Ann Arbor OKs Landscaping Ordinance

At its June 20, 2011 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council gave final approval to a revision in its landscaping ordinance. The changes are intended to: (1) improve the appearance of vehicular use areas; (2) revise buffer requirements between conflicting land uses; (3) reduce negative impacts of stormwater runoff; (4) improve pedestrian movement within a development site; and (5) preserve existing significant vegetation.

Those benefits are meant to be achieved through several text amendments to the ordinance, which include: adding definitions for “bioretention” and “native or prairie plantings”; allowing the width of landscape buffers to vary; modifying requirements for interior landscape islands; prohibiting use of invasive species for required landscaping; and increasing fines for violation.

The city’s planning commission had given the ordinance change a unanimous recommendation at its March 1, 2011 meeting. The city council gave its initial approval to the landscaping ordinance change at its June 6 meeting. All city ordinances require a first and a second reading in front of the city council, after a public hearing, before final enactment.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]