OS-3 District Landscape Design Guidelines
The following Landscape Design Principles are to be used as a
guide in the preparation of plans for transitional areas
consisting of berms, greenbelts, natural vegetation, walls, etc.,
on parcels of land located within the OS-3 District (Special
Office District) as provided for in the City of Farmington Hills
- Berms between residential and office sites should
have gently rolling ridgelines. This ridgeline should not be
flat nor should it be undulating to the point that is choppy,
however, the lowest point shall be five (5’) feet in height.
- Berms in front yards of offices may be as described above or
- Side slope on all berms should not exceed 3:1.
- The ridge of all berms should have a minimum two (2’) foot
wide rounded top (i.e., neither flat nor meeting at a peak).
- The ground surface should be covered primarily with
lawn. If other types of ground covers are used, they should be
planted in large masses so as not to create a spotted effect.
- Plant material used on berms should be indigenous to high,
well-drained areas. e choice of species should be based on what
is naturally growing on the site or the surrounding area. The
moving of trees from other portions of the site are acceptable
only if trees are healthy and if approved by the Planning
- Plant material should be planted in groups of six or more in
naturalistic patterns. Planting in rows or along the ridge is
- The purpose of the berm or greenbelt between residential and
office uses is to provide a natural appearing buffer which will
obscure activity on the office parcel from the residential
- The purpose of the berm between the major thoroughfare and
parking in front yards is not to totally obscure but soften the
overall appearance. Views through the plantings will not be
- The purpose of the greenbelt between minor roads and the
office parcels is to be totally obscuring. The bulk of the plant
material should be evergreen trees to provide year-round
- Minimum starting size for plant material will be as follows:
- Deciduous tree
3” caliper measured 1’ above grade
- Low spreading shrub
- Upright shrub
All plant material shall meet current standards of the
American Association of Nurserymen, for nursery stock. Planting on berms should consist of species, which 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.
Such plantings are to provide additional screening where the
natural vegetation does not obscure adequately.