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cover. Green Laws. Green Laws. title. & Com munity Des ign. LSU Green Laws Research Project. Chad Prejean. Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry EBR Parish Tree And Landscape Commission. Community Landscape Codes.

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Green Laws

Green Laws

  • title

& Community


LSU Green Laws Research Project

Chad Prejean

Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry

EBR Parish Tree And Landscape Commission

community landscape codes
Community Landscape Codes

Landscape codes or green laws are special parts of a community’s zoning ordinance. Certain provisions are written to influence the design of “parking lot interiors” and make improvements to the environment of urban areas

Notable codes include;

Orange County, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Delray Beach, Florida

interior vehicular use areas
Interior Vehicular Use Areas
  • Landscaped areas are provided within interior vehicular use areasin
  • order to provide visual and climatic relief from large expanses of
  • pavement. Interior parking lot planting spaces also help to define
  • logical areas for pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
  • Parking lot interior planting spaces consist of one or more of the following parking lot features.
      • Islands
      • Peninsulas
      • Medians
      • Planting Diamonds
      • Parking Lot Detentions, or Interior Bio-swales
  • Landscape codes that contain language that will require that all
  • parking lots be planted will conserve the value of land and
  • buildings on surrounding properties and neighborhoods.
the problem 1
The Problem 1.

No plantings

the problem 2
The Problem 2.

No parking

bays defined

the problem 3
The Problem 3.

Parking bays


defined with

paint, not


or trees.

the problem 4
The Problem 4.

No defined


system or



parking bays.

the problem 5
The Problem 5.

Hot, hot, hot!


within autos

may reach 120

degrees allowing

car plastics to give

off deadly fumes

and film.

purpose of vehicular use interiors
Purpose of Vehicular Use Interiors

Create a logical order for the circulation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Minimize views of parked cars and large expanses of pavement.

Screening of utilities.

Creation of shade and reduction of warming caused by mass paving.

Separation of head to head parked cars.

Uphold the value and integrity of surrounding buildings and land.

Absorption of water runoff and pollutants.

Creation of habitats for wildlife.

types of interiors
Types of Interiors

The interior requirements for parking areas are often satisfied through different methods:

1. Some cities require that a certain percentage of the VUA’s interior be used for landscaping. (usually around 10-15%)

2. Others are more specific and require things such as landscape breaks between parking spaces, curbs to protect the landscape, parking islands and/or medians, minimum shade tree requirements, and minimum size requirements on each landscaped area.

code writing essentials
Code Writing Essentials


Location With VUA

Size of VUA

How large is your parking area and what percentage of should be landscaped?

How many trees per parking space?

Traffic volume and pedestrian circulation

How can interior landscaping direct pedestrians safely to the building?

Site Use

How heavily will the site be used daily, weekly, monthly?

Plant Sizes and Specifications

How large will shade trees grow and how much space will they need to grow?

Clear Vision for Drivers

Maintaining a safe view of pedestrians and other vehicles.

visual gallery 1
Visual Gallery 1.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

visual gallery 2
Visual Gallery 2.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

visual gallery 3
Visual Gallery 3.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

visual gallery 4
Visual Gallery 4.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

visual gallery 5
Visual Gallery 5.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

visual gallery 6
Visual Gallery 6.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

visual gallery 7
Visual Gallery 7.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

visual gallery 8
Visual Gallery 8.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

typical code specs
Typical Code Specs

Orange County, Florida

Interior vehicular use areas are defined as all VUA’s except those on a perimeter where a landscape screen is already required. At least 10% of the interior VUA shall be landscaped. Each separate landscaped area shall be a minimum of 25sq.ft. and will have 1 shade tree for every 100sq.ft. These landscaped areas adjacent to parking areas will be protected by curbs or wheel stops. A maximum of 10 continuous parking spaces are allowed without a landscape break. Landscape breaks are a minimum of 8ft.x8ft. and include 1 shade tree of an acceptable species. Head to head breaks (8ft.x16ft.) shall require 2 shade trees. Shade trees are a minimum of 10ft. in height with a 3 inch caliper. Alternative solutions may involve a 7ft. wide center median between all lineal rows of parking which face head to head. These areas may be provided with 1 shade tree per 60 lineal ft. of median. A landscaped island (singular or head to head) is required at the end of each row of parking spaces. Singular minimum of 1 shade tree; head to head minimum of 2 shade trees.

typical code specs1
Typical Code Specs

City of Orlando, Florida

Landscaping areas shall be provided for interior vehicular use areas so as to provide visual and climatic relief from broad expanses of pavement and to channelize and define logical areas for pedestrian and vehicular circulation.

(a)   Interior vehicular use areas shall be deemed to be all vehicular use areas except those parking spaces contiguous to a perimeter for which a landscape screen is required, or parking spaces which are directly served by an aisle abutting and running parallel to this perimeter.

(b)   At least 2.5% of the gross area of the interior vehicular use area shall be landscaped. This interior landscaped area shall contain sufficient canopy trees to receive at least 1.0 tree points per 100 sq. ft. of gross landscaped area or fraction thereof.

(c)   Interior landscaped areas shall be dispersed so as to define aisles and limit unbroken rows of parking to a maximum of 100 feet.

(d)   Each separate required landscaped area shall contain sufficient canopy trees to receive at least 1 tree point, in a planting area of the size required by Section 60.208, Minimum Planting Areas for Trees.

(e)   If the specific application of the interior landscape requirements will seriously limit functions of the building site, the Zoning Official shall have authority to permit consolidation and relocation of these landscaped areas on the building site.

typical code specs2
Typical Code Specs

City of Delray Beach, Florida

The amount of interior landscaping within off-street parking areas shall amount to no less than ten percent (10%) of the total area used for parking and access ways.

There shall be a group of palms or a shade tree for every one hundred twenty-five (125) square feet of required interior landscaping. No more than twenty-five percent (25%) of these required trees shall be palms..

Landscape islands which contain a minimum of seventy-five (75) square feet of plantable area, with a minimum dimension of five (5) feet, exclusive of the required curb, shall be placed at intervals of no less than one landscaped island for every ten (10) parking spaces. One shade tree or equivalent number of palm trees shall be planted in every interior island. Where approval for the use of compact parking has be approved, islands may be placed at intervals of no less than one (1) island for every thirteen (13) parking spaces.

Each row of parking spaces shall be terminated by landscape islands with dimensions as indicated above, An exception to this requirement is when a landscaped area exists at the end of the parking row.


City of Orlando, Florida, Land Development Code, Sec. 60.254. Landscaping in Interior Areas.

Orange County, Florida, Land Development Code, Sec.24-4. General Design and Development Standards.

City of Delray Beach, Florida, Land Development Code, Sec.4.6.16 Landscape Regulations.