Landscaping Design Guidelines

What is it?

These Guidelines were created to be used with the Sensitive Design Principles to ensure quality and compatible landscaping.

Where does it apply?

Citywide, applied to new development, redevelopment, and major renovation projects. (The Downtown area has its own specific guidelines)

Who needs to use it?

Residents and neighborhoods, Development Review Board (DRB), City staff, developers and property owners, all those involved in the development review process.

Why was it developed?

In response to increasing concerns about the quality and character of design in the community, the City Council, Planning Commission, and Development Review Board (DRB) directed staff to establish the Scottsdale Design Principles and to prepare design guidelines for a range of development types. The landscape design guidelines are intended to help conceive environments that are functional, purposeful, and aesthetically pleasing and that contribute to the design continuity of an area.

Development Review Board adoption - 1999 - 2003

Key Points:

  1. Landscape design should consider foremost the unique qualities, and common built and natural aesthetic characteristics, of a project's surroundings.
  2. Right-of-way planting should conform to established or planned streetscape designs of the City or that of privately planned areas.
  3. Base planting areas should be incorporated along all building and parking structure frontages. Base planting areas can occur as raised or in-ground planters.
  4. Canopy trees should be used throughout all paved circulation/parking areas and in association with pedestrian paths and gathering areas to provide shade, reduce heat build-up, and cut glare.
  5. Parking areas should be broken up with landscaping. Pedestrian corridors through parking areas should have a minimum width of 15 feet and be composed of landscaping with a minimum 5-foot wide sidewalk.
  6. A combination of dense landscaping, site walls, or berming/mounding should be provided to screen parking facilities, service and loading areas, maintenance areas, storage areas, trash enclosures, utility cabinets, and other similar elements.
  7. Plants should be selectively pruned to maintain an appearance that exhibits the qualities and characteristics of the plant in its natural state. Shrub plantings should be located to form a mass by allowing plants to grow together.

Where are the policies located?

References and related documents:

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale – Long Range Planning
7447 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251  

Adam Yaron
Planning & Development Area Manager 
P: 480-312-2761

Taylor Reynolds
Principal Planner
P: 480-312-7924

Ben Moriarity
Senior Planner
P: 480-312-2836

Nick Carroll
P: 480-312-4205