7.2 General Regulations

.1 All trees and shrubs plantings required by this ordinance shall be selected from the approved Huntersville Tree and Shrub List. Other species and cultivars not on the list may be approved by the Planning Director on a case by case basis, but must be locally adapted to the area and meet the specifications for the measurement, quality, and installation of trees and shrubs in accordance with the American Standards for Nursery Stock, published by the American Horticulture Industry Association. Native species and related cultivars are encouraged.

.2 Installation of trees and shrubs shall comply with the Land Development Standards Manual.

.3 Landscaping, including berms where permitted, shall not obstruct the view of motorists using any street, private driveway, parking aisles or the approach to any street intersection so as to constitute a traffic hazard or a condition dangerous to the public safety upon any such street, driveway, parking aisle, or street intersection. Required NCDOT sight distance triangles and sight triangles in Section 8.9 shall apply to street trees. Any sight obstruction determined by the town shall be corrected immediately.

.4 Commercial parcels shall be landscaped while vacant to stabilize the site and maintain an attractive appearance. Landscaping shall consist of, at a minimum, turf grass or other vegetative ground cover to stabilize the soil. Shrubs, trees, or any other vegetative cover may be planted that will and create an attractive appearance.

.5 All required plantings shall be installed in a manner that insures the availability of sufficient soil and water for healthy growth and that is not intrusive to aboveground and underground utilities.

.6 Small maturing trees are required to be substituted for large maturing trees whenever located within 25 feet of an overhead utility line.

.7 Monoculture and over planting shall be avoided except that a single species of tree may be planted in formal parks or in conjunction with a streetscape plan.

.8 The zoning administrator may approve revisions to a landscaping plan approved by the Town Board or Board of Adjustment in order to accommodate seasonal planting problems or a lack of plant availability as long as:

(a) There is no reduction in the quantity of plant material.

(b) There is no significant change in the size or location of plant materials.

(c) The new plants are of the same general category and have the same general design characteristics as the materials being replaced.

.9 Existing trees and shrubs shall count towards meeting the buffer yard and screening requirements of sections 7.5 and 7.6 of this Article as long as such are: 1) free from disease or growth problems, 2) clearly shown on the site plan, 3) approved by the zoning administrator prior to development as meeting the intent of the landscaping requirements, 4) are not considered nuisance or noxious plants, and 5) are adequately protected during grading and development of the site.

.10 In addition to the Tree Save Area required in this Article, every reasonable effort shall be made to protect and retain existing trees and shrubs not actually lying in planned roadways, drainage ways, building foundation sites and construction activity areas. Except when necessary to provide access to a site or to ensure the safety and security of people and property, any existing healthy trees that are eight inches or greater in caliper, located within a public right-of-way or undeveloped required yard shall be retained unless approved for removal by staff during site plan review.

.11 Berms are not permitted anywhere within the town’s jurisdiction except in conformity with this Article.

.12 All trees shall be a minimum of 2 inches in caliper and 8 feet in height at the time of planting, unless otherwise specified.

.13 All shrubs shall be a minimum of 3 feet in height at the time of planting with an expected minimum height of at least 6 feet at maturity, unless otherwise specified.