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                                                               MEMORANDUM


      Date:               February 8, 2006

      To:                 Planning Board Members

      From:               Jill Robinson, Assistant City Planner

      Subject:            Proposal to Amend Article 4 and Article 9 of the Zoning Ordinance to add
                          Landscape Standards


      Background

      Throughout 2003, the Planning Board discussed adding ordinance language to establish
      landscaping requirements for all developments in town.

      At the November 12, 2003 meeting of the Planning Board, the Planning Division was asked to
      revise the draft ordinance language in accordance with the recommendations of the Planning
      Board, to have the City Attorney review the proposed ordinance, and to conduct landscape
      reviews on several projects using the latest draft ordinance.

      On December 10, 2003, the Planning Board made further changes to the draft ordinance and
      requested that the Planning Division obtain lists of prohibited species of trees and native trees
      from the Department of Public Services. The list in the draft ordinance of prohibited species
      was drawn from the list provided by the Department of Public Services.

      On April 13, 2005, the Planning Board discussed the provisions of the draft landscape
      ordinance and requested that the Planning Division alter sub-section 2 such that the landscape
      standards would not apply to every application for site plan approval, and alter sub-section 4(i)
      to allow the Planning Board to waive the landscaping requirements where there is either a tight
      urban site or minor site plan design changes or a hardship for parking. The board then moved
      to set a public hearing date on May 11, 2005 for the proposed landscape ordinance.

      On May 11, 2005, the Planning Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed landscape
      ordinance. However, after much discussion, board members decided to close the public
      hearing and continue working on the draft landscape ordinance at the June study session.
      Overall, concerns were raised about the buffering provisions and the parking lot landscape
      requirements, and the fact that these are suburban regulations that may not be the best
      solutions in a densely developed urban community. Accordingly, the Planning Division
      modified the draft ordinance to reflect these comments.

      On June 8, 2005 the Planning Board discussed having the Planning Division contact a
      developer and an architect in the City of Birmingham for their review and comments. It was
      also suggested the Planning Division contact Ann Arbor’s Planning Department to understand
      the issues and/or concerns relating to Ann Arbor’s landscape ordinance.

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At the August 10, 2005 Planning Board meeting comments from the Ann Arbor Planning
Department were shared regarding their landscape ordinance. City Planners had indicated
satisfaction with their ordinance and had made a few modifications based on experience since
their ordinance was established in 1994. Comments were also received from Christopher
Longe of Christopher Longe & Associates and Michael J. Dul of Michael J. Dul & Associates,
Inc. After a PowerPoint presentation and much discussion it was decided that the landscape
ordinance was very close to being done but still needed a bit of refining. It was suggested that
Mr. Nickita discuss changes with the Planning Division and it would be reexamined at the next
study session.

At the December 14, 2005 Planning Board meeting there was discussion regarding how to
determine what exactly a “large” parking lot was and that 5,000 square feet might be too small
of a lot to require mandatory landscape islands within its borders because it might eliminate
much needed parking spaces. There was also discussion regarding the necessity of a
landscape strip along parking lots. The Planning Board requested that the Planning Division
research sizes of specific existing parking lots within the city including Kinko’s and CVS, and
report back at the next study session meeting. The Planning Division reviewed various parking
lot locations throughout the city.

     •    Adams Square, 725 Adams:                                                        180,000 sq. ft.
     •    CVS/Blockbuster, 444 & 494 S. Old Woodward:                                     11,172 sq. ft.
     •    Kinko’s, 33100 Woodward:                                                        10,620 sq. ft.
                                                                                                East lot = 5,100 sq. ft.
                                                                                                West lot = 5,520 sq. ft.
     •    Bank of Birmingham, 33583 Woodward:                                             8,246 sq. ft.
     •    Borders Books, 34300 Woodward:                                                  67,680 sq. ft.
     •    Plaza, Jets Pizza 151 N. Eton:                                                  31,240 sq.ft.
     •    Birmingham Community Market, 130 W. 14 Mile                                     9,748 sq. ft.

At the January 11, 2006 Planning Board meeting much of the discussion centered on parking
lots and the inclusion of interior landscape islands. After reviewing different sized parking lots
throughout the city, it was decided that parking lots that are 5,000 square feet are too small to
require landscaping islands within. It was ultimately agreed upon that parking lots that are
7,500 square feet or larger would require landscape islands based on the proposed ordinance.

A copy of the draft ordinance language is attached for your review along with minutes from the
relevant Planning Board meetings.

Purpose and Intent

The current Zoning Ordinance does not contain any landscape standards at all that require the
installation or maintenance of landscape plantings as a component of site development.
However, landscaping is an essential part of the design and development of a site. Landscape
plantings are a benefit to the environment, public health, air quality, safety, comfort,
convenience and general welfare of the community. The addition of minimum landscape
requirements for developments within the City will result in the reduction of storm water runoff,
heat buildup and will filter and reduce glare from car headlights. In addition, landscape

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    plantings may reduce energy costs in structures and will greatly improve the aesthetics of the
    City.

    Legal Opinion

    The City Attorney had previously reviewed the proposed ordinance language and had no legal
    concerns with the content. The City Attorney did wish however to point out that the board may
    want to consider having the ordinance apply to new construction only as it would be extremely
    onerous on an applicant coming to the Planning Board for a minor site plan change to have to
    comply with all of the new landscape standards which may require them to create further non-
    conformities on their property (i.e. parking) just to comply with the new landscape standards.
    As discussed above, the draft ordinance has been amended to address these concerns.

    The Planning Division will send the final version of the proposed landscape ordinance to the
    City Attorney after the Planning Board has set a public hearing.




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                                                       ORDINANCE NO.________

      THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM ORDAINS:

      AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ARTICLE 4, ZONING, OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF
      BIRMINGHAM:

      TO AMEND ARTICLE 4 DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS, SECTION 4.20, TO ESTABLISH
      NEW LANDSCAPE STANDARDS FOR DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM
      FOR O-1, O-2, B-1, B-2, B-2B, B-3, B-4, M-X, P, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, R-6, R-7 AND R-8
      ZONE DISTRICTS.

      Article 4, section 4.20 shall be amended as follows:

      (1)       Intent

                Landscaping is an essential part of the design and development of a site. Landscape
                plantings are a benefit to the environment, public health, air quality, safety, comfort,
                convenience and general welfare of the community. These standards will result in the
                reduction of storm water runoff, heat buildup and will filter and reduce glare from car
                headlights. They may reduce energy costs in structures and will improve the aesthetics
                of the community.

      (2)       Applicability of Landscape Standards

                (i)       Sub-sections (4)(a) through (f) and section (5) apply to all property in the City of
                          Birmingham.
                (ii)      In addition to sub-sections (4)(a) through (f) and section (5), all other sub-
                          sections apply to properties in the City of Birmingham that are subject to site plan
                          review pursuant to Article XX, Division 2 of the Birmingham Zoning Ordinance, if:
                          (a) The construction of one or more new buildings is proposed, or
                          (b) The property has an existing or proposed unenclosed parking facility with 20
                              or more parking spaces.

      (3)       Exceptions

                (iii)     Sub-sections (5) and (6) do not apply to any property in the Downtown Overlay
                          District.
                (iv)      If one or more of the following conditions apply, the Planning Board may approve
                          alternative landscape plans that contain modifications from the required
                          standards of this section, provided that the proposed alternative landscape plan
                          meets the spirit and intent and substantially conforms to this section in terms of
                          quality, effectiveness, durability, hardiness and performance:
                                  (a) The site involves space limitations or is an unusual
                                          shape;
                                  (b) Predominant development patterns in the surrounding neighborhood
                                      justify alternative compliance for in-fill projects and redevelopment in
                                      older established areas of the City;
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                              (c) Topography, soil, vegetation, or other site conditions are such that full
                                  compliance with this section is impossible or impractical; or
                              (d) Due to a change in the use of an existing site, the required buffer yard
                                  is larger than can be provided.

(4)       General Standards

          (a)       Live Plantings: All landscaping shall consist of approved natural materials or
                    living plant materials.

          (b)       Unpaved Portion of Site: All undeveloped and unpaved portions of a site shall
                    be planted with grass, ground cover, shrubs or other suitable live plant material,
                    which shall extend to any abutting street pavement edge.

          (c)       Improvements in the Right-of-Way: Plantings in the right-of-way must be no
                    more than 2’ in height, with the exception of street trees. All improvements in the
                    right-of-way require a Special Treatment License from the Engineering
                    Department.

          (d)       Prohibited Species: The following plants and tree materials are specifically
                    prohibited due to their brittleness, susceptibility to disease and insects, excessive
                    root structure, excessive litter, susceptibility to road salt damage or other
                    undesirable traits. Any existing prohibited species may not be replaced. A
                    representative list of prohibited species is provided below. The Staff Arborist
                    maintains a complete list of all of the prohibited species.

                    Prohibited Species
                     Boxelder                                Garlic Mustard
                     Soft Maple (Red Silver)                 Japanese Barberry
                     Elm (except disease-                    Oriental Bittersweet
                     resistant varieties)
                     Poplar                                  Orchard Grass
                     Willow                                  Winged Wahoo
                     Horse Chestnut (nut                     Euonymus
                     bearing)
                     Tree of Heaven                          English Ivy
                     Catalpa                                 Dame's Rocket
                     Succulent fruit bearing                 Common Privet
                     trees
                     Periwinkle                              Honeysuckle
                     Ribes (Gooseberry)                      Purple Loosestrife
                     Cottonwood                              Kentucky Bluegrass
                     Poison Ivy                              Common Buckthorn
                     Mulberry Trees                          Multiflora Rose
                     Ash                                     White Clover
                     Norway Maple                            Siberian Elm
                     Quack Grass

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          (e)       Certified Wildlife Areas: Nothing in this ordinance shall preclude the use and
                    enjoyment of a wildlife area that is certified by a state or nationally recognized
                    organization.

          (f)      Maintenance: All landscaping areas shall be kept free from refuse and debris.
                   All plant materials shall be maintained in a sound, weed-free, healthy and
                   vigorous growing condition, and free of plant disease and insects. An irrigation
                   system or a readily available water supply sufficient to maintain the landscaping
                   shall be provided in all required landscape areas unless drought resistant native
                   species are utilized.

          (g)       Plant Material Size: All plantings to be counted towards the minimum
                    landscaping requirements must meet the following minimum size requirements at
                    the time of planting:

                              Evergreen Trees                                             6’ in height
                              Deciduous Trees                                             3” in caliper
                              Evergreen & Deciduous Shrubs                                18” in height

                    All replacement plantings for dead or diseased plant materials must meet the
                    same minimum size requirements as new plantings.

          (h)       Native Species Credit: The use of species native to the region is encouraged.
                    A reduction of twenty percent (20%) of the total number of trees or shrubs
                    required will be granted if eighty percent (80%) or more of the trees and/or
                    shrubs to be planted are native species. The Staff Arborist maintains a complete
                    list of all native species.

          (i)       Existing Vegetation: Existing significant trees, tree stands and natural
                    vegetation shall be integrated into the landscaping plan to the maximum extent
                    possible.

                    Existing healthy trees and shrubs located within required setbacks and areas not
                    required for development shall be preserved. Trees to be preserved shall be
                    pruned to remove dead, diseased or irregular branching, but the crown form
                    characteristic of the species shall be maintained.

                    Preserved trees shall be protected with sturdy, highly visible barriers around the
                    tree or group of trees, at the critical root zone or dripline and a tree preservation
                    plan shall be submitted and approved by the Planning Director. The critical root
                    zone of the tree shall remain undisturbed by cutting, filling or storage of materials
                    and equipment during the development process.

          (j)       Existing Vegetation Credit: Any existing deciduous tree on site that is to be
                    preserved and is over six (6) inches in caliper at DBH may be counted as three
                    (3) new deciduous trees. Any existing evergreen tree on site that is to be


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                          preserved and is over ten (10) feet tall may be counted as two (2) new evergreen
                          trees.

                (k)       Waiver for Innovative Landscaping: In order to further encourage innovative
                          site designs that enhance the quality of the environment in Birmingham, the
                          Planning Board may grant a waiver of any landscaping standards outlined in this
                          ordinance where the board finds that the proposed plans display an innovative
                          use of site design features, open space or landscaping which will enhance the
                          use and value of neighboring properties.

                (l)       Removal: Any required landscape element that dies, or is otherwise removed,
                          must be replaced within one (1) month, and no later than November 30, from the
                          date of issuance of a Notice of Violation, if such notice is issued during the April 1
                          to September 30 period; if the violation is issued during the October 1 to March
                          31 period, the planting shall be completed no later than the ensuing May 31, or
                          be subject to fines and penalties as a civil violation.

                (m)       Time Period for Completion: All landscaping shall be planted within three (3)
                          months, and no later than November 30, from the date of issuance of a
                          temporary Certificate of Occupancy, if such certificate is issued during the April 1
                          to September 30 period; if the certificate is issued during the October 1 to March
                          31 period, the planting shall be completed no later than the ensuing May 31. A
                          permanent Certificate of Occupancy shall only be issued after inspection and
                          approval of such plantings.

      (5)       Required Plantings

                Table A: Required Plantings
                 Land Use                 Type &                                      Based on lot,
                                          Number of                                   building or number
                                          Plantings                                   of dwelling units
                 Commercial               None                                        None

                 Mixed Use in MX district  1 Deciduous                                Per 2 residential
                 only                      & 1 Evergreen                              dwelling units
                                           Tree
                 Multiple-family           1 Deciduous                                Per 2 dwelling
                 Residential               & 1 Evergreen                              units
                                           Tree
                 Parking                   See sub-                                   See sub-section (6)
                                           section (6)
                 Single-family Residential 3 Deciduous                                Per Lot < 10,000
                                           or Evergreen                               sq.ft. and 1 per
                                           Trees                                      each additional
                                                                                      10,000 sq.ft.




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(6)       Parking Lot Landscaping

          Parking lots greater than 7,500 square feet shall meet the following interior landscaping
          requirements:

                    (1) Within the parking lot there shall be interior landscaping areas that total not
                        less than five percent of the total parking lot interior area.
                    (2) Each interior planting area shall be at least 150 square feet in size, and not
                        less than 8 feet in any single dimension.
                    (3) There shall be at least one canopy tree for each 150 square feet or fraction
                        thereof of interior planting area required.
                    (4) The interior planting areas shall be located in a manner that breaks up the
                        expanse of paving throughout the parking lot interior.

(7)       Street Trees

          All site plans shall include in the right-of-way along all streets, at least one street tree for
          each forty (40) linear feet of frontage. The Staff Arborist may waive this requirement if
          there is not adequate green space in the right-of-way to support such trees. A list of
          tree species permitted in the right-of-way are set out in the Master Street Tree Plan
          maintained by the Staff Arborist.

(8)       Submittal Requirements

          A detailed landscape plan depicting the names, both common and botanical, location,
          spacing, and size of all plantings to be installed and the location and type of all
          materials proposed to be included in the landscape treatment areas shall be submitted
          for approval to the Planning Board at the time of Final Site Plan approval. All
          ornamental landscape features and landscape lighting must be included on the required
          landscape plan.


ORDAINED this ______ day of _________, 2006 to become effective upon publication.


____________________________
Scott D. Moore, Mayor


____________________________
Nancy Weiss, Clerk




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                                                         CITY OF BIRMINGHAM

                                                     ORDINANCE NO. _________

     AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 126, ZONING, OF THE CODE OF THE CITY OF
     BIRMINGHAM TO AMEND ARTICLE 09, DEFINITIONS, SECTION 9.02, TO ADD
     DEFINITIONS PERTAINING TO LANDSCAPE STANDARDS.

     THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM ORDAINS:

     9.02      Definitions:
               Caliper. Refers to the diameter of the tree. For trees that are less than four (4) inches
               in diameter, the caliper measurement is taken at six (6) inches above ground level, or if
               purchasing directly from a nursery, at six (6) inches from the top of the root ball. For
               trees that are four (4) to twelve (12) inches in diameter, the measurement is taken at
               twelve (12) inches above ground level, or the top of the root ball. For trees that are
               greater than twelve (12) inches in diameter, the measurement is taken at breast height.

               DBH. Diameter at breast height, which is measured 4.5 feet above the ground.

               Grass. Any family of plants with narrow leaves normally grown as permanent lawns in
               southern Michigan.

               Ground Cover. Low growing plants (including grass, perennials and annuals) that form
               a dense, extensive growth and tend to prevent weeds and soil erosion.

               Height. Refers to the vertical distance between the collar (the line of junction between
               the root and its stem/trunk) and the top of the tree.


                                   Height




                                                                 Spread
                                                                 Figure 1

               Interior Planting Area. Any area containing natural materials and live plantings that
               extends into, or is within a parking area.

               Landscape Lighting. Lighting which accentuates and enhances ornamental landscape
               features and plant materials.

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          Ornamental Landscape Features. Ornamental features include but are not limited to
          benches, birdbaths, fountains, rocks, walls, fences, and gates.

          Parking Lot Interior. All areas within the perimeter of a parking lot, including planting
          islands, curbed areas, corner lots, parking spaces, and all interior driveways and aisles
          except those with no parking spaces located on either side.




                                                            Figure 2

          Right-of-Way. The strip of land acquired by reservation, dedication, forced dedication,
          prescription, or condemnation that is occupied, or intended to be occupied, by a road,
          crosswalk, railroad, electric transmission lines, oil or gas pipeline, water line, sanitary
          storm sewer, or other similar uses.

          Shrub. A woody plant less than fifteen (15) feet in mature height, consisting of several
          small stems from the ground or small branches near the ground, which may be
          deciduous or evergreen.

          Staff Arborist. The designee(s) of the Director of Engineering and Public Service, who
          is/are assigned with the responsibilities of administration and enforcement of this
          ordinance in conjunction with the Community Development Department.

          Street Tree. A variety of trees located within the public right-of-way. The Staff Arborist
          maintains the list of approved species.

          Tree. A large woody plant with a root system, a trunk system supporting a defined
          crown and of a species that grows to a height of fifteen (15') feet or more, unless of a
          weeping growth pattern.

          Canopy Tree. A deciduous tree which has a mature crown spread of greater than
          fifteen (15) feet and a mature height of forty (40) or more feet in southern Michigan and
          which has a trunk with at least five (5) feet of clear stem at maturity.

          Deciduous Tree. A tree with foliage that is shed annually.

          Evergreen Tree. A tree with foliage that persists and remains green year round.
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      ORDAINED this ________ day of ____________, 2006 to become effective upon publication.

      ___________________
      Scott D. Moore, Mayor

      _____________________
      Nancy M. Weiss, City Clerk




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                                                         Planning Board Minutes
                                                           November 12, 2003

                                                                    11-262-03

      Study Session
      Landscape Regulations

      At the October 8, 2003 meeting of the Planning Board, the Planning Division was asked to
      revise the draft ordinance language in accordance with the recommendations of the Planning
      Board, specifically to scale back the Landscape Ordinance. Ms. Ecker went over some of the
      changes. She made the ordinance less strict by taking out the parking lot landscaping and the
      buffer zones in the Overlay District. Also, she suggested that it does not seem fair to require
      that someone comply with the landscape requirements just because they are changing a
      rooftop mechanical unit. She thinks an exemption should be added for that.

      On page 6, Mr. Dilgard inserted “or “D” after “C” in the last paragraph, fifth line, and in the last
      line.

      Mr. Neuhard added to Section (5) Buffer Landscaping (a) Purpose. The revised first sentence
      should read: “The general purpose of a buffer yard is to separate and screen incompatible and
      generally more intense land uses from less intense land uses.” Ms. Ecker explained the way
      the ordinance is written a buffer on an adjacent property would not count toward the subject
      site’s buffer provision.

      Ms. Ecker thought a few more projects should be run through this language. Also, she
      suggested adding a waiver regarding applicability of landscape standards. The Planning
      Board could have the right to waive some of the landscape requirements if they feel that there
      has been an innovative use of landscaping on the site that would basically achieve some of the
      same goals and purposes of the ordinance, even though they might not need the actual
      number of plantings required. This may be a separate section at the end.

      Chairman Kulak asked Ms. Ecker to apply the language to more projects. If staff finds the
      language is too extensive after the application, then it could make a recommendation to the
      board that it feels would work. Also, ask Mr. Currier to review the ordinance, especially the
      part where the provisions may be waived, before it comes back to the board.

      At that point, Ms. Ecker went through additional changes that were made. She suggested
      adding language to the effect that all interior planting islands should be 150 sq. ft. except when
      there is a fraction thereof and then the last island could be smaller.




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                                                   Planning Board Minutes
                                                     December 10, 2003

                                                              12-275-03

Study Session
Landscape Ordinance

Ms. Ecker advised that at the November 12, 2003 meeting of the Planning Board, the Planning
Division was asked to revise the draft ordinance language in accordance with the
recommendations of the Planning Board, to have the city attorney review the proposed
ordinance, and to conduct landscape reviews on several projects using the latest draft
ordinance.

The Planning Division conducted landscape reviews on the following developments:
      2005 E. Fourteen Mile Road – office development
      555-725 Adams Road – Adams Square Plaza; and
      464-494 S. Old Woodward – CVS/Blockbuster Plaza.

Ms. Ecker indicated that she had included in this evening’s packet revised draft ordinance
language, along with two sets of landscape review sheets for each of the above developments
outlining reviews under the most current and the previous draft of the proposed landscape
ordinance. The city attorney has indicated he has no concerns with the language. Mr.
Currier’s only comment is that it may apply to too many projects and the board could create
further non-conformities with parking by requiring compliance with the landscape section.

Ms. Ecker commented that because the Planning Board is requiring such a high amount of
interior landscaped area, the developers will generally make larger interior landscape islands
which would support the board’s desire to get more large canopy trees in the parking areas
where they need a bigger area in order to grow. Her past experience indicates that a large
canopy tree really prefers a 300 sq. ft. island. Ms. Ecker went on to say she has no problem
applying this ordinance to a new development, but for those sites such as the Hunter Plaza
when Mr. Grossman asked to reconfigure the parking lot spaces, a site plan review was
required. All of a sudden under this proposed ordinance, instead of him trying to fit in one or
two extra parking spaces to alleviate a parking problem, it would trigger the landscape
requirement which would cause him to lose a substantial number of parking spaces. She feels
the board needs to find a way to apply the ordinance so that it will not be extremely onerous to
those people who make minor site plan changes.

Mr. Neuhard commented the ideal would be to get in as much landscape as possible without
losing a required parking space. It was agreed that it is the big square parking lots that are the
most offensive and that need to be softened. Ms. Holland suggested inserting wording that
would refer to the expanse of unrelieved asphalt. Mr. Neuhard thought that the direction to go
would be to allow trade-offs. Where the parking lots are small and odd-shaped, the screening
is more important. On the large expansive lots, it is important to have screening from the
residential areas plus islands and canopies in the middle to improve the appearance and cut
down on the heat. There must be other ordinances that have dealt with these issues.


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Mr. Tazelaar suggested that parking lots that are beyond a certain number of lanes might
require interior landscaping. Ms. Ecker agreed to look at ordinances from cities that are
relatively built out and don’t have a lot of space. Also, Chairman Thal thought it might be
applicable to research whether the ordinances refer to all developments or just to new
developments.

Mr. Blaesing said his fear is that this ordinance is being applied to too many sites and
applicants will be forced to go before the BZA for a parking variance. The other departments
in the City may not appreciate that. Therefore, he suggested taking more time to refine the
language just a little bit more. Chairman Thal asked to have information from the city forester
as to which trees would be the most desirable to fit into a 150 sq. ft. canopy space. Ms. Ecker
agreed speak to the Department of Public Services and bring back lists of prohibited species of
trees, native trees, and recommended caliper size for 150 sq. ft. islands.




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                                                       Planning Board Minutes
                                                            April 13, 2005

                                                                   04-75-05

    STUDY SESSION
    Landscape Ordinance

    Ms. Ecker advised that throughout 2003, the previous members of the Planning Board
    discussed adding ordinance language to establish landscaping requirements for all
    developments in town. The Planning Division was asked to revise the draft ordinance
    language in accordance with the recommendations of the Planning Board, to have the city
    attorney review the proposed ordinance, and to conduct landscape reviews on several projects
    using the latest draft ordinance.

    The city attorney has reviewed the proposed ordinance language and has no legal concerns
    with the content. However, he pointed out that the board may want to consider having the
    ordinance apply to new construction only, as it would be extremely onerous on applicants
    coming to the Planning Board for a minor site plan change to have to comply with all of the
    new landscape standards which may require them to create further parking non-conformities
    on their property. At the Planning Board’s request, lists of prohibited species of trees and
    native trees have been provided from the Department of Public Services and the list of
    prohibited species is included in the draft ordinance.

    Ms. Ecker asked for the board’s feedback on the ordinance. She explained the changes that
    have been made and noted that she has highlighted and italicized some items that she thought
    this board might be interested in discussing further. The biggest issue was that the old board
    had the desire to add landscaping to large expanses of parking lots. The board’s consensus at
    that time was that the ordinance should apply to everything except rooftop mechanical
    applications. The buffer landscape standards may need to be discussed, because they are not
    generally seen in a highly built-up urban environment. However in 2003 the board had
    discussed that they would really come in handy, particularly with regard to large church
    properties with several parking lots where a buffer from the residential neighbors would be
    desirable.

    Chairman Thal recalled the board had previously discussed that the same set of landscape
    standards should apply to City property as well as private property. The explanation that came
    back from the Parks and Recreation Department was that they have budget constraints on
    their tree plantings. Mr. Blaesing noted than when a tree dies, the City will come back and
    replace it. When a developer plants trees and shrubs, they generally won’t be replaced until
    that property gets re-developed. Therefore, Mr. Blaesing felt the City deserves some leeway
    because it has a goal to keep the trees and landscape alive and beautiful.

    Ms. Ecker said that generally for new construction there is a requirement in the site plan
    approval to replace trees that have died, but not always for buildings that have been around for
    a long time. There is a provision in this ordinance that states a landscape element that dies or
    is removed must be replaced within one month and no later than November 30, from the date
    of issuance of a Notice of Violation. That doesn’t get to the enforcement issue because
    H:\Shared\CDD\Planning Board\Planning Board Agendas\2006\February 8, 2006\Landscape Ordinance.doc
enforcement would be difficult, but it is something to fall back on if it is noticed that a tree is
dead or has been removed.

Board members discussed the effect of adding 20 sq. ft. by enclosing a vestibule. They would
have to meet the buffer landscaping standards and that may impact the amount of parking
spaces they have. If they didn’t end up with enough parking they would be required to apply
for a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Mr. Potts noted that the previous board applied the Article to all property in the City subject to
site plan review with the exception of rooftop mechanical applications. He asked that this
board discuss the scope of the application. Everyone agreed the ordinance should apply to
new construction. Mr. Potts suggested allowing administrative approval for old construction vs.
new construction and if the developer has an issue it could come before the Planning Board.

Chairman Thal said he is inclined to be more lenient with someone who is already there than
these restrictions seem to imply. Mr. Blaesing suggested saying at the beginning that the
Article only applies to new construction and renovations that change the footprint of the
building. Ms. Ecker noted there is also the case where the layout of the site is changed.

Chairman Thal pinpointed the problem that troubles the board, which is landscaping in parking
lots to break up the space. He thought it would be feasible to say the Article applies to all
properties in the City with over twenty parking spaces, subject to site plan review pursuant to
Article XX, Division of the Birmingham Zoning Ordinance. That would eliminate all of the small
buildings that don’t have any kind of flexibility. Other board members agreed with that thought.

Motion by Mr. Dilgard
Seconded by Mr. Potts to move the landscaping ordinance as presented by the staff to a
public hearing at the May meeting with these recommended changes:
      to reconsider sub-section (2), Applicability of Landscape Standards; and
      to consider new language for the waiver, sub-section (4) (i), General Standards, to
      allow the Planning Board to waive the landscaping requirements where there is
      either a tight urban site or minor site plan design changes or a hardship for
      parking.

There were no comments from the public at 9:40 p.m.

Motion carried, 6-0.

ROLL CALL VOTE
Yeas: Dilgard, Potts, Blaesing, Dilgard, Haberman, Thal
Nays: None
Absent: Boyle




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                                                         Planning Board Minutes
                                                              May 11, 2005

                                                                     05-96-05

      PUBLIC HEARING
      To consider an ordinance to amend Chapter 126, Zoning, of the Code of the City of
      Birmingham:

      TO AMEND ARTICLE XX, GENERAL PROVISIONS, SECTION 126-480, LANDSCAPE
      STANDARDS, TO ESTABLISH NEW LANDSCAPE STANDARDS FOR DEVELOPMENTS
      IN THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM.

      Ms. Ecker stated that throughout 2003, the previous members of the Planning Board
      discussed adding ordinance language to establish landscaping requirements for all
      developments in town. The Planning Division was asked to revise the draft ordinance
      language in accordance with the recommendations of the Planning Board, to have the city
      attorney review the proposed ordinance, and to conduct landscape reviews on several projects
      using the latest draft ordinance. At the Planning Board’s request, lists of prohibited species of
      trees and native trees have been provided from the Department of Public Services and the list
      of prohibited species is included in the draft ordinance.

      Ms. Ecker advised that on April 13, 2005, the Planning Board requested that the Planning
      Division alter sub-section 2 so that the landscape standards would not apply to every
      application for site plan approval, and alter sub-section 4 (i) to allow the Planning Board to
      waive the landscaping requirements where there is either a tight urban site or minor site plan
      design changes or a hardship for parking. The board then moved to set a public hearing for
      this evening.

      Under section (2) (v) the board members’ consensus was to strike “equals or exceeds that
      which would otherwise be required in accordance with” and substitute “substantially conforms
      to.” It was agreed to take all suggestions to the city attorney to see which one he favors.

      Mr. Haberman suggested under section (4) (d) add “except disease resistant varieties” after
      “Elm.”

      Mr. Nickita commented with respect to section (6) that he would not want to mandate a
      landscape treatment when it is more suitable to have a hardscape treatment, which is a more
      appropriate urban condition where the streetwall is best maintained along the sidewalk edge at
      zero lot line.

      Mr. Boyle’s concern was that this might end up with fragmented little bits of landscape that
      don’t add up to anything. He agreed that softening large parking lots is very important, but in a
      downtown area other treatments or sometimes no treatments can be better.

      Because it is very hard to write ordinance language during a public hearing, board members
      were more comfortable with coming back to a study session in June so that new language
      could be drafted.

      H:\Shared\CDD\Planning Board\Planning Board Agendas\2006\February 8, 2006\Landscape Ordinance.doc
The board considered the buffer yard chart. Ms. Ecker noted a buffer yard can be very
important, particularly for the large churches with a lot of land and large parking lots. However,
she is concerned that extensive buffer yard requirements are a suburban solution and may not
work well in a dense urban community. She went on to explain the changes she has made to
the chart.

Mr. Nickita noted he is concerned about the criteria that was used to set some of the buffer
yards. He knows how easily an arbitrary number can blow a project. Mr. Potts said that firm
numbers have to be stated, otherwise, there is chaos. Ms. Ecker indicated the numbers do not
apply to the Overlay District and they have been applied in suburban style developments in
other communities, which was her concern.

Chairman Thal commented there are not going to be more than a couple of spaces requiring
buffer yards in the whole city.

Mr. Potts thought if the board wants a landscaping plan to accommodate the variables, it could
be done on a case-by-case basis, tailored to each particular project.

The board went through the items that they clearly want left in the draft ordinance. The
remaining subjects will be discussed at the next study session. Items to be included in the
Ordinance and not discussed again are as follows: sections 1, 4 (with the exception of (h) and
(j)), 7, and 8.

Chairman Thal suggested that perhaps there should be one place in the Zoning Ordinance that
talks about all of the submittal requirements for site plan review.

There was no public commentary relative to the discussion at 8:52 p.m.

The board concurred that landscape requirements are needed because of aesthetics and the
fact that planting trees is healthy. There are practical considerations in terms of sod retention
and run-off. Mr. Nickita said there are the restrictions for the neighborhoods and the
restrictions for the downtown. The abutting areas are a struggle. Overall, it is the promotion of
trees that defines the character of the neighborhoods.

Chairman Thal closed the public hearing, which will be advertised again at a later date.




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                                                   Planning Board Minutes
                                                        June 8, 2005

                                                              06-119-05

STUDY SESSION
Landscape Ordinance

Ms. Ecker advised the board that throughout 2003, the previous members of the Planning
Board discussed adding ordinance language to establish landscaping requirements for all
developments in town. The Planning Division was asked to revise the draft ordinance
language in accordance with the recommendations of the Planning Board, to have the city
attorney review the proposed ordinance, and to conduct landscape reviews on several projects
using the latest draft ordinance.

At the Planning Board’s request, lists of prohibited species of trees and native trees have been
provided from the Department of Public Services and the list of prohibited species is included
in the draft ordinance.

On April 13, 2005, the Planning Board requested that the Planning Division alter sub-section 2
so that the landscape standards would not apply to every application for site plan approval,
and alter sub-section 4 (i) to allow the Planning Board to waive the landscaping requirements
where there is either a tight urban site, or minor site plan design changes, or a hardship for
parking. The board then moved to set a public hearing for May 11, 2005.

Ms. Ecker advised that on May 11, 2005 the Planning Board conducted a public hearing on the
proposed landscape ordinance, and after much discussion board members decided to close
the public hearing and continue working on the draft landscape ordinance at the June study
session. Concerns were raised about the buffering provisions and the parking lot landscape
requirements and the fact that these are suburban-style regulations that may not be the best
solutions in a densely developed urban community. Accordingly, the Planning Division has
modified the draft ordinance to reflect these comments. Sample ordinances from the cities of
Ann Arbor, Traverse City, and Milford have been included in the packets for this evening.

The City Attorney had previously reviewed the proposed ordinance language and had no legal
concerns with the content. However, he pointed out that the board may want to consider
having the Ordinance apply to new construction only, as it would be extremely onerous on
applicants coming to the Planning Board for a minor site plan change to have to comply with all
of the new landscape standards which may require them to create further parking non-
conformities on their property. The draft ordinance has been amended to address these
concerns and a copy of the latest draft has been sent to the City Attorney for review and a
letter has been received back from Mr. Kragt. The Planning Division will return the final
version of the proposed landscape ordinance to the City Attorney after the Planning Board has
set a public hearing.

Ms. Ecker went on to summarize the more significant changes that she had made to the
ordinance based on the board members’ comments.


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Mr. Nickita noted that it is a challenge to put into words in an ordinance all of the conditions
and all of the circumstances. He noted the MX District language mandates adding trees.
However, he envisions an urban area there, like downtown. Secondly, he does not believe the
section on parking lot landscaping should mandate creating a landscape strip along the
parking lot perimeter without referring back to the Exceptions section where it states that
parking lot provisions do not apply to property in the Downtown Overlay District.

Mr. Potts said it might be interesting to see how the architectural community will react to this
ordinance before it goes before the City Commission. The board recommended sending the
ordinance to Mr. Dul (landscape architect) and one architect for their review and comment. Ms.
Ecker said she did run it by the Department of Public Services and the urban forester.

Vice-Chairman Boyle wondered if cost implications have been considered. Secondly, he
asked if this ordinance was tested against a sample of plans that have come in. Ms. Ecker
stated that should be done once the board has finalized a draft.

Mr. Nickita said that one starts to wonder whether adding more landscape may possibly hurt
potential developers. It could be the difference between a project working and not working.

Mr. Dilgard liked the changes but advocated re-testing on the sites that were tested a year and
a half ago, CVS/Blockbuster, Adams Square, and the office building on Fourteen Mile Road.
Mr. Blaesing said the Borders site may be interesting because it has frontage on three streets.
Mr. Nickita thought the gas station at Adams/Maple might be a good example to be tested. Mr.
Dilgard suggested it would be helpful to talk to the Planning Department in Ann Arbor because
their ordinance has been in effect since 1984.

In section (2) (b) board members requested that the words “Predominant or desired” replace
“Prevailing.”

Vice-Chairman Boyle summed up the preceding discussion. The desire of the board is to send
this ordinance back to staff to do some testing, contact Ann Arbor, make changes, and then
run it by perhaps a landscape architect and a developer. Mr. Nickita suggested that Mr. Chris
Longe might have a look at it. After that it can be tested against three sites including Borders.

No one from the audience wished to comment at 8:15 p.m.




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                                                          Planning Board Minutes
                                                               July 13, 2005

                                                                     07-145-05

       STUDY SESSION
       Landscape Ordinance

       Ms. Robinson recalled that throughout 2003, the previous members of the Planning Board
       discussed adding ordinance language to establish landscaping requirements for all
       developments in town.

       The Planning Division was asked to revise the draft ordinance language in accordance with the
       recommendations of the Planning Board, to have the city attorney review the proposed
       ordinance, and to conduct landscape reviews on several projects using the latest draft
       ordinance.

       At the Planning Board’s request, lists of prohibited species of trees and native trees have been
       provided from the Department of Public Services and the list of prohibited species is included
       in the draft ordinance.

       On April 13, 2005, the Planning Board requested that the Planning Division alter sub-section 2
       so that the landscape standards would not apply to every application for site plan approval,
       and alter sub-section 4 (i) to allow the Planning Board to waive the landscaping requirements
       where there is either a tight urban site, a minor site plan or design change, or a hardship for
       parking. The board then moved to set a public hearing for May 11, 2005.

       On May 11, 2005 the Planning Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed landscape
       ordinance, and after much discussion board members decided to close the public hearing and
       continue working on the draft landscape ordinance at the June study session. Concerns were
       raised about the buffering provisions and the parking lot landscape requirements and the fact
       that these are suburban-style regulations that may not be the best solutions in a densely
       developed urban community. Accordingly, the Planning Division has modified the draft
       ordinance to reflect these comments.

       One June 8, 2005, the Planning Board discussed having the Planning Division contact a
       developer and an architect in the City of Birmingham for their review and comments. It was
       also suggested the Planning Division contact Ann-Arbor’s Planning Department to see if they
       have had any issues or concerns relating to their landscape ordinance. Ms. Robinson reported
       that she contacted the City of Ann Arbor who indicated they are generally happy with their
       ordinance. They have modified ordinance standards based on recommendations from people
       in the community, developers, and their urban forester.

       The current Zoning Ordinance does not contain any landscape standards at all that require the
       installation or maintenance of landscape plantings as a component of site development.
       However, the addition of minimum landscape requirements for developments within the City
       will result in the reduction of storm water runoff and heat buildup and it will filter and reduce


       H:\Shared\CDD\Planning Board\Planning Board Agendas\2006\February 8, 2006\Landscape Ordinance.doc
glare from car headlights. In addition, landscape plantings may reduce energy costs in
structures and will greatly improve the aesthetics of the City.

The city attorney had previously reviewed the proposed ordinance language and had no legal
concerns with the content. However, he pointed out that the board may want to consider
having the Ordinance apply to new construction only, as it would be extremely onerous on
applicants coming to the Planning Board for a minor site plan change to have to comply with all
of the new landscape standards which may require them to create further parking non-
conformities on their property. The draft ordinance has been amended to address these
concerns and a copy of the latest draft has been sent to the City attorney for review and a
letter has been received back from Mr. Kragt. The Planning Division will return the final
version of the proposed landscape ordinance to the city attorney after the Planning Board has
set a public hearing.

Mr. Christopher Longe of Christopher Longe & Associates and Mr. Michael J. Dul of Michael J.
Dul & Associates, Inc. were contacted to review the ordinance and offer advice. Ms. Keery
went through the Ordinance and summed up the issues that they had outlined. Mr. Dul’s
comments reiterated many of the same issues that Mr. Longe had noted. Ms. Keery agreed to
pass out the comments next month and show how they affect the ordinance. She indicated
that staff will go back and test the ordinance language against three sites downtown:
Blockbuster, Adams Square, and the office building on E. Fourteen Mile Road and Woodward.

Mr. Boyle stated that the board should come to a very clear decision in terms of what it expects
and what it is looking for. Some comments that are received back may actually go against
what the board is trying to do.

Chairman Thal was not sure whether the term “residential” refers to single-family or multiple-
family.

Mr. Potts noted he doesn’t think it was ever the intention of the board to have the landscape
definition unduly restrict the size of development on the property. It is worth sending the
language back to staff to percolate out before adoption is recommended.

Mr. Nickita said the issue is how to make surface parking lots better. However, the board has
the comments of both Michael Dul and Christopher Longe that this good-will gesture of trying
to landscape certain sites could result in property infringement as well as not necessarily good
development. Testing against certain sites is a good idea. He suggested getting photographs
from Ann Arbor of some of the sites where their ordinance has been implemented. These
pictures along with the examples of what has been done in Birmingham can be part of what
the board looks at in making its decision.

Chairman Thal called for comments from the public at 9 p.m.

Ms. Susan Aventraub, a resident, hoped that the board would consider that the green space is
something that everyone can enjoy every day, rather than trying to maximize a project for a
developer. Chairman Thal explained the board is trying to find some middle ground that is
appropriate for the community, fair to property owners, and that fits within the scope of its
vision of what Birmingham should look like.
H:\Shared\CDD\Planning Board\Planning Board Agendas\2006\February 8, 2006\Landscape Ordinance.doc
Mr. Frank Carnovale, Architect, spoke about the separation between residential and
commercial development in the City. On the residential side of the landscaping issue, a
different approach may be considered. To maintain the pedestrian feel of the street, look at a
City guideline as opposed to a requirement that would restrict certain invasive plants, or plants
that would litter the street at certain times of the year.

The board’s consensus was to move this matter to the August study session.




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                                                          Planning Board Minutes
                                                              August 10, 2005

                                                                     08-167-05

       STUDY SESSION
                                                           Landscape Ordinance

       Ms. Robinson recalled that throughout 2003, the previous members of the Planning Board
       discussed adding ordinance language to establish landscaping requirements for all
       developments in town.

       The Planning Division was asked to revise the draft ordinance language in accordance with the
       recommendations of the Planning Board, to have the city attorney review the proposed
       ordinance, and to conduct landscape reviews on several projects using the latest draft
       ordinance.

       At the Planning Board’s request, lists of prohibited species of trees and native trees have been
       provided from the Department of Public Services and the list of prohibited species is included
       in the draft ordinance.

       On April 13, 2005, the Planning Board requested that the Planning Division alter sub-section 2
       so that the landscape standards would not apply to every application for site plan approval,
       and alter sub-section 4 (i) to allow the Planning Board to waive the landscaping requirements
       where there is either a tight urban site, or minor site plan design changes, or a hardship for
       parking. The board then moved to set a public hearing for May 11, 2005 for the proposed
       landscape ordinance.

       On May 11, 2005 the Planning Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed landscape
       ordinance, and after much discussion board members decided to close the public hearing and
       continue working on the draft landscape ordinance at the June study session. Concerns were
       raised about the buffering provisions and the parking lot landscape requirements and the fact
       that these are suburban-style regulations that may not be the best solutions in a densely
       developed urban community. Accordingly, the Planning Division has modified the draft
       ordinance to reflect these comments.

       One June 8, 2005, the Planning Board discussed having the Planning Division contact a
       developer and an architect in the City of Birmingham for their review and comments. It was
       also suggested the Planning Division contact Ann Arbor’s Planning Department to see if they
       have had any issues or concerns relating to their Landscape Ordinance. Comments were
       received from the Ann Arbor Planning Department regarding their Landscape Ordinance. City
       planners indicated satisfaction with their ordinance and have made a few modifications based
       on experience since their ordinance was established in 1994. Comments were also received
       from Mr. Christopher Longe of Christopher Longe & Associates Architects and Mr. Michael J.
       Dul of Michael J. Dul & Associates, Inc. Landscape Architects. Their comments were attached
       to the report for review this evening.



       H:\Shared\CDD\Planning Board\Planning Board Agendas\2006\February 8, 2006\Landscape Ordinance.doc
It was requested that the Planning Division test three sites in Birmingham against the proposed
landscape ordinance language: the Blockbuster Plaza on Woodward, Adams Square, and the
office building located on E. Fourteen Mile Road and Woodward. Evaluations of the three sites
are included this evening. It was also requested that the Planning Division visit the City of Ann
Arbor to photograph landscaping that has been installed since the adoption of their 1994
Landscape Ordinance. A power-point presentation has been prepared.

The current Zoning Ordinance does not contain any landscape standards at all that require the
installation or maintenance of landscape plantings as a component of site development.
However, the addition of minimum landscape requirements for developments within the City
will result in the reduction of storm water runoff and heat buildup and it will filter and reduce
glare from car headlights. In addition, landscape plantings may reduce energy costs in
structures and will greatly improve the aesthetics of the City.

The city attorney has previously reviewed the proposed ordinance language and had no legal
concerns with the content. However, he pointed out that the board may want to consider
having the Ordinance apply to new construction only, as it would be extremely onerous on
applicants coming to the Planning Board for a minor site plan change to have to comply with all
of the new landscape standards which may require them to create further parking non-
conformities on their property. The draft ordinance has been amended to address these
concerns. The Planning Division will return the final version of the proposed landscape
ordinance to the city attorney after the Planning Board has set a public hearing date.

Ms. Robinson gave a power-point presentation of landscape photographs she had taken of the
following:
In Birmingham:
       Adams Square; Blockbuster and CVS Plaza, and the office building on the corner of
       Woodward and Fourteen Mile Road;
In Ann Arbor:
       Arborland Mall landscape islands throughout the parking lot;
       Bus terminal;
       Fifth-Third Bank on Washtenaw;
       Medical office on Packard Street;
       Shopping Plaza;
       South State Commons; and
       Mallots Creek Library, a green development which includes a green roof.

Ms. Robinson applied the proposed landscape ordinance to the three Birmingham sites in a
chart which indicated whether the sites would meet the proposed landscape ordinance
language.

Mr. Nickita commented that clearly the sites that were shown are much better because of Ann
Arbor’s Landscape Ordinance. However, other than the Adams Square project, these areas
with their large expanses of green space do not apply in Birmingham for the most part. His
concern is that if you encroach upon small sites to such a degree in the name of trying to
beautify them, you must ask whether this town is urban or whether it is suburban. He
questioned whether the Kinko’s site would work if the proposed ordinance were applied to it, or
would the site be encroached upon so much that the building would have to shrink.
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Mr. Dilgard said he has done some analysis on the three sites with respect to the proposed
ordinance. At the CVS site the landscaping would work out to 7 percent of the lot; Kinko’s
about 8 percent; and Adams Square about 8 percent. These percentages do not seem
unreasonable. The proposed ordinance really is similar to what Ann Arbor has had for a
number of years. This plan is working even in their central city. The ordinance takes into
account odd-shaped lots and peculiar situations. In sites like Kinko’s, the board would look at
the fact that Kinko’s is definitely an odd situation in a lot of respects. The building reduction
would be about 17 percent of the existing footprint. Taking into account the smaller building
and its decreased parking requirements, the impact of the proposed ordinance would be about
13 – 14 percent on what is seen today. To him 5 – 8 percent required landscaping for parking
lots is not unreasonable. He has spoken to Ms. Linda Lemke, an experienced landscape
architect, specifically about the 10 ft. landscape strip lining a parking lot. She indicated that is
pretty much standard in all city landscaping ordinances.

Mr. Potts commented that the proposed ordinance may work well in one setting and not in
another. If the board is rigid in constructing something that is not flexible enough to
accommodate the concerns by still maintaining the aesthetic application, the board will have
created a monster from something that is well intended. Someone should have the flexibility to
alter on a case-by-case basis the aesthetics and the percentages as applied. Before a
recommendation is made, he would like the board to explore this area of concern. He thinks
the board has done a good job so far but he is not sure the job is quite done.

Mr. Boyle observed that if photographs of large amounts of uninterrupted asphalt with sporadic
parking had been taken in Ann Arbor, the board would be having a different discussion. He
suggested that probably 95 percent of the proposed ordinance is excellent. The question
really comes down to the imposition of standards on parking lots. So, he suggested just
addressing that point: If there is “x” amount of parking, the board would expect to have “y”
amount of landscaping. It would simplify the issue to apply this language to large parking lots
with uninterrupted asphalt.

Mr. Blaesing said it is clear to him after sitting through three years of discussions on this matter
that the City needs to have an ordinance that addresses landscaping because more greenery
is certainly needed in Birmingham. He thinks this ordinance would work on most of the sites
the board has talked about. The building might be a little smaller and a couple of parking
spaces may be lost, but he feels the trade-off is worth it. To be able to put up new buildings
without the necessary greenery around them is really a deficiency in the ordinance. As far as
he is concerned, this ordinance needs to move forward.

Mr. Haberman questioned how to determine what exactly a large parking lot is. Another staff
in the future may only read the ordinance exactly as printed and not understand the nuances
that were intended to grant flexibility.

Mr. Nickita respectfully disagreed with Mr. Blaesing. He does not think there is any question
that the parking lots could be made better. Looking at other communities is very good.
However, he sees very different conditions in Ann Arbor. The board has to address what
Birmingham and a walkable urban pedestrian environment is all about. With the kinds of
things that are being addressed, a building could potentially be squeezed so that it looks like a
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     building in a parking lot, even with the landscaping. He feels this ordinance raises more
     questions about how this one particular item deals with the site and the setback of 10 ft. of
     green space lining it, as well as cutting back on the size of the building. Therefore, he doesn’t
     think the board is there yet.

     Mr. Boyle disagreed. This language is not about the design and location of a building on the
     site. It is about the parking lot landscaping and how to use the space around the building.

     Mr. Nickita explained that setbacks and landscape within the parking lot take away some of the
     parking. That obviously will have to reduce the building size because the building cannot be
     built with that reduced amount of parking on-site. He would say that is a negative. There is a
     cost to putting landscaping in a parking lot.

     Chairman Thal commented the only thing in Birmingham that relates to Arborland is Adams
     Square. Beyond that, Birmingham has a different situation. He suggested giving some relief
     from the parking requirement if the space is utilized for landscaping purposes. Stronger green
     requirements such as a green roof would do more toward reducing heat build-up than one or
     two spots of 150 sq. ft. of landscaping. Mr. Haberman thought that a trade-off on the parking
     requirement is an excellent idea. However, the reality is that the extra parking spaces are
     needed, such as on the Kinko’s site. Therefore if a size requirement is imposed, he thinks it
     should apply to much larger parking lots than 5,000 sq. ft., or to a trade-off of parking
     requirements for landscaping.

     Motion by Mr. Blaesing
     Seconded by Mr. Dilgard to set a public hearing to debate this issue in front of the
     public.

     Mr. Nickita noted other problems he has with the proposed ordinance. Item (6) (a) (1) requires
     a minimum of 10 ft. wide landscape strip along the parking lot perimeter. To him this is not an
     appropriate urban condition and it is not necessarily pedestrian. Not having a consistent street
     edge along the sidewalk will look like patchwork. Mr. Nickita feels that placing a brick wall
     along the sidewalk is very suitable and it works very well for an edge condition along parking
     lots in order to help screen them. Therefore, he cannot support the motion.

     Ms. Keery added that the people the Board had requested comments from, Mr. Christopher
     Longe and Mr. Michael Dul, have the same concerns. Their comments have not been
     incorporated into the proposed ordinance at this time.

     Chairman Thal suggested offering a choice of a 10 ft. landscaping strip or a screenwall when
     abutting a residential facility.

     There were no comments from the public relative to the motion at 9:05 p.m.

     Motion failed, 4-3.

     ROLL CALL VOTE
     Yeas: Blaesing, Dilgard, Boyle
     Nays: Haberman, Nickita, Potts, Thal
     H:\Shared\CDD\Planning Board\Planning Board Agendas\2006\February 8, 2006\Landscape Ordinance.doc
Absent: None

Chairman Thal asked Mr. Nickita to discuss with staff what changes he would like to have
made to the proposed ordinance that would make it acceptable. Chairman Thal thinks the
board is pretty close to getting this done. Mr. Potts added he would support the ordinance as
promulgated with the commentary that Mr. Nickita suggested. That would satisfy some of the
concerns that he thinks everyone else has.

Mr. Nickita said the issue is that he thinks the board is very close. There are a couple of
outstanding issues that need to be resolved but leave the majority of the language in place.
For the most part it is a good ordinance and it is the right thing to do. There is no reason to kill
it and let it die.

Mr. Blaesing advised that if staff is going to work on this ordinance, it means they are not going
to work on the other items on the Action List. Chairman Thal hoped that Mr. Nickita’s changes
would not require too much of staff’s time.

The board took a short recess at 9:15 p.m.




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BACK TO AGENDA




                                                   Draft Planning Board Minutes
                                                         December 14, 2005

                                                                   12-225-05

     STUDY SESSION
     Landscape Ordinance

     Mr. Nickita discussed the setback issue. He thinks it not only encroaches on many of the sites
     and their ability to be fully utilized; but he feels it is not an appropriate pedestrian situation.
     There are unintended consequences that could be detrimental. His suggestion is to build walls
     right up to the property line without the landscape strip. A landscape strip might be helpful only
     where there is a vast parking lot.

     Ms. Ecker indicated she personally prefers landscaping outside of the masonry screenwall to
     soften the look of the screenwall, the sidewalk, and all of the concrete. She advised this
     ordinance also covers maintenance enforcement for landscaping.

     Mr. Boyle suggested for item (6) (b), Parking lots greater that 5, 000 sq. ft. shall meet the
     following interior landscaping requirements, add a landscaping strip to soften its edge.

     Motion by Mr. Boyle
     Seconded by Mr. Dilgard to continue the meeting 15 minutes to 11:15 p.m.

     Motion carried, 6-0.

     VOICE VOTE
     Yeas: Boyle, Dilgard, Haberman, Nickita, Potts, Thal
     Nays: None
     Absent: Blaesing

     Chairman Thal concluded this subject needs further discussion and it cannot be resolved in
     five or ten minutes this evening. He urged the board to visit the sites at Kinko’s and CVS and
     consider the question of urban versus more natural landscape and to be prepared next month
     to finish the discussion.

     Mr. Dilgard estimated that a 9,000 or 10,000 sq. ft. parking lot might be a more appropriate
     range to consider than 5,000 sq. ft. Chairman Thal added there should be some edge
     commentary with 6 (b). Mr. Nickita said for the next meeting it will be important for the board
     to know the number of square feet of the larger parking lots in town.




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                                                   Planning Board Minutes
                                                      January 11, 2006


STUDY SESSION
Landscape Ordinance

Ms. Robinson stated that throughout 2003 and 2004, the previous members of the Planning
Board discussed adding ordinance language to establish landscaping requirements for all
developments in town.
On April 13, 2005, the Planning Board requested that the Planning Division alter sub-section 2
so that the landscape standards would not apply to every application for site plan approval,
and alter sub-section 4 (i) to allow the Planning Board to waive the landscaping requirements
where there is either a tight urban site, or minor site plan design changes, or a hardship for
parking. The board then moved to set a public hearing for May 11, 2005 for the proposed
landscape ordinance.

On May 11, 2005 the Planning Board conducted a public hearing on the proposed landscape
ordinance, and after much discussion board members decided to close the public hearing and
continue working on the draft landscape ordinance at the June study session. Concerns were
raised about the buffering provisions and the parking lot landscape requirements and the fact
that these are suburban-style regulations that may not be the best solutions in a densely
developed urban community.

One June 8, 2005, the Planning Board discussed having the Planning Division contact a
developer and an architect in the City of Birmingham for their review and comments. It was
also suggested the Planning Division contact Ann-Arbor’s Planning Department to see if they
have had any issues or concerns relating to their Landscape Ordinance.

At the August 10, 2005 meeting, comments received from the Ann Arbor Planning Department
regarding their Landscape Ordinance were shared. City planners indicated satisfaction with
their ordinance and have made a few modifications based on experience since their ordinance
was established in 1994. Comments were also received from Mr. Christopher Longe of
Christopher Longe & Associates Architects and Mr. Michael J. Dul of Michael J. Dul &
Associates, Inc. Landscape Architects. After a PowerPoint presentation and much discussion
it was decided that the landscape ordinance was very close to being done but still needed a bit
of refining. It was suggested that Mr. Nickita discuss changes with the Planning Division and it
would be re-examined at the next study session.

At the December 14, 2005 Planning Board meeting there was discussion regarding how to
determine what exactly a “large” parking lot was and that 5,000 sq. ft. might be too small a lot
to require mandatory landscape islands within its borders because it might eliminate much
needed parking spaces. There was also discussion regarding the necessity of a landscape
strip along parking lots. At the request of the Planning Board, the Planning Division
researched the sizes of specific existing parking lots within the City. Ms. Robinson advised
that these sizes were included in the cover memo.



H:\Shared\CDD\Planning Board\Planning Board Agendas\2006\February 8, 2006\Landscape Ordinance.doc
The current Zoning Ordinance does not contain any landscape standards at all that require the
installation or maintenance of landscape plantings as a component of site development.
However, the addition of minimum landscape requirements for developments within the City
will result in the reduction of storm water runoff and heat buildup and it will filter and reduce
glare from car headlights. In addition, landscape plantings may reduce energy costs in
structures and will greatly improve the aesthetics of the City.

Ms. Ecker said she believes that the City needs to have interior landscape areas and board
members agreed. The group discussed possible parking lot square footage that would require
interior landscape islands. Ms. Ecker thought that because every parking lot is different the
board may not want to dictate exactly where an island would go. Chairman Thal said he would
feel comfortable arriving at a square footage to require an element of landscaping and letting
the architect find the best location.

The board arrived at the conclusion that 10,000 sq. ft. is too large and 5,000 sq. ft. is too
restrictive. They settled on 7,500 sq. ft.

There were no comments from the public relative to this discussion.

Motion by Mr. Boyle
Seconded by Mr. Blaesing that this ordinance as the board is discussing it would apply
to parking lots 7,500 sq. ft. and greater. The board will have a public hearing on this at
the next appropriate meeting, which is February 8, 2006.

Motion carried, 7-0.

No one from the public wished to comment relative to the motion.

VOICE VOTE
Yeas: Boyle, Blaesing, Dilgard, Haberman Nickita, Potts, Thal
Nays: None
Absent: None




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