous streets as provided by subsection (ii)(b) hereof. In all cases, the landscaped area shall be exclusive of any areas designed or intended to accommodate the overhang of parked vehicle bumpers. 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 areas. Existing plant material may be counted towards satisfaction of this requirement.

(2) One tree of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper or four inches in the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue), measured six inches above the ground shall be planted for each [250] 125 square feet of landscaped area required by subsection (iii)(l) above. Existing trees of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper that are preserved within or along the perimeter of the vehicular use area may be counted towards satisfying the requirements of this subsection. Each two and one-half inch caliper tree preserved shall be deemed equivalent of one required tree.

(3) Each separate landscaped island or area shall contain a minimum of 165 square feet, shall have a minimum dimension of eight feet in any direction and shall include at least one tree. Trees shall be required within the interior planting islands of any vehicular use area exceeding 4,500 square feet. The

trees required to be planted within interior landscaped areas shall be canopy trees consistent with the species recommended in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

The soil volume and composition for trees required within interior planting islands shall have a two-foot minimum depth and the topsoil shall be backfilled and mounded as described in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. The soil composition (soil types, acidity and organic content) and soil percolation rates shall follow the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

(iv)Design Standards. All required and landscaped islands and areas shall be protected from vehicular encroachment by curbs or wheel stops. All trees shall be trimmed to assure that no tree limb or portion thereof extends below the level of six feet above the ground.

(v)Installation and Maintenance. All landscape materials required by this section shall be installed in accordance with standard practices of horticultural professionals and in good and workmanlike manner and shall be maintained by the property owner in good condition. All applicants for landscape plan approval shall file a maintenance schedule and a scope of maintenance work with the zoning administrator in a form consistent with the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. Any damaged or dead trees, shrubs or ground cover shall be replaced promptly. Maintenance of landscaped areas shall include continuous operations of removal of weeds; mowing; trimming; edging; cultivation; reseeding; plant replacement; appropriate fertilization; spraying; control of pests, insects and rodents by nontoxic methods whenever possible; watering (a working hose bib connected to an active water supply must be available within 100 feet of perimeter landscaped area); or other operations necessary to assure normal plant growth. The obligation for continuous maintenance shall be binding on the applicant for landscape plan approval, to any subsequent owners of the property, or other parties having a controlling interest in the property.

To insure compliance with the requirements of the Chicago Landscape Ordinance, all applicants for zoning and building permits shall post the required plants along with a written description the maintenance requirements on site in a conspicuous place upon the exterior of the zoning lot for the time period that construction work is ongoing and until all landscaping is completed and

approved.

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(8)Multi-level parking garages shall comply with the screening requirements of Section 11.11A-4 of this ordinance. In addition to the site plans and drawings required by Section 11.11A-4, multilevel parking garages (except fully enclosed garages) shall submit a landscape plan to the commissioner of the department of planning and development illustrating the landscaping of any yard required by Section 11.11A-4 and illustrating the proposed use of perimeter planters, hanging baskets, flower boxes, planting trellises, and/or roof-top gardens. Consistent with the goal of screening and enclosing garages, the commissioner may require: 1) the planting of vines at the base of any multilevel garage; 2) the installation of perimeter planters on at least every other floor of garages using natural ventilation; 3) the installation of perimeter planters on rooftops used for parking with such rooftop planters designed and constructed consistent with the standards illustrated~ in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

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SECTION8. Section 10. 16(6)(b) of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language in brackets and adding the language in italics as, follows:

(i) Side/Rear Lot Line Screening. All vehicular use areas larger than 1,200 square feet situated on a lot with side or rear lot lines contiguous to any property within a residence district or which is improved with a hospital, rest or nursing home, church, community center, school, college or similar institutional use, shall be effectively screened along such side or rear lot Lines by a wall, fence, or hedge of not less than five nor more than seven feet in height. Any fence shall be masonry or wood, it shall be planted with vines, and under no circumstances shall chain-link fencing be permitted.

(ii)(a) Front Yard Required. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance (thereby prohibiting the location of parking areas within said yard), all permitted vehicular use areas which contain 1 ,200 square feet or more shall be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view such vehicular use areas from all contiguousstreets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. Such screening shall be located between the perimeter of the vehicular use area and the front lot line. The remainder of the required front yard shall be landscaped. The landscaping within this front yard shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree for every 25 feet of frontage. Not withstanding the other provisions of this ordinance, the front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon the required front yard up to a maximum distance of[one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half] two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(b)Front Yard Not Required. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, all vehicular use areas which contain 1,200 square feet or more shall be setback not less than [five] seven feet from the front lot line and corner lot line and shall be screened from the street as provided in this subsection. The view of such vehicular use areas from all contiguous streets shall be visually screened either by permitted buildings (other than fences or walls) or by a hedge, not less than two and one-half feet nor more than four feet in height, located within the setback or by any combination of both; provided, however, that such screening requirement shall not prohibit the installation of or provision for openings reasonably necessary for access drives and walkways. The remainder of the setback shall also be landscaped. The landscaping within this setback shall include trees planted at the rate of one tree

for every 25 feet of frontage.The front or rear bumper overhang of vehicles parked within the vehicular use area may encroach upon setback up to a maximum distance of [one and one-half] two feet. Said [one and one-half] two feet may be included in the computation of the required depth of each abutting parking space.

(c)Fencing Required. An ornamental fence shall be required to be installed along the perimeter of vehicular use areas along those lot lines adjacent to public streets (but not alleys) and the front yard of residential districts. The required fencing fronting a public street shall be installed behind the landscaped yard area and a minimum of five feet from the front property line. The required fences shall be limited to Q height of no more than five feet above grade unless the Zoning Administrator determines that the fence is necessary for security purposes in which case the fence shall be a maximum of six feet in height.

Any pre-existing vehicular use areas shall be required to have ornamental fencing installed behind any existing hedges or at the property line based on the following schedule:

  • Vehicular use areas within the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue) by January 1, 2002.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with 30, 000 square feet or more by January 1, 2004.
  • Vehicular use areas outside of the Central Area with more than 1,200 square feet but less than 30,000 square feet by January 1, 2006.

(iii)Interior Lot Landscaping. All lots containing vehicular use areas of 3,000 square feet or more shall be landscaped in accordance with the following requirements :

  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to five percent for vehicular use areas between 3,000 and 4,500 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to seven and one-hay percent for vehicular use areas of 4,501 to 30, 000 square feet.
  • The area of interior landscaping shall be equal to 10 percent for vehicular use areas of more than 30,000 square feet.

(l)The area of landscaping required shall be equal to five to 10 percent of the total area of the vehicular use areas on such lot, as specified above. Where a front yard is required by this ordinance, the total area shall be exclusive of the first [five] seven feet of such yard, measured from the front lot line. Where a front yard is not required by this ordinance, the landscaped area shall be exclusive to any area devoted to the required [five] seven foot setback from contiguous streets as provided by subsection (ii)(b)hereof. In all cases, the landscaped area shall be exclusive of any areas designed or intended to accommodate the overhang of parked vehicle bumpers. 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 areas. Existing plant material may be counted towards satisfaction of this requirement.

(2) One tree of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper or four inches in the Central Area (an area bounded by North Avenue; Lake Michigan; Cermak Road; and Ashland Avenue), measured six inches above the ground, shall be planted for each [250] 125square feet of landscaped area required by Subsection (iii)(l) above. Existing trees of a minimum two and one-half inch caliper that are preserved within or along the perimeter of the vehicular use area may be counted towards satisfying the requirements of this subsection. Each two and one-half inch caliper tree preserved shall be deemed equivalent of one required tree.

(3) Each separate landscaped island or area shall contain a minimum of 165 square feet, shall have a minimum dimension of eight feet in any direction and shall include at least one tree. Trees shall be required within the interior planting islands of any vehicular use area exceeding 4,500 square feet. The

trees required to be planted within interior landscaped areas shall be canopy trees consistent with the species recommended in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

The soil volume and composition for trees required within interior planting islands shall have a two-foot minimum depth and the topsoil shall be backfilled and mounded as described in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. The soil composition (soil types, acidity, and organic content) and soil percolation rates shall follow the recommendations of the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

(iv)Design Standards. All required and landscaped islands and areas shall be protected from vehicular encroachment by curbs or wheel stops. All trees shall be trimmed to assure that no tree limb or portion thereof extends below the level of six feet above the ground.

(v)Installation and Maintenance. All landscape materials required by this section shall be installed in accordance with standard practices of horticultural professionals and in good and workmanlike manner and shall be maintained by the property owner in good condition. All applicants for landscape plan approval: shall file a maintenance schedule and a scope of maintenance work with the zoning administration a form consistent with the recommendations the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance. Any damaged or dead trees, shrubs or ground cover shall be replaced promptly. Maintenance of landscaped areas shall include continuous operations of removal of weeds; mowing; trimming; edging; cultivation; receding; plant replacement; appropriate fertilization; spraying; control of pests, insects and rodents by nontoxic methods whenever possible; watering (a working hose bib connected to an active water supply must be available within 100 feet of the landscaped area); or other operations necessary to assure normal plant growth. The obligation for continuous maintenance shall be binding on the applicant for landscape plan approval, to any subsequent owners of the property, or other parties having a controlling interest in the property.

To insure compliance with the requirements of the Chicago Landscape Ordinance, all applicants for zoning and building permits shall post the required plants along with a written description of the maintenance requirements on site in Q conspicuous place upon the exterior of the zoning lot for the time period that construction work is ongoing and until all landscaping is completed and

approved.

* * * * *

(8)Multilevel parking garages shall comply with the screening requirements of Section 11.11A-4, of this ordinance. In addition to the site plans and drawings required by Section 11.11A-4, all multilevel parking garages (except fully enclosed garages) shall submit a landscape plan to the commissioner of the department of planning and development illustrating the landscaping of any yard required by Section 11.11 A-Q and illustrating~ the proposed use of perimeter planters, hanging baskets, flower boxes, planting trellises, and/or rooftop gardens. Consistent with the goal of screening and enclosing garages, the commissioner may require the: 1) the planting of vines at the base of any multilevel garage; 2) the installation of perimeter planters on at least every other floor of garages using natural ventilation; 3) the installation of perimeter planters on rooftops used for parking with such rooftop planters designed and constructed consistent with the standards illustrated in the Guide to the Chicago Landscape Ordinance.

SECTION9. Section 11.5 of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by adding the language in italics as follows:

Section 11.5 Zoning Certificates.

Exceptas herein after provided no permit pertaining to the use of land or buildings shall be issued by any officer, department, or employee of this City unless the application for such permit has been examined by the office of the zoning administrator and has been affixed to it a certificate of the office of the zoning administrator that the proposed building or structure complies with all provisions of this comprehensive amendment. Any permit or certificate of occupancy issued in conflict with the provisions of this comprehensive amendment shall be null and void.

In the event that an application has affixed to it the certificate of an architect or structural engineer licensed by the state of Illinois that the building or structure and the proposed use thereof complies with all provisions of this comprehensive amendment respecting performance standards for manufacturing and similar uses, the zoning administrator shall upon receipt of such application approve and authorize the issuance of a zoning certificate provided all other relevant provisions of this comprehensive amendment are complied with, which certificate shall be valid for all purposes. However, within 15 days after the date of such approval, the zoning administrator shall examine said application and shall advise the architect or structural engineer in writing if the building, structure, or use thereof does not in fact comply with the performance standards. Failure of the architect to show compliance within 30 days of such notification shall be cause for revocation of the zoning certificate.

At the time the zoning administrator issues Q zoning certificate for a land-use, building, or parking lot that requires the submission of a landscape plan or the planting of street trees, the zoning administrator shall require the posting of a performance bond or other security in such a form and amount as the zoning administrator deems adequate to assure that the required landscape materials will be installed within six months or the next planting season.

SECTION 10. Section 11.6-2 of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language in brackets and adding the language in italics, as follows:

11.6-2 Issuance Of Occupancy Certificate.

Notwithstandingthe forgoing provisions failure to install landscape materials required by this ordinance in connection with parking and loading areas, parking lots, or other vehicular use areas, shall not be relied on as the basis for the denial or withholding of a certificate of occupancy; provided that (i) a

zoning certificate for the installation of said landscape material has been issued in accordance with this ordinance or in the case of uses not requiring a zoning certificate, that the zoning administrator has determined that the plans and specifications for installation of required landscape material comply with the provisions of this ordinance and (ii) a performance bond or other security has been posted with the City, at the time of zoning certification, in such a form and amount as the zoning administrator deems adequate to assure that the required landscape materials will be installed within six months or the next planting season. [following issuance of the certificate of occupancy.] Such security shall be released when the premises have been inspected and the zoning administrator has certified that the landscape materials have been installed in accordance with approved plans and specifications.

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SECTION11. Section 1 1.7A-3 of Title 17 of the Municipal Code of Chicago is hereby amended by deleting the language in brackets and adding the language in italics, as follows:

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(10) To permit the waiver or modification of the screening, [and] landscaping, and fencing provisions contained in Sections 5. 13, 5.2 1, 7. 12 (8)(c), 8. 11 (6)(b), 9. 11(6)(b) and 10. 16(6)(b); provided that the zoning administrator finds that (i) the strict application of the provision would deprive the applicant of the reasonable use of the land or would otherwise impose and unreasonable hardship upon the applicant; and (ii)the conditions and circumstances upon which the waiver or modification is sought are not caused by the applicant. In the case of waivers or modifications from any provision of Section 5.13, the zoning administrator shall [also] first obtain a written recommendation from the bureau of forestry and, if a waiver is granted, the zoning administrator may require the installation of perimeter plantings on a rooftop or deck where such rooftop or deck is accessible and usable space.

The zoning administrator is specifically authorized to grant waivers and modifications from the fencing requirements for vehicular use areas contained in Section 10.16(6)(b)where the vehicular use area is located within an M1, General Manufacturing District; M2, General Manufacturing District; M3, Heavy Manufacturing District; or planned Manufacturing District and in Section 9.11(6)(b) where the vehicular use area is located within a C4, Motor Freight Terminal District and where the zoning administrator determines that the vehicular use area is isolated from any residential zoning district or surrounding residential uses.

SECTION 12. This ordinance shall be in force and effect from and after its passage and due publication.