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Coconut Creek Landscape Code Requirements FAQs

Where can I obtain information of the City’s Code of Ordinances?

You may obtain the City of Coconut Creek’s entire Code of Ordinances (at no charge) online at http://www.municode.com/Library/FL/Coconut_Creek. See Chapter 13, Sections 442-449 specifically, for most landscape requirements.

How many trees am I supposed to have on my property?

The minimum number of trees required on your property is based of the square footage of the lot and how the property is zoned. The majority of homes in the City require one (1) tree for every two thousand (2000) square feet (or any portion thereof) of property. For example, a 6000 sq. ft. lot would require a minimum of 3 trees. Please note: Corner lots require an additional tree be planted in the side yard.

Lot size Min. # of required trees/ shrubs

- 4,001 sq.ft. – 6,000 sq.ft 3 trees/ 18 shrubs

- 6,001 sq.ft – 8,000 sq.ft. 4 trees/ 24 shrubs

- 8,001 sq.ft. – 10,000 sq.ft. 5 trees/ 30 shrubs

- 10,001 sq.ft. – 12,000 sq.ft. 6 trees/ 36 shrubs

Do the trees that are referred to as “street trees” count toward my lot tree count?

The trees that line the street creating a street tree theme are not considered lot trees. The “street trees” are the single species of tree that runs the length of your street that creates a consistent theme.

Do I need a permit to remove or replace trees?

A permit is not required to remove a lot tree if it has a trunk diameter of less than 18 inches (measured at a height of 4 ½ feet). There are several instances where a permit is required so it is always best to check with the Landscape Inspector before removing a tree. For example, a permit is required to remove a street tree, a historical tree or a previously preserved tree. You will need to replace any trees that are removed so that you have the minimum number of trees that are required for your property, based on the square footage of your lot.

If I need to remove a tree, what should I replace it with?

First, if you live in an area that has a Homeowners Association (HOA), you should always seek approval from your HOA or property management team before removing or replacing landscape material. City personnel are available to answer your questions, as well. The replacement tree(s) must meet a size requirement and a quality, or grade, requirement. Also, based upon when your community was developed, a percentage of the landscape material to be installed is required to be native. The current minimum percentage of native plant material is 50%.

Minimum replacement sizes

    • Category 1 – Shade/Canopy trees – 12’ht, 5’ spread, 2” minimum caliper, FL #1 or better (makes up a minimum 40% of total trees required)
    • Category 2 – Intermediate trees – 10’ ht, 4’ spread, 2” minimum caliper, FL #1 or better (makes up a minimum 30% of total trees required)
    • Category 3 – Small trees – 8’ht, 4’ spread, 1 ½” caliper, FL #1 or better (makes up no more than 10% of total trees required)

Do palms count as trees on my lot?

Since palms generally do not provide significant canopy, in most cases they must be used in groupings of three (3) to meet the requirements of one (1) replacement tree. They must also meet certain size requirements, with the minimum clear trunk height starting at 8 feet (which means that the palm needs to be a minimum of 8’ tall before the emergence of palm fronds). Palms planted in groupings shall be planted with staggered heights.

Can I meet the minimum requirements by only installing palms?

If palms are used, they shall make up no more than fifty (50) percent of the total trees required. A minimum of one-half of your requirements shall be made up of trees. Can I plant my trees in the lake maintenance easement behind my house? Trees planted beyond your property lines cannot be counted toward your minimum lot requirements. Trees should not be planted in the lake maintenance easement.

Who is responsible for maintaining the street tree in my neighborhood?

Most street trees are the responsibility of the property owner, even when the trees are planted in the right-of-way. However, some HOAs assume responsibility for maintenance of street trees. It is always best to check with your HOA or property management team prior to performing any tree care procedures. The City does not maintain street trees.

What if I didn’t have the proper number of trees on my property when I purchased my home?

While it’s true that many trees have been removed, and not replaced over the years, all homes (with the exception of the very oldest parts of the City) were required to have these minimum landscape requirements before the Certificate of Occupancy could be issued for that home. Previous residents of the home may have taken some trees out. Trees may have died over the years and were not replaced. Regardless of the reasons why or when, in order to get your home back into compliance with the City’s Code, we need to work together to get these valuable trees replaced.

Do I need a minimum amount of shrubs?

As with trees, the minimum number of shrubs that are required for your lot is based on the square footage of your property. In addition to these, you must also screen all equipment such as A/C pads, irrigation equipment, pool equipment, FPL boxes, etc. with shrubs.

Is there a height requirement for hedges?

Yes, hedges in the front yard setback should be maintained at a height of 30” or less. Hedges in the side or rear setback should be maintained at a height of 8 feet or less.

Who do I contact if I have any more questions?

Contact David Poplawski, Landscape Inspector, at 954-956-1530 or Sharon Vollmer, Landscape Coordinator, at 954-956-1517.