Landscape Guidance

During the CAC's research into the Village's tree ordinance, it became clear to us that the Board of Architectural Review lacks material to guide their evaluation of landscaping designs. While our upcoming final proposals for revision of the tree ordinance provide some guidelines at the periphery of properties, it still would not provide landscape guidance. The CAC therefore considered what additional, explicit landscape guidance could be offered.

At the outset we decided against a rubric that would establish absolute grades, as we judged this too difficult and too restrictive. Instead we opted for a softer approach advocating progressive best practices. Landscaping is incredibly varied and complex, and so we've kept the guidance fairly general and minimal. A CAC member who has plenty of experience in the permitting process led us to understand that the earlier that guidance is provided, the easier and more likely it can be acted on. We therefore have suggested that this guidance be distributed when a permit is issued or applied for.

Although the circular that the CAC developed is simply guidance, which the landowner does not have to follow, it will be provided to the land use boards. Village boards might therefore be conscious of it when considering a landscape design. We've also recommended the distribution of a circular developed by Westchester's Native Plant Center that provides a polished and exhaustive list of native plant options.

This is a primary source native plant database that can be used for planning, establishing and enhancing planting areas:

https://www.wildflower.org/plants/

If you simply want recommended plants that are commercially available in this area:

https://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=NY

For water smart design tips, see the link below. When the next drought comes, it may be comforting to know you've done your part.

http://www3.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor/landscaping_tips.html