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General Berm Design Guidelines

Berm of red bushes.Earth Berm

  1. 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.
  2. The sides of the berm must not exceed a 3:1 slope ratio.
  3. 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).
  4. Maximum height of the berm is 3'-10".

Planting

  1. 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.
  2. 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 ornamental trees.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 naturalistic effect.
  5. 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 strip.
  6. 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.

Corner Clearance

Within the corner clearance area, no planting, berm or structure should exceed thirty (30) inches in height.

 

 

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