Commercial Property Landscaping

A. Planting in City Right of Way (ROW)

  1. The City encourages properties to add landscaping within the ROW where possible up to the back of curb, but there are several rules and requirements.
  2. Planning and Development Services (PDSD) required landscape bufferyard which are intended to be on site in back of the ROW line.  In special cases up to 5’ of the bufferyard may be placed within the ROW. There must be some existing site constraint that prohibits the placement on site before TDOT will consider utilization of the ROW for bufferyard planting.  Existing and propose utilities must be identified on the planting plans with proper utility setbacks in order to avoid underground and overhead conflicts. (see utility setback requirements) Sight Visibility Triangles must also be shown to avoid safety issues. TDOT’s approval to utilize the 5’ of ROW must be obtained early in the project development and not at the end of the design phase.
  3. All planting plans that include planting in the ROW must be approved by the TDOT landscape architect and must include the “Standard Notes for Planting in the ROW”.
  4. All planting within the ROW shall submit for a Right-of-Way permit
  5. The property owner understands that the City or a utility company may need to remove the landscaping in order to construct or repair facilities, and will not replace the landscape or irrigation. (this may make the property out of compliance with PDSD bufferyard requirements if placed in ROW).

B. Tree / vegetation removal from the ROW 

  1. Prior to removing any tree, shrub, accent plant or groundcover from the ROW the property owner must call the City to identify who owns the vegetation. Where the City of Tucson has developed the landscape, has an irrigation system and maintains the area – these plants belong to the City and are considered a City asset.  Removal of these plants without the City’s approval is considered to be destruction of government property. 
  2. When City owned landscape must be removed for new development, said vegetation should be shown on the project plans. Typically the City will request that you replace vegetation in another location within City ROW. This will help to maintain our City Tree Canopy.

C. Existing City irrigation.  When there are existing City irrigation lines or equipment within the project area, the project must protect in place, replace and maintain the irrigation system. 

New driveway will require sleeving of all irrigation lines in a 4” PVC – Sch. 40 pipe, and all irrigation control wires must be sleeved in a 2” PVC Sch. 40 pipe. All sleeves must extend 18” beyond the edge of paving or curb. Minimum depth of all sleeving is 30”. All City irrigation work must be reviewed and approved prior to covering.

D. Water Harvesting

E. Standard City Details
• Residential Water Harvesting Details
• Landscape Architects Water Harvesting Details

Whose tree is it anyway?