General Berm Design Guidelines
- The top of the berm should be held level along its entire
length except at the entrance drives. An undulating ridgeline on
the berm within the restricted height of 3’10” would tend to
destroy the visual unity and would create a “forced” appearance
to the berm.
- The sides of the berm must not exceed a 3:1 slope ratio.
- The ridge of the berm must have an approximate two (2) foot
wide area at the top that is rounded (i.e., neither flat nor
meeting at the peak).
- Maximum height of the berm is 3'-10".
- The ground surface on the berm should be covered primarily
with lawn. If other types of ground covers are used, they should
be planted in areas large enough to be in scale with the overall
length of the berm, thus avoiding a "spotty" effect.
- The entrance drive should be given visual emphasis with
plantings. One means of achieving this is through the use of low
growing evergreens in conjunction with groupings of small
- If evergreens are used, they should generally be planted in
groups of six or more of the same species. Widely spaced
evergreens create a “spotty” effect on the landscape. This is
especially true in the winter.
- Continuous planting along the ridgeline of the berm and an
even spacing of trees along the strip should be avoided. Random
spacing of trees and shrubs creates a less formal and more
- The purpose of the planting strip is not to totally obscure
the building and parking behind but to reduce their visual
impact. The planting design may be such that the motorist is
allowed fleeting glimpses through to the other side of the
- Planting on berms should consist of species that naturally
grow in high, well drained situations. Plants such as
arborvitae, birch, cedar, hemlock and cypress, which are
indigenous to low, moist situations, should not be used. In
addition, plants such as dogwood and redbud should not be used
in a berm area where there is much exposure to the elements.
Within the corner clearance area, no planting, berm or
structure should exceed thirty (30) inches in height.