Article V- Landscape Design Standards
Subpart E. General Landscaping Standards
The landscaping standards of this subpart provide requirements, standards and options applicable to all other
subparts and sections within this Article.
Plant Specifications
Plant Standards. Plant material shall: (1) meet the requirements of the latest edition of the American
Standards for Nursery Stock (ANSI 260.1); (2) be healthy; and (3) be free of disease/insect infestation.
Plant Material Size. Minimum plant size requirements are established to provide tree canopies and
revegetate a site. Table 5.3 shows plant material size as required by this Chapter.
Table 5.3. Tree and Shrub Requirements
Tree/Shrub Type
Height at
Minimum Size at Planting
Large Tree
2 inches in caliper;
12 to 14 ft. in height
Small Tree
< 35
1 ½ inches in caliper
8 to 10 ft. in height
> 4
3 gallon container or 10 inch root ball;
18 inches in height
> 20
6 ft. in height
Conical Tree
3 gallon container or 10 inch root ball;
18 inches in height
> 4
3 gallon container or 10 inch root ball;
18 inches in height
Conical Shrub
3 gallon container or 10 inch root ball;
18 inches in height
Plant Material Placement. Plant material shall be permitted in the sight visibility triangle (see Figure 5F)
provided the area within the sight visibility triangle remain permanently unobstructed between three (3) and
ten (10) feet above grade.
Figure 5F. Sight Visibility Triangle Plantings
Not to Scale
Credits for Preserving Existing Trees
Tree groupings and individual trees should be preserved. Preserved trees will be credited toward any requirement of
this Article, and must be indicated on the site plan submitted. 
Tree Credit Rate. Preserved trees must be healthy and free of disease/insect infestation. Protection of
critical root zone shall be required to ensure good health and condition (improper installation of protective
measures will result in losing tree credits). Credits for preserving existing trees are indicated in Table 5.4.
Critical root zone protection requirements are indicated in subsection B below.
Table 5.4. Tree Credits
Existing Tree
Caliper (inches)
Number of Tree
Credits Given
2- 6
25 or greater
Critical Root Zone Protection. Critical root zone is the area around a tree calculated at a rate of one (1) foot
radius for every one (1) inch of tree diameter. Protecting critical root zone involves installing tree
protective fencing and (in some cases) silt fencing, as detailed below.
Tree Protective Fencing. Tree protective fencing shall be installed (see Figure 5G and Figure 5H)
around the critical root zone determined for each tree to be preserved. 
Figure 5G. Tree Protective Fencing (Plastic)
Figure 5H. Tree Protective Fencing (Post and Rail)
Not to Scale
Silt Fencing. Where silt fencing is required for sedimentation/erosion control such silt fencing
shall be installed as per North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
(NCDENR) regulations. Improper installation of silt fencing and/or lack of fencing (where
required) will result in losing tree credits.
Replacement of Credited Trees. If a credited tree dies within in one (1) year of the date of issuance of a
zoning permit, it must be replaced by the current property owner with the number of trees for which credit
was received. (Example: A tree (12 inch caliper) credited towards the landscaping requirements dies, so the
developer must replace it with two (2) trees that meet the installation size requirements as outlined in §42-
184 - Plant Specifications).
Landscaping Improvement Guarantee
Where plant material is unavailable or during times of drought/inclement weather, the plant material required may
be bonded. All guarantees shall be accompanied by a written agreement (performance agreement) specifying the
terms and the amount of the guarantee. Following receipt of an improvement guarantees application, the Zoning
Administrator shall prepare formal recommendations as to amount and terms of the guarantees for improvements,
including time of initiation and completion of the work (and a requirement that temporary or permanent seeding be
installed to prevent sedimentation and erosion problems until required plant material is placed). The time of
completion for work shall not exceed six (6) months. The Zoning Administrator shall verify that the amount of the
guarantee is sufficient to provide adequate funds to the County to ensure, in the case of default, the installation of all
required improvements not completed at the time of default. All guarantees shall comply with applicable statutory
requirements and shall be satisfactory to the County Attorney as to form, sufficiency and manner of execution.
Guarantees employing lending institutions shall be institutions which are licensed to do business in North Carolina.
Alternative Compliance
Site conditions or other reasons may justify the need to request an alternative method of compliance with this
Article. The Technical Review Committee may alter the requirements of this Article so long as existing/proposed
landscape features of the development comply with the intent of this Article. Requests for alternative compliance
shall be accepted where:
Topography, geologic features, drainage channels, streams, existing natural vegetation, overhead utilities,
underground utilities, lot limitations (size, space or unusual shape), unique relationships to other properties,
or other conditions make it unreasonable to meet landscape requirements; or
An alternative compliance plan is equal or superior to normal compliance in its ability to fulfill the intent of
this Article.
Through 42- 192. Reserved