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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

TTY : 503-823-6868

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

Landscaping and Screening

Landscaped setback for parking areaWhen does the Zoning Code require it?

Landscaping may be required in a variety of situations, including the following:

  • New residential and commercial development;

  • Parking areas;

  • Exterior development areas (exterior storage, display or work areas);

  • Screening of mechanical equipment;

  • Drive-through areas;

  • Mitigation as a result of an Adjustment Review, Environmental Review, or other Land Use Review; and/or

  • Other regulations relating to landscaping.

Where are the landscaping and screening regulations found in the Zoning Code?

Landscaping regulations are located throughout the zoning code, in the base zone, overlay zone, plan district, or other regulation. The landscaping regulations that a site is subject to depend on the base zone, overlay zone, and plan district the site is located in and what type of development is proposed.

In some circumstances, the landscaping requirements are stated directly in the base zone, overlay zone, plan district or other regulation. 

However, in most cases, the base zone, overlay zone, plan district or other regulation references the landscaping requirements in Chapter 33.248, Landscaping and Screening. In turn, parts of Chapter 33.248 refer to other publications and guides, described as follows:

Other publications referred to in the Zoning Code

Depending on the situation, different types of plants may be planted on a site.  The Zoning Code refers to several plant lists. These lists are referenced within the Zoning Code. If any of the Zoning Code provisions that apply to a site refer to one of these lists, you must view the publication to obtain the most accurate detail regarding the landscaping requirements for the site.

Portland Plant List - This publication provides a list of native trees, shrubs and ground cover. It also includes a list of plants that are designated Nuisance or Prohibited plants. Many of the landscaping requirements prohibit the use of Nuisance or Prohibited plants as they are listed on the Portland Plant List. Also, mitigation and replacement requirements in Environmental zones require that the plants be listed as Native on the Portland Plant List.

Street Tree List - Information on recommended trees, permitting, and maintenance for trees planted in the public right-of-way.

Tree and Landscaping Manual - The Tree and Landscaping Manual is a publication that has been compiled to provide detailed guidance on how to address landscaping requirements. In addition, the Tree and Landscaping Manual is referred to be several landscaping regulations in the zoning code, including for interior parking lot landscaping. 

Stormwater Management Manual - For landscaping in association with stormwater management facilities and Chapter 17.38 of the Portland City Code, see the Stormwater Management Manual. This document is maintained by the Bureau of Environmental Services

Questions? For further assistance with the land use and zoning regulations that apply to your site, please call us at (503) 823-7526, or visit Planning and Zoning Staff in the Development Services Center.