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A. Applicability: The requirements of this section shall apply within single-family residential zones and residential estate zones to all new development and to the remodeling of existing dwelling units when a dwelling unit’s footprint increases.

B. Landscaping Requirements: In all single-family residential zones and residential estate zones the following landscaping requirements shall apply:

1. Front Yard Landscaped: A minimum of thirty percent (30%) of the overall front yard area shall be landscaped. At least half of the landscaped area shall contain live vegetation.

2. Completion Requirements: Required landscaping shall be completed within one year of occupancy, the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, or the final inspection of a remodeled dwelling unit, whichever occurs first.

a. Occupancy Defined: As used in this section, occupancy of a dwelling unit begins when permanent power, water or other utility services are connected.

3. Landscaping Defined: As used in this section, "landscaping" shall consist of a combination of decorative rocks, decorative gravel, stone, pavers, bark or synthetic turf, and living plants, such as trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, flowers, grass, and other plants that are generally not considered to be weeds. A minimum of one tree with at least a one and one-half inch (1 1/2") caliper shall be planted in the front yard. The tree may be a desert tree variety. The use of native plants and other low water use plants (Xeriscape) are encouraged to promote water conservation.

C. Requests For Modification: The community development director may approve "landscaping", as defined in this section, which covers less than thirty percent (30%) of the front yard area in landscape where the shape of the lot imposes a difficulty in meeting the thirty percent (30%) requirement. In the event such a modification is granted, all other landscaping requirements outlined in this section, shall still apply and may not be waived or modified. The decision of the community development director may be appealed to the city council within thirty (30) days. (Ord. 2009-12-001, 12-17-2009)