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The parking strip—that unused sliver of grass between the street and the sidewalk—is often overlooked as a location for growing edibles. Here are some challenges with growing in this space, and some strategies for making it both beautiful and productive. This page may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info. Whatever you call it, the trend to grow more food in our yards is gaining popularity, and this generally unused space is now getting noticed. What if the parking strip could be beautiful and low maintenance, AND produce delicious edibles, too?
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Landscape Design Parking StripContent:
- Create a site plan
- Park Strip Planting Design Tips
- Landscaping, trees and nature strips
- Landscaping Your Hell Strip
- Landscaping Design Ideas to add Strip Mall Curb Appeal
- Lawn? Yawn. Along the sidewalk, think different
Create a site plan
Sites shall be planted in accordance with the following standards:. A planting strip of five feet in width shall be provided along all other property lines except where buildings are built with no setback from the property line or where a parking lot adjoins another parking lot. In CC zoned properties, the planting strip shall be eight feet in width to enhance the screening between CC and Residential zoned properties.
The type of planting in this strip varies depending upon the zone designation of the properties sharing the property line with or without an intervening alley as indicated in the matrix below. Where properties with dissimilar zones share a common boundary, the property with the more intense zone shall determine the required type of planting and the planting width.
The owners of adjacent properties may agree to consolidate their perimeter plantings along shared boundaries. For example, instead of each property providing a five-foot wide planting strip, adjacent property owners could provide a single, shared five-foot wide planting strip, so long as the required planting type, as indicated in the matrix below, is provided. Types of landscaping to be provided in planting strips alongside and rear property lines:.
O, OR. NR, NMU. CC , FBC. LI, PI. CC, FBC. LI, PI . HI . Notes:  In the industrial zones, all uses in the commercial categories see chapter 17C. The planning director shall have the discretion to waive or reduce the requirements of subsections A 1 and B of this section based on the following factors:.
All other portions of a site not covered by structures, hard surfaces, or other prescribed landscaping shall be planted in L3 open area landscaping until the maximum landscape requirement threshold is reached see SMC 17C. This section is subject to the provisions of SMC 17C. Interior landscaping consisting of L3 open area landscaping, including trees amounting to at least ten percent of the total area of the paved parking area, excluding required perimeter and street frontage strips.
A minimum of one interior tree shall be planted for every six parking spaces. Tree plantings shall be spaced in order that tree canopies cover a minimum of seventy percent of the entire paved area of the parking lot within fifteen years of project completion.
Canopy coverage shall be measured in plan view, and be based on projected mature size of the selected tree species. All individual planting areas within parking lots shall be a minimum of eight feet in width, be at least one hundred fifty square feet in size, and in addition to the required trees, shall be planted with a living groundcover.
Surface parking lots must have a solid, decorative concrete or masonry wall adjacent to a complete street and behind a sidewalk. The wall must have a minimum height above the surface of the parking lot of two and one-half feet and a maximum height of three feet.
The wall shall screen automobile headlights from surrounding properties. A wrought iron fence may be constructed on top of the wall for a combined wall and fence height of six feet.
An area with a minimum width of two feet, measured from the property line, must be provided, landscaped and maintained on the exterior of the required wall. Such walls, fences, and landscaping shall not interfere with the clear view triangle. Pedestrian access through the perimeter wall shall be spaced to provide convenient access between the parking lot and the sidewalk. There shall be a pedestrian access break in the perimeter wall at least every one hundred fifty feet and a minimum of one for every street frontage.
Any paving or repaving of a parking lot over one thousand square feet triggers these requirements. Parking liner walls with plantings contribute to an interesting pedestrian environment.
The parking liner wall and screen pictured above is enhanced by larger wall sections near automobile crossing points and a change in sidewalk scoring pattern. Both give cues to pedestrians and drivers. These shall be integrated with display area lighting and pedestrian amenities. Items may include elements that improve the health of street trees and plantings, improve storm water management, or artistic features that improve the pedestrian environment.
This may include items such as permeable pavers in the pedestrian buffer strip, increased soil volumes for street trees, suspended sidewalks around the street tree to increase the amount of un-compacted soils, and engineered soils to support larger and healthier trees.
The type of plantings as specified below shall be provided inside the property lines: along all commercial, light industrial, and planned industrial zoned properties except where buildings are built with no setback from the property line: a six-foot wide planting area of L2 see-through buffer, including street trees as prescribed in SMC 17C.
Remaining setback areas shall be planted in L3. Living ground cover shall be used, with non-living materials gravel, river rock, etc. In addition, earthen berms, trellises, low decorative masonry walls, or raised masonry planters overall height including any plantings shall not exceed three feet may be used to screen parking lots from adjacent streets and walkways.
For residential development along principal and minor arterials, a six-foot high fence with shrubs and trees may be used for screening along street frontages. The fence and landscaping shall comply with the standards of SMC 17C. A minimum of fifty percent of the fence line shall include shrubs and trees. The landscaping is required to be placed on the exterior street side of the fence. Within the clear view triangle defined at SMC 17A. The City Engineer may further limit the height of plantings, landscaping structures, and other site development features within a particular clear view triangle or may expand the size of the clear view triangle as conditions warrant in a particular case.
Other Property Perimeters. Planning Director Discretion. The planning director shall have the discretion to waive or reduce the requirements of subsections A 1 and B of this section based on the following factors: No useable space for landscaping exists between the proposed new structure and existing structures on adjoining lots or alleys because of inadequate sunlight or inadequate width.
Xeriscape landscaping is utilized in designated stormwater control areas. When existing trees and other vegetation serves the same or similar function as the required landscaping, they may be substituted for the required landscaping if they are healthy and appropriate for the site at mature size.
When existing trees are eight inches or more in diameter, they shall be equivalent to three required landscape trees. If necessary, supplemental landscaping shall be provided in areas where existing vegetation is utilized to accomplish the intent of this chapter.
Other Areas. Parking Lot Landscaping Design. Parking Lot Landscaping Design Implementation. The parking lot landscape shall reinforce pedestrian and vehicle circulation, especially parking lot entrances, ends of driving aisles, and pedestrian walkways leading through parking lots. P Planted areas next to a pedestrian walkways and sidewalks shall be maintained or plant material chosen to maintain a clear zone between three and eight feet from ground level.
R Low walls and raised planters a maximum height of three feet , trellises with vines, architectural features, or special interest landscape features shall be used to define entrances to parking areas. Where signs are placed on walls, they shall be integrated into the design and complement the architecture or character of other site features. P Landscape plant material size, variety, color, and texture within parking lots should be integrated with the overall site landscape design.
In residential, commercial, center and corridor, and FBC zones, a six-foot wide planting area of L2 see-through buffer landscaping shall be provided between any parking lot, outdoor sales, outdoor display area, and a street right-of-way. In addition, earthen berms, trellises, low decorative masonry walls, raised masonry planters, or L1 visual screen landscaping shall be used to screen parking lots from adjacent streets and walkways overall height including any plantings or structures shall not exceed three feet.
Trees required as a part of the L2 landscape strip shall be located according to the standards for street trees in SMC 17C. In residential, commercial, center and corridor, and FBC zones all parking stalls shall be within sixty feet of a planted area with L3 open area landscaping. All individual planting areas within parking lots shall be at least one hundred fifty square feet in size.
In residential, commercial, center and corridor, and FBC zones all paved parking areas on a site with more than fifty cumulative parking spaces shall have plantings that satisfies one of the following options: Option 1. Option 2. Where parking lots are located between the building and a street, the amount of required interior landscaped area shall be increased by fifty percent and the minimum amount of tree shade cover shall increase to eighty percent.
Where parking lots are behind buildings, the amount of interior landscaping may be decreased by fifty percent of what the code requires and the minimum amount of tree shade cover shall decrease to fifty percent. A planting strip of five feet in depth with L1 visual screen landscaping or site-obscuring decorative wood, iron, etc.
A minimum of two-foot setback shall be provided for all trees and shrubs where vehicles overhang into planted areas. In industrial zones, parking lots, outdoor sales, and outdoor display areas that are abutting or across the street from residential zones are subject to all of the requirements of subjections E and F of this section. In industrial zones, all uses in the commercial categories see chapter 17C. In downtown zones an applicant must demonstrate to the director that the following required elements meet the intent of the Downtown Design Guidelines.
Key design elements for these features include integrating storm water facilities, improving the pedestrian environment, and adding public amenities next to surface parking; outdoor sales and outdoor display areas so that they help to define space and contribute to a more active street environment.
Surface parking lots in the Downtown zones are subject to the interior parking lot landscaping standard sections F 2 through F 6. The exterior boundary of all surface parking lots adjacent to any public right-of-way must include trees spaced no more than twenty-five feet apart. The leaves of the trees or any other landscaping features at maturity shall not obscure vision into the parking lot from a height of between three and eight feet from the ground.
If street trees exist or are provided consistent with SMC 17C. Outdoor sales and display areas shall contribute to an interesting streetscape by providing the following: Monument Features or Artistic Elements along the Street Edge between the Outdoor Display Area and the Sidewalk. Additional Streetscape Features in the Sidewalk Environment. Title 17C. Chapter 17C. Section 17C.
Park Strip Planting Design Tips
When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Touch device users, explore by touch or with swipe gestures. Log in. Sign up. Parking strip ideas. Collection by Jennifer Emery Draper. Similar ideas popular now.
Parking lot landscaping design details are submitted to the Community Development Department with a completed site plan review application.
Landscaping, trees and nature strips
Urban environments are dominated by pavement, the bane of most living things. One area ripe for community greening is the hellstrip — the narrow space between the sidewalk and street curb. Sometimes planted in grass, filled with weeds, mulch or simply bare trampled earth, this public space could be planted with tough native plants. Let us reclaim this forgotten territory and create some native habitat that will cool ground temperatures, absorb and filter rainwater, support pollinators, and bring a smile to the passersby! Black-eyed coneflower are a cheerful addition to a hellstrip. It is important to remember that the hellstrip is first and foremost public space, even if you own the property. Pedestrian foot traffic, trash, dog waste, piles of snow, road salt, automobile exhaust, compacted soil, and parked bicycles are some of the daily risks that can impact plants growing in this environment. There are, however, native species that can tolerate much of this abuse.
Landscaping Your Hell Strip
Increase your curb appeal, reduce water use, and get money back when you participate in the Flip Your Strip rebate program. Removing lawn from your park strip will save an estimated 5,, gallons of water each year—and you can get cash for doing it. No, you must have living lawn in your park strip at the time of the pre-conversion visit. If you have already killed or removed lawn, your application will be denied.
Landscaping Design Ideas to add Strip Mall Curb Appeal
Compliance with the City's Landscape Design Standards is mandatory for all new or altered landscaping proposed as a part of a project subject to review by any City of Santa Barbara design review body Council Resolution No. The Standards are intended to promote water conservation while allowing flexibility in designing attractive and cost effective water-wise landscapes. Also linked is the Landscape Compliance Statement checklist, which should be copied onto all landscaping plans submitted to the City as part of a permit application and completed to receive final approval. For questions about whether your landscaping project on private property will need permitting , please contact or visit the Planning Counter at Garden Street,Also see the Tree and Landscaping Checklist guide for more information on landscaping changes and relevant permitting triggers.
Lawn? Yawn. Along the sidewalk, think different
Last time we reviewed the basics of planning a large planting project, from checking the availability of light and water Step One: Evaluate Your Space to determining your gardening style and how much you can accomplish with your budget Step Two: Make a Plan. This week it's time for Step Three! Let's look at what we did here at Swansons to advance our Autumn Project: revamping our parking strip. Breaking your project into several smaller tasks makes it easier to feel like you're making progress. Instead of looking at a big empty area and thinking "Ugh, I really need to do something about that," you can go to your checklist, do the next thing on the list, cross it off so satisfying and then go fix yourself a martini.
Finally, we worked closely with landscape designer Carolyn Perrin. We wanted to play a bit with the parking strip, and have plants that.
How do you create a beautiful and low-water use median strip? Median strips along sidewalks in the EBMUD service area often exceed their water budget up to percent. On Monday, September 16, Patricia St.
A parking or park strip is a narrow strip of land between the sidewalk and the street often used as a right of way for public utilities and traditionally planted with street trees and turf. Although the municipality owns the strip, the homeowner is responsible for its upkeep. Parking strips offer unique, if not challenging, opportunities for water conservation in the landscape. They can be as simple as a strip of low water use turf or gravel or an elaborate display of perennials, edible plants, and shrubs. Trees can be included as well. Check your city ordinances for plant height and placement requirements as well as for species selection.
A drought tolerant front yard that is inspired by the work of Piet Oudolf. Beyond deadheading and cutting the perennials to the ground in late February, the garden is low maintenance and requires little water!
Sites shall be planted in accordance with the following standards:. A planting strip of five feet in width shall be provided along all other property lines except where buildings are built with no setback from the property line or where a parking lot adjoins another parking lot. In CC zoned properties, the planting strip shall be eight feet in width to enhance the screening between CC and Residential zoned properties. The type of planting in this strip varies depending upon the zone designation of the properties sharing the property line with or without an intervening alley as indicated in the matrix below. Where properties with dissimilar zones share a common boundary, the property with the more intense zone shall determine the required type of planting and the planting width. The owners of adjacent properties may agree to consolidate their perimeter plantings along shared boundaries.
If your parking lot landscaping is the last thing on your mind, we understand. But to your customers, tenants, residents and visitors, the landscaping around parking can make a big difference. Lucky for you, we know them all. Here are some things to keep in mind:.