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The City of Delray Beach takes great pride in the appearance of our community which is apparent on both publicly and privately maintained properties.

Minimum Landscape Requirements (LDR Section 4.6.16)
In 1993, the City adopted 'Minimum Landscape Requirements', which affect all existing properties, both commercial and residential.  These regulations are directed at improving the appearance of properties through screening parking lots, refuse areas, mechanical equipment, and providing foundation landscaping for buildings visible from the street and providing sod and irrigation within the unpaved portion of the right-of-way.  Typically, the 'Minimum' requirements are directed at older properties that may have been built prior to the adoption of the City's Landscape Ordinances, which don't have a 'plan of record' on file.  

Landscape Plans (LDR Section 4.6.16)
The Senior Landscape Planner  reviews all landscape plans for new development and inspects these properties,  prior to their receiving a certificate of occupancy, for compliance with the approved landscape plans.   The landscape plans must adhere to the landscape codes and tree protection ordinances.

In general, all properties with the exception of single family homes, which are not part of a Planned Residential Development (PRD),  and duplexes, start the approval process by submitting plans to the Planning & Zoning Department for 'Site Plan Approval'.  Landscape plans required for this submittal must be signed and sealed by a Landscape Architect, registered in the state of Florida.

Plans for single-family homes and duplexes, not part of a PRD (ie, R-1A, R-1AA, etc., type zoning) are submitted directly to the Building Division, and although a landscape plan meeting all requirements must be submitted, the plan does not have to be prepared by a Landscape Architect.  Additions to single-family homes which exceed 25% of the gross floor area, trigger landscape upgrades  to meet current  code requirements, which requires a landscape plan to be submitted along with building plans during the application process.  

In addition to staff review of the plans for multi-family, commercial and industrial projects,  applicants may have to appear before the  Site Plan Review and Appearance Board (SPRAB), or the Historic Preservation Board (HPB), where additional conditions or requirements may be placed on a project. Once this process is completed, the applicant can submit plans to the Building Divison for construction permits.  

For suggested information, please refer to the Recommended Native Plant Materials list or to PlantFinder.

Irrigation Plans (LDR Section 4.6.16)
Most projects requiring landscape plans, will  also require irrigation plans.  These plans must be submitted along with all other building permit applications, but require a separate subcontractor application.  Please click here to view more information on Irrigation Plan Requirements.
Tree Protection (LDR Section 4.6.19)
All properties in the City must file a tree removal permit application and obtain a tree removal permit prior to the removal of any tree(s).  Tree removal applications for trees located on 'common' property within a PRD, must be accompanied by a letter from the Board of Directors of the Homeowner's Association, indicating it was the consensus of the Board that the tree be removed. If the tree is not on common property, a letter from the Board is still required, indicating they have no objection to the removal of the tree. The application must be filed by a contractor licensed in the City for tree removal. This ensures the company has adequate insurance for property damage and workman's compensation.  City staff will inspect the tree and give a determination as to whether the tree warrants removal.  If a replacement tree is  required, it will be stipulated on the permit, and must be installed within 30 days of the issuance of the tree removal permit.  

While the City does not require a permit to trim trees, all pruning must adhere to the National Arborists Association Standards for Tree Trimming, or ANSI 300 (American National Standards Institute).  Hat-racking and severe reduction of a tree's canopy is expressly forbidden.  For information on the different classes of pruning and tips on selecting an arborist, go to the International Society of Arborists website and select tree pruning information.  

Tree removal and pruning is regulated by various City ordinances.  

The Tree Removal, Preservation, Trimming, and Site Clearing page provides additional useful information regarding these requirements.

Section 4.6.19 is presently being revised; the draft Ordinance and an overview of the proposed changes are available.

Fences, Walls and Hedges (LDR Section 4.6.5)
In general, fences may be contained within the required setbacks, providing they are no more than six feet in height within the front or side street setback, and no more than 8 feet in height within the side interior, or rear setback.  Fences exceeding these height restrictions, must meet the setback requirements for the specific zoning district in which they are located. Properties within a designated historic district or individually listed on the Local Register of Historic Places must also adhere to additional requirements of Section 4.5.1.

In addition to setbacks, there are many instances where fences must be installed in combination with landscaping to help screen or soften the appearance of the fence.

Landscape Permits and Forms
For more information, please contact the Senior Landscape Planner at (561) 243-7226 or wilsherw@mydelraybeach.com.

The City's Parks Department oversees the maintenance of parks, city facilities and landscaped medians on our roadways.  If you have concerns regarding the maintenance of public areas, please visit our Parks Maintenance Division page.  

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