Douglas County District Attorney
    County Codes Print...     Link To This Page    
Title 1 General Provisions
Title 2 Administration and Personnel
Title 3 Revenue and Finance
Title 5 Business Licenses and Regulations
Title 6 Animals
Title 8 Health and Safety
Title 9 Criminal Code
Title 10 Vehicles and Traffic
Title 12 Streets and Other Public Places
Title 13 Parks
Title 14 Airports
Title 18 Town Annexation and Service Districts
Title 19 Initiative Ordinances
Title 20 Consolidated Development Code
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D (Sewer Facilities and Non-Residential Wastewater Discharge Ordinance)
Appendix E (Backflow and Cross-Connection Control Ordiance)
Appendix F (Water Facilities)
20.01 General Provisions; Consistency with Master Plan; Right to Farm
20.02 Development Permits
20.04 Application Process and Official Filing Date
20.06 Decision by the Director
20.08 Review by Advisory Body
20.10 Review and Decision by Planning Commission
20.100 Public Facilities and Improvement Standards
20.12 Review and Decision by Board of County Commissioners
20.14 Conditional Approval
20.20 Notice Provisions
20.200 Surveys
20.220 Installing Utilities Underground
20.24 Public Hearing Procedures
20.28 Post Decision Proceedings
20.30 Expiration of Approval of Development Permit
20.300 Impact Fees
20.32 Revocation of Permit
20.34 Enforcement
20.38 Board of Adjustment
20.40 Fees
20.400 Development Agreements
20.44 Rounding of Quantities
20.440 Density Bonus Agreements
20.460 Reimbursement Agreements
20.470 Maintenance Districts
20.471 Maintenance District 1 - Monterra
20.50 Floodplain Management
20.500 Transfer Development Rights
20.550 Growth Management
20.560 Building Permit Allocation and Growth Management
20.600 General Provisions
20.602 Pre-application Conference
20.604 Special use permits
20.606 Variances
20.608 Amendment to Master Plan
20.610 Zoning Administration
20.612 Specific Plan
20.614 Design Review
20.618 Sign Permit
20.620 Temporary Use Permit
20.650 Zoning Districts and Standards
20.654 Agriculture and Forestry and Range Districts
20.656 Residential Districts
20.658 Non-Residential Districts
20.660 Use Regulations
20.662 Agricultural, Forest and Range, and Residential Land Use District Specific Standards (Table)
20.664 Agricultural, Forest and Range, and Residential Land Use Specific Standards
20.666 Non-Residential Specific Standards for Permitted, Development Permitted and Special use permit Uses (Table)
20.668 Non-Residential Uses Specific Standards
20.672 Livestock Overlay (LO) Zoning District
20.674 Manufactures Housing (MH) District
20.675 Mixed-use Commercial (MUC) Overlay District
20.676 Planned Development (PD) Overlay District
20.678 Residential Office (RO) Overlay District
20.680 Genoa Historic (GH) Overlay District
20.682 Clustered Residential Subdivision (CR) Overlay
20.685 Gaming District (GD) Overlay
20.690 Property Standards
20.691 Property Maintenance
20.692 Off-Street Parking and Loading
20.694 Landscape Standards
20.696 Sign and Advertising Control
20.698 Nonconforming Uses and Structures
20.700 Applicability and Procedures
20.702 Zoning Districts and Standards
20.703 Tahoe Area Plan Regulations
20.704 General Provisions
20.708 Subdivision Application Procedure and Approval Process
20.712 Parcel Maps
20.714 Division of Agricultural Land for Conservation Purposes
20.716 Division of Land into Large Parcels
20.718 Division of Land for Agricultural Purposes
20.720 Assurance for Completion and Maintenance of Improvements
20.768 Land Readjustment
20.770 Boundary Line Adjustment
20.800 General Provisions
20.810 Administration
20.820 Building Permits
20.830 Site Improvement Permits
20.840 Encroachment Permits
20.900 Numbering Structures and Naming Streets
Effective Date
Table of Ordinances

Collapse/expand the left pane
County Codes
Title 20 Consolidated Development Code
20.694 Landscape Standards
20.694.010 Purpose
20.694.020 Applicability
20.694.030 Exemptions
20.694.040 General
20.694.050 Maintenance
20.694.060 Landscape plans, required
20.694.070 Landscape plans, submittal requirements
20.694.080 Irrigation plans, submittal requirements
20.694.090 Landscape materials
20.694.100 Landscape design standards
20.694.110 Screening
20.694.120 Site distance for landscaping adjacent to public rights-of-way and points of access
20.694.130 Final inspection

20.694.010 Purpose
The purpose of this chapter is to establish minimum standards for the placement, amount, and type of landscape materials to be installed in order to enhance the aesthetics of the community, including the visual appearance of streets, to reduce noise, dust, and erosion, conserve water resources, provide groundwater recharge, preserve open space and wetlands, provide privacy from visual and physical intrusion, and to insulate from the effects of weather conditions. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.020 Applicability
    A.  Landscaping requirements shall apply to construction of the following projects unless specifically listed as an exemption or otherwise noted in this chapter: 
        1.  Single-family subdivisions creating parcels of one-half acre or less (for street trees only). 
        2.  Duplex or multi-family residential; 
        3.  Industrial; 
        4.  Commercial; 
        5.  Institutional uses; and 
        6.  Public uses. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.030 Exemptions
    A.  The following types of development are exempt from the landscape requirements in this chapter: 
        1.  Development of a single-family detached dwelling not a part of a subdivision tentatively approved after adoption of this title, and accessory structures; 
        2.  Previously approved development which conforms to all conditions of approval; 
        3.  Additions to existing structures or accessory structures that are under ten percent of the total gross floor area or 5,000 square feet, whichever is less. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.040 General
    A.  All landscape materials shall be natural or living materials. Plastic, simulated or synthetic materials are not permitted except for the use as weed block and as irrigation materials. 
    B. All landscape areas must be irrigated with an underground irrigation system, adequate to service the landscape areas. 
    C.  Final landscape and irrigation plans must be submitted at the time of building permit application. 
    D.  Landscape materials shall follow the approved tree, shrub, and groundcover species list contained within the county design criteria and improvement standards manual to the extent possible. Exceptions to the list are at the sole discretion of the director. 
    E. Installation of landscaping and irrigation systems must follow the approved plans. Any plant substitutes can only be authorized by the person who develops the plan, with the director’s approval. Approval must be obtained prior to plant installation. (Ord.763, 1996)

20.694.050 Maintenance
The owner, or his agent, is responsible for the maintenance of all landscaping and irrigation systems, which shall be maintained in good condition, to present a healthy, neat, and orderly appearance and must be kept free from weeds, refuse, and debris. Maintenance includes the immediate replacement of all dead and diseased plant material. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.060 Landscape plans, required
    A.  A landscape plan must be filed with the department for the following: 
        1.  Applications for a building permit or improvement plans which requires design review approval; 
        2.  Any tentative map which includes common, improved open space areas, or required street trees. 
    B.  The plan shall, at a minimum, identify all areas to be landscaped and include area and tree calculations and general types of landscaping proposed for the area. 
    C.  A landscape plan must be approved by the director, prior to the issuance of a building permit or the approval of a final map including common area. The landscape plan must be approved for remodel permits for a change of use from residential to non-residential or from single-family to multi-family. 
    D.  The landscape plan must be prepared by one of the following: 
        1.  A licensed landscape architect; 
        2.  A licensed landscape contractor; 
        3.  A licensed architect; or 
        4.  A registered civil engineer. (Ord. 801, 1997, Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.070 Landscape plans, submittal requirements

    A. Landscape and irrigation plans must be in the format as prescribed in this section and contain the following for the development and installation of all landscape areas. 
    B.  The final landscape plan shall include the following: 
        1.  Scale (one inch equals 20 feet (1”=20’) or one inch equals 30 feet(1”=30’)), north arrow, location of adjacent streets, property lines, easements, sidewalks, drives, paved areas, lighting, signs, buildings, all utilities and mechanical equipment within the landscape areas, existing trees and other natural or man-made site features influencing the use of the site, and surrounding types of landscaping; 
        2.  Construction details for installation of the landscape in accordance with county standards, including topographical features and grading plans, soil type, method of soil preparation, fertilization added at time of planting, area to be excavated before planting and manner of root exposure, tree staking and guying; 
        3.  A note or calculation sheet with all landscape calculations relevant to the application of this chapter, including site area, areas of required number of parking spaces, number of trees and shrubs, type and amount of living and non-living ground cover, type and amount, if any, of decorative paving material, and percentage of each to be used on the property; 
        4.  A plant list utilizing a wide variety of native and drought tolerant trees, shrubs and plants, based upon the recommended list of species provided in this chapter. The plant list shall include the common and botanical names of plants to be used. This plant list must be arranged in legend form with a key number assigned to each plant. On the plan, each plant shall be identified by a key number. The size of the plant, its spacing and the quantity to be used shall follow in the legend, as the following example illustrates: (Ord. 763, 1996)

Typical Plant List


  Botanical Name

  Common Name





  Acer genially

  Amur Maple

  2-inch caliper

  30 feet o.c.*



  Pyrus Coleraine

  Flowering Pear

  2-inch caliper

  20 feet o.c.




  Early Forsythia

  1 gallon

  3 feet o.c




  Late Lilac

  5 gallons

  5 feet o.c.



  Vinca Minor

  Dwarf Periwinkle


  12 inches o.c


* o.c. = “on center”


20.694.080 Irrigation plans, submittal requirements
    A. Irrigation plans, and specifications which comply with the Uniform Plumbing Code, must be submitted with the landscape plan to insure adequate irrigation coverage. To increase water conservation, the system must be automatic drip, babbler, or sprinkler irrigation. Sprinkler irrigation is only allowed on lawn areas, except that some groundcover may use sprinkler irrigation with the approval by the director. All drip and babbler irrigation systems must be installed separately from turf irrigation systems. All irrigation plans must include the following: 
        1.  Scale at the same scale as the landscape plan, north arrow, location of adjacent streets, property lines, easements, sidewalks, drives, paved areas, lighting, signs, buildings, all utilities and mechanical equipment within the landscape areas, existing trees and other natural or man-made site features influencing the use of the site;
        2.  Identification and description of automatic irrigation components to insure that vegetation is adequately irrigated. All irrigation plans shall incorporate water conserving principles, including multiple program controllers with percent scaling, low precipitation heads, drip irrigation, and check valves. Where applicable, irrigation details must include the method for the watering of required street trees. All valves and other devices are to be housed in a box of adequate size and design to protect the components. 
        3.  Indication of the system point of connection and size, water pressure available, and maximum demand of the system in gallons per minute (GRM); 
        4.  Irrigation equipment specified must be identified by manufacturer’s name and equipment identification number; 
        5.  Cross connection devices installed for all construction shall have a reduced pressure backflow presented (R.P. device), except for single-family development; 
        6.  All locations of irrigation valves, controllers, hose bibs, quick coupler valves, and backflow preventers. Sprinkler location on plans must include typical pattern of sprays (i.e., full circle, half circle), psi, radius of throw and gallons per minute; 
        7.  Irrigation details must be used to clarify particular situations. Typical details must include backflow prevention devices, valves, irrigation heads, and irrigation controllers; 
        8.  Sizes of irrigation lines. Schedule 40 P.V.C. is required for all pressure lines and under all paved areas. Piping must be installed a minimum of 12 inches underground for non pressure irrigation lines and 18 inches underground for constant pressure irrigation lines. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.090 Landscape materials
    A.  Landscape materials are limited to the following: 
        1.  Living materials, including turf, ground covers, plants and shrubs, vines, hedges, and trees; 
        2.  Non-living materials, including rocks, gravel, tile, bricks, wood, bark, and related materials, may be used as ground cover within the required landscape areas with the approval of the community development department. No more than 20 percent of the landscape material shall include rock or gravel, and at least 50 percent of the area devoted to groundcover and planter areas shall be living materials. A variety of living and non-living ground cover materials is required for all projects; 
        3.  Existing trees and shrubs shall be preserved wherever possible and may be considered part of the required landscape material; 
        4.  Existing trees with a trunk diameter of eight inches or more at a point 12 inches above ground level shall be preserved, unless its removal is authorized on the approved site plan or map; 
        5.  Turf is not allowed in any space measuring less than four feet in width or length. Turf is not allowed in areas with a slope greater than 20 percent (1:5), only drought-tolerant native grasses, which decrease soil erosion and require less water consumption, are allowed on slopes in excess of 20 percent; 
        6.  Plant material and ground cover must be distributed evenly throughout the parking lot or site area. 
        7.  Xeriscape designs using drought tolerant, native plant species are encouraged. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.100 Landscape design standards
    A.  At least 15 percent of the total paved area devoted to parking and driveway areas must be offset by pervious areas of landscape material (e.g., xeriscaping, turf, and/or new or existing trees and shrubs). All landscaping must be irrigated with an irrigation system approved by the department. 
    B.  Plant materials existing or proposed within public rights-of-way adjacent to a landscaping project shall be included on the landscape plan but will not be counted toward the total required landscape area. 
    C.  Where a perimeter fence or wall is proposed along a street frontage within a residential subdivision, a minimum five-foot landscape planter area shall be provided outside the fenced area adjacent to the sidewalk. This area shall include street trees and a variety of shrubs and plants to screen the fence and provide an aesthetically pleasing streetscape. 
    D.  On multi-family developments, at least 50 percent of the required common open space areas must be landscaped in pervious material, such as xeriscaping, trees, shrubs, and/or turf. 
    E.  New construction shall provide adequate shade trees in all paved areas and provide an appropriate balance of evergreen and deciduous plantings throughout the site. 
    F.  The landscape plans shall show a minimum of one tree for every 400 square feet of required on-site landscaped area. 
    G.  In addition to paragraph F above, street trees, with a minimum two-inch caliper and five-foot spread, are required for all new commercial, industrial, public, institutional, or residential subdivisions creating parcels of one-half net acre or less. One tree shall be planted, at a maximum, for each 40 lineal feet of street frontage, on average. Street trees must be planted by the developer and include proper irrigation prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. In single-family residential subdivisions, installation of trees and irrigation system shall occur prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy for each individual dwelling unit. Street trees must be set back a minimum of ten feet from water and sewer lines, 30 feet from an intersection, and ten feet from any driveway, hydrant, or street sign. Trees which grow to more than 20 feet in height may not be planted under overhead utility lines. Street trees within highway rights-of-way shall limit mature spread to 20 feet. Street trees shall follow the approved street tree list found in the Douglas County Design Criteria and Improvement Standards, Appendix B, “Plant List.”. Any exceptions to the list shall be at the discretion of the director. 
    H.  All trees must be staked in accordance with the International Society of Arborists standards. 
    I.  Street trees adjacent to sidewalks, parking lots, or streets must be free of fruit or other elements which litter the ground. All street trees must be heat and cold resistant, tolerant of the urban environment, and insect and disease resistant. 
    J.  Shrubs and hedges must be a minimum five-gallon size. Hedges, where required, shall be planted and maintained to form a continuous, unbroken, solid, visual screen within three years after planting. Vines shall be a minimum of two feet in height at the time of planting and may be used only in conjunction with fences, screens, or walls to meet physical barrier requirements. 
    K.  Wherever rock or bark are used as ground cover, the installation must prevent vegetation growth through the ground cover either through the use of herbicides or landscape fabric material. Fabric material must be properly pinned to the soil to avoid lifting. 
    L.  All required street trees, parking lot trees, and trees required for screening purposes must be a minimum two-inch caliper and five-foot spread. All other landscaped trees may be one and one-half inch caliper for deciduous trees, and six-foot minimum height for evergreen trees. (Ord. 1209; 2007: Ord. 801, 1977; Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.110 Screening
Plant materials shall be used to screen irrigation equipment boxes, storage, refuse, public utilities, and other features which do not enhance the overall appearance of the site. Landscape screening shall achieve the desired effect within three years. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.120 Site distance for landscaping adjacent to public rights-of-way and points of access
When an access way or driveway intersects a public right-of-way or when the subject property abuts the intersection of two or more public rights-of-way, all landscaping within the traffic safety site area must provide unobstructed cross-visibility at a level between three feet and eight feet in height. Trees having limbs and foliage trimmed in a manner that no limbs or foliage extend into the cross-visibility area are allowed, provided their location does not create a traffic hazard. (Ord. 763, 1996)

20.694.130 Final inspection
All landscaping must be properly installed and be according to approved plans prior to final inspection and certificate of occupancy by the department. An exception is allowed only when the landscaping cannot be completed due to weather related delays. In lieu of the installation of landscaping, financial security per chapter 20.720, shall be provided at 150 percent of the estimated cost of installation. The owner must guarantee installation as specified in the temporary certificate of occupancy agreement, and final inspection must be completed within six months of the issuance of a temporary certificate. The estimated cost of the landscaping is subject to verification by the department. (Ord. 763, 1996)