What are the Landscaping and Screening Regulations in Oklahoma City?

Below you will find information on landscaping and screening regulations in Oklahoma City, OK. Here at Premiere Tree Services of Oklahoma City, customer service and information are taken very seriously, especially when it comes to landscaping. We don’t just do tree removal, shrub removal, or stump grinding. We also do research and we share the knowledge to our customers.

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The purpose of these regulations is to use landscape elements, particularly plant materials, in proposed developments in an organized and harmonious fashion that will enhance, protect and promote the economic, ecological and aesthetic environment of The City of Oklahoma City for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of its citizens. The City recognizes the value of landscaping in achieving the following goals:

  1. Promote the enhancement of Oklahoma City’s urban forest.
  2. Promote the reestablishment of vegetation in urban areas for health, ecological and aesthetic benefits.
  3. Provide new planting in concert with natural vegetation and careful grading.
  4. Encourage the preservation of existing trees
  5. Establish and enhance a pleasant visual character and structure to the built environment which is sensitive to safety and aesthetic issues.
  6. Promote compatibility between land uses by reducing the visual, noise and lighting impacts of specific development on users of the site and abutting properties.
  7. Unify development, and enhance and define public and private places.
  8. Provide an overall planting scheme that will:
    1. Reduce soil erosion, and the volume and rate of discharge of stormwater runoff.
    2. Aid in energy conservation by shading and sheltering structures from energy losses caused by weather and wind.
    3. Mitigate the loss of natural resources.
    4. Provide visual screens and buffers that mitigate the impact of conflicting land uses to preserve the appearance, character and value of existing neighborhoods.
    5. Provide shade, comfort and seasonal color.
    6. Reduce glare, noise and heat.
    7. Provide greater perceptual clarity along major streets and roads by more consistent planting of properly sized street trees.
  9. It is further recognized that good landscaping increases property values, attracts potential residents and businesses to Oklahoma City, and creates a safer, more attractive and more pleasant living and working environment for all residents and visitors of Oklahoma City.
  10. These regulations are intended as minimum standards for landscape treatment. Owners and developers are encouraged to exceed this standard in seeking more creative solutions, both for the enhanced value of their land and for the collective health and enjoyment of all citizens of Oklahoma City.

General regulations

All rules, regulations, conditions and requirements set forth in this section are applicable as follows:

  1. Any development or construction shall comply with these regulations.
  2. A final landscape plan shall not be required for individual single-family or duplex lots.
  3. If the site (including proposed buildings and parking areas) meets or exceeds current landscape standards, additional landscaping shall not be required.
  4. Specific landscaping requirements that may be more or less restrictive than the requirements of this chapter may be imposed on developments within the following:
    1. Bricktown Design District;
    2. Community Unit Plan Developments;
    3. Downtown Design Districts;
    4. Historic Preservation or Landmark Districts;
    5. Neighborhood Conservation District;
    6. Planned Unit Developments;
    7. Scenic River Overlay District;
    8. Scenic River Overlay Design District;
    9. Simplified Planned Unit Developments;
    10. Stockyard City and Stockyard City Transitional Districts;
    11. Urban Conservation Districts; and
    12. Property affected by special permit, special exception or variance.
  5. Outdoor storage and service areas that are visible from a public way shall be screened according to the following methods, unless otherwise exempted by this chapter.
    1. Screening shall consist of a combination of at least two of the following methods, which may be applied toward satisfying other applicable screening and landscaping point requirements:
      1. Trees planted between 15 and 35 feet on center. Selection of species and recommended spacings shall be directed by the document “Trees and Plants for Oklahoma City,” as referenced in § 59-11150.P.
      2. Evergreen shrubs reaching a mature height of at least three feet and spaced in a manner to achieve a consistent visual screen. Selection of species and recommended spacings shall be directed by the document “Trees and Plants for Oklahoma City,” as referenced in § 59-11150.P.
      3. An earthen berm (minimum 30 inches height and 3:1 slope).
      4. An opaque wall or fence a minimum of six feet high.
    2. Exemptions.
      1. Screening shall not be required for any development along segments of streets that exist entirely within an industrial zoned area, and that do not connect with other segments of the same street or other streets that traverse through non-industrial zoned areas.
      2. Screening shall not be required if a natural, undisturbed wooded area at least 20 feet in width is maintained between the outdoor storage and the public way.
  6. An inspection of all plantings to ensure compliance with the submitted landscape plan is required prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
  7. Nothing herein shall affect in any way the rights of, or exercise by, any public utility or City department of its present and future acquired rights to clear trees and other growth from lands used by the public utility or City department. The utility or City department shall cooperate and coordinate with the City when clearing or pruning in the rights-of-way.
    1. If landscaping is proposed within the rights-of-way, a revocable permit issued by the City and approved by appropriate City departments responsible for streets and utilities shall be required.
    2. If a revocable permit cannot be obtained for proposed landscaping within the right-of-way, a landscape setback may be required to accommodate any required landscape material.
  8. Nothing herein shall reduce the lines of sight and traffic visibility standards adopted in this chapter’s zoning regulations. Plantings within the sight triangle shall not exceed a mature height of 24 inches.
  9. All pervious surface areas of public and private parks, playgrounds, playing fields, and other outdoor recreation facilities shall be excluded from the calculation of Site Points as required by these regulations.
  10. Property owners in all zoning districts shall be responsible for landscaping the area within the street right-of-way between the curb-line and the property line.
    1. A maximum of 25 percent of required landscape points may be claimed within the street right-of-way.
    2. The type and location of vegetation shall not interfere with utilities and the safe and efficient flow of street traffic. Approval by the appropriate City departments responsible for street and utilities shall be required.
      1. Trees that reach a mature height of more than 15 feet shall not be planted within ten feet of an overhead utility line.
        1. This requirement may be waived by the Director providing that the applicant submits a letter stating no objection from the utility company, the required clearance from utility lines that the proposedtrees must be maintained, and the party(ies) that will be responsible for properly maintaining the trees at that height.
      2. Vegetation, other than groundcover or turf grass, shall not be planted within three feet of a fire hydrant or above-ground traffic control box.
    3. Any turf grass planted in the street right-of-way shall be sodded and is excluded from turf point credits.
    4. The use of gravel shall not satisfy this requirement for landscaping. In addition, this area shall not be hard-surfaced, other than a permitted driveway or sidewalk, and it shall not be used for parking or display.
  11. Where sight-proof screening or fencing is constructed of upgraded building materials, such as masonry (limited to brick, split-face concrete block, stone or cultured stone), decorative pre-cast concrete fence systems, or decorative iron, any required landscape buffer along that fence may be credited with two landscape points per every 20 linear feet of upgraded materials.
  12. Quality and Coverage Requirements.
    1. All plant material planted to meet the minimum requirements of these regulations shall be in a healthy condition at the time of planting and shall meet quality standards set forth by the American Standard for Nursery Stock.
    2. Turf grass shall be planted, seeded or re-seeded as necessary, watered and maintained in such a manner as to completely cover all exposed areas of soil after one full growing season.
    3. No disturbed ground shall be left exposed. Grass and other approved and appropriate groundcover or mulch shall cover all non-paved and non-built developed areas.
  13. Maintenance. It shall be the responsibility of the property owner(s), or his/her assigned agent(s) to:
    1. Maintain and keep all sight-proof screening and fencing in good repair at all times.
    2. Maintain the landscaping by keeping lawns mowed, all plants properly groomed and maintained as disease-free, and planting beds groomed, except in naturally occurring dense growths of shrubs or undergrowth.
    3. Replace any required planting(s), which have been removed, are diseased or no longer living, within one year or the first planting season, whichever occurs first, except those in naturally occurring dense growths of shrubs or undergrowth.
  14. Enforcement and Appeal. When it is determined that improvements required by these regulations are not being met, it shall be the duty of the Director or designee to give notice, in writing, to the property owner. Such notice shall specify any deficiencies or violations and a date for compliance. Any person who is aggrieved by the decision of the Director may file an appeal within 30 days from the decision of the Director with the Clerk of the Board of Adjustment in accordance with the provisions of Section 59-4250.9 (Appeals).
  15. Violations and Penalties. Failure to provide the improvements required by these regulations, or failure to maintain improvements in the manner prescribed by these regulations, shall constitute an offense and violation of this chapter. Each day a violation exists shall be a new and separate violation.
    Upon conviction, the person who has violated the landscaping requirement shall be guilty of a Class “a” offense against the City and shall be punished by a fine not less than $100.00 per violation, excluding costs and fees. The penalty prescribed by § 59-4350.2 (Penalty) shall not apply to violations of the Landscape Ordinance.
  16. The document “Trees and Plants for Oklahoma City,” and any amendments thereto, is hereby adopted by reference as if set out at length herein. Copies of same are on file in the office of the City Clerk. In the event there are any provisions in this document that are in conflict with any provisions of the City Code, the City Code shall prevail.

The information contained in this website has been provided for informational purposes only. It is general in nature, and should not be mistaken for specific legal advice. All information on this website is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or correctness, and without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied.

We know you’re really excited about getting going on your tree project, and Premiere Tree Services of Oklahoma City is here to help! You’re just a call or a click away from getting started! Please contact Premiere Tree Services of Oklahoma City by phone at 405-778-2044, or by email oklahomacity@premieretreeservices.com, or visit us at 5830 NW Expressway St. Ste. 175 Oklahoma City, OK 73132


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