Native Landscapes in the Neighborhood and Beyond
Zoning Practice — April 2020
By Suzanne Rhees, AICP
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More urban and suburban residents than ever are converting their lawns and landscaping to native landscapes, rain gardens, and bee lawns, hoping to create habitat for threatened pollinators, reduce stormwater runoff, reduce water use, and improve soil health. While such practices are increasingly accepted in many cities, it is still possible to run afoul of "weed" or property maintenance ordinances.
This edition of Zoning Practice examines how communities can retool nuisance abatement and zoning regulations to promote native vegetation. The first part explores the elements of a native landscaping ordinance for existing residential neighborhoods, a sample permitting process, and methods for addressing common concerns and enforcement issues. The second part discusses the elements of a city- or countywide ordinance that requires the use of native plants in various types of new development and redevelopment.
About the Author
Suzanne Rhees, AICP